COVID-19 Update 03-07-2020

(COVID-19)Novel Coronavirus Update Global LERP Response

Online John Hopkins CSSE Coronavirus Dashboard

WHO Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) website

US CDC 2019-nCoV webpage

European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, Novel coronavirus in China page 

Worldwide, 102,469 people have been infected with 3,491 deaths associated with COVID-19, health experts are continuing to urge people to practice preventative measures, such as routine hand washing, in order to avoid COVID-19.

In the US, Two people in Florida have died from coronavirus, becoming the first U.S. fatalities outside of California and Washington state. A total of 17 people have now died across the country and more than 338 cases have been confirmed nationwide. Vice President Mike Pence announced Friday night that 21 people on the Grand Princess cruise ship, which is currently floating off the coast of San Francisco, have tested positive for the virus. The ship will dock this weekend, and thousands of passengers and crew members will be tested. President Donald Trump on Friday morning signed a $8.3 billion emergency spending package to combat the virus.

In the Houston, Texas Metro Area, two more presumptive positive cases of coronavirus were announced in Fort Bend County Friday by local health officials. There are now eight total cases in the Houston area — three confirmed cases and five presumptive positive cases. The presumptive positive cases are all considered actionable, officials say. This means the patients’ tests were conducted and confirmed as coronavirus by a local lab but officials are waiting for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lab in Atlanta to confirm the test results. All the cases are connected to a group that traveled to Egypt in late February. Friday evening, the Montgomery County Public Health District said there was one case of possible coronavirus case “under investigation” in the county. Officials skaid Friday they do not believe the virus has spread to the community at large. The source said that just over 100 people who may have come in contact with the coronavirus patients are being monitored. Officials ask that if you feel sick and think you might have coronavirus, to contact your health care provider or a hospital and describe your symptoms and travel history.

In China, a strict ban on the consumption and farming of wild animals is being rolled out across China in the wake of the deadly coronavirus epidemic, which is believed to have started at a wildlife market in Wuhan. Although it is unclear which animal transferred the virus to humans -- bat, snake and pangolin have all been suggested -- China has acknowledged it needs to bring its lucrative wildlife industry under control if it is to prevent another outbreak. A government-sponsored report in 2017 by the Chinese Academy of Engineering found the country's wildlife trade was worth more than $73 billion and employed more than one million people. Since the virus hit in December, almost 20,000 wildlife farms across seven Chinese provinces have been shut down or put under quarantine, including breeders specializing in peacocks, foxes, deer and turtles, according to local government press releases.

In Italy, the government plans to hire 20 thousand new medical personnel in order to bolster the health service and tackle coronavirus, local media reported Saturday. They intend to recruit 5,000 doctors, 5,000 social workers and 10,000 nurses. As of Saturday, 4,636 people with confirmed cases and 197 people have died from the respiratory illness in Italy and the has highest death toll outside of China, where the disease originated. Entire towns have been quarantined northern Italy, which is expected to weigh heavily on the country's economy with tourism particularly affected.

In South Korea, more than 60 percent of the cases can be linked to a secretive church at the center of South Korea's outbreak, the deputy director of the Korea Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention said Saturday. The Korea Center for Disease Control said that the number of confirmed cases had risen by 448 to 7,041. Two more people had died from the respiratory illness, bringing the total number of COVID-19 linked deaths to 46.

In Japan, a total of 705 people on the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship docked at Yokohama had tested positive for the virus. Six people - five Japanese and one British - who were on the ship have died. Japan does not include the people on board as part of its national tally, in accordance with WHO guidance. The national tally is 420 as of March 7, including 6 deaths. Concerns are growing in Japan that the number of coronavirus cases could be higher than reported, with experts questioning the country's approach to testing as infection rates continue to climb.

The UK remains in the "containment" phase of tracing coronavirus cases to prevent it spreading in the community, England's deputy chief medical officer has said. Jennie Harries told the BBC a decision about the next phase of delaying the spread of the virus would depend on how fast the number of cases rose. But she said the UK was "teetering on the edge" of sustained transmission. Measures to slow the virus needed to be "proportionate", she said. And Dr Harries warned the public against panic-buying, saying it was unnecessary and it could "engender panic in itself". 

On Monday, the UK government is meeting with sporting bodies and broadcasters to discuss staging sports events behind closed doors if the coronavirus outbreak worsens and mass gatherings are banned. Meanwhile, more than 140 British nationals are on board a cruise ship which was barred from docking in San Francisco, California, after an outbreak of the virus. Two people in the UK have died from the virus, a man in his 80s and a woman in her 70s - both of whom had underlying health conditions. The number of confirmed cases of Covid-19, the illness caused by the virus, rose to 164 in the UK on Saturday morning, with 20,338 people tested.

In India, primary schools in Delhi are temporarily closed until Tuesday, March 31, due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The Delhi government announced the decision on Wednesday, March 5, as a precautionary measure to prevent further spread of the virus. All public and private schools will be shut and some schools have taken an advance spring break. Similar measures may be implemented throughout the country if the outbreak continues to spread. Visa suspensions remain in effect as of Friday, March 6, for individuals have traveled to or are nationals of Italy, Iran, South Korea, Japan, and China. Officials said that only diplomats, OCI cardholders, and aircrew are exempt from the restrictions. Anyone from the aforementioned countries requiring entry to India for compelling reasons must re-apply for a visa or e-Visa. The Ministry of Health also announced that all individuals arriving directly or indirectly from China, South Korea, Japan, Iran, Italy, Hong Kong, Macao, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Nepal, Thailand, Singapore, and Taiwan will be required to undergo medical screening at their port of entry. Officials similarly advised Indian citizens against travel to China, Iran, South Korea, Italy, or Japan, and against non-essential travel to other COVID-19 affected countries. As of March 6, there are 31 confirmed COVID-19 cases in India, including 14 Italian tourists.

On Friday, March 6, Iraq's Foreign Ministry announced that travelers from France and Spain would be denied entry to the country due to the ongoing outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). On February 26, officials imposed an entry ban on travelers from China, Iran, Thailand, South Korea, Japan, Italy, Singapore, Kuwait, and Bahrain. The ban applies to all individuals traveling from the abovementioned countries, regardless of citizenship; however, Iraqi citizens and foreign diplomats are exempted from the ban. To date, there have been 48 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Iraq, including four fatalities.

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