Asia COVID-19 update for Feb 14, 2020

COVID-19 update for Feb 14, 2020

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As of 8am, Feb 14, 2020:

WORLD COUNT: There are 65,246 confirmed cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in the world. A total of 28 countries and territories have been affected so far. The number of deaths has risen to 1,489. Across the world, a total of 10,603 are in critical condition, while 6,992 previously infected persons have recovered.

CHINA: There are 64,658 confirmed cases of infection in China. The country’s death count now stands at 1,486 people. China’s Hubei province has announced more than 240 new deaths and more than 14,000 cases of infection than Thursday (Feb 13). The reason for the spike in numbers is due to China’s Hubei province changing its definition of a “confirmed case”. They have decided to include people diagnosed on the basis of displaying COVID-19 symptoms rather than testing positive. But these parameters don’t apply to the rest of the world. Pharmacies in the eastern Chinese city of Nanjing have been banned by the government from selling all medicines that treat fevers and coughs. This is to encourage residents with symptoms like fever or coughing to seek proper treatment from hospitals instead. The eastern city of Hangzhou has been implementing similar measures as well. In Beijing, pharmacies have been urged to register the details of customers who buy fever and cough medicines. Hong Kong has confirmed four additional cases of the coronavirus, bringing the citywide total to 53. World Rugby announced on Thursday that both the Hong Kong and Singapore parts of the World Rugby Sevens Series 2020 have been rescheduled due to the outbreak. The Hong Kong Sevens was scheduled for April 4 to 5, but it will take place on October 16 to 18. The Singapore Sevens, which was first set for April 11 to 12, will be rescheduled for October 10 to 11. Macao, which has a total of 10 cases, has not reported any new cases of the virus.

SINGAPORE: Singapore added a total of 11 cases on Thursday (Feb 13), raising the countrywide total to 58. The Ministry of Health (MOH) confirmed that the eight most recent cases have no recent travel history to China but are linked to previously confirmed cases in the city. At least five of the new cases are connected to a cluster at the Grace Assembly of God church, two are linked to a cluster at a construction site, and one case was a relative of a previous patient.

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ASEAN: Malaysia has confirmed one new case of COVID-19, bringing the country total up to 19. Vietnam reported an additional case of the virus as well and placed an entire community—Binh Xuyen district—under lockdown to minimise the outbreak. Some 10,000 people are affected by the lockdown, which is the first outside of mainland China. Authorities said that the lockdown will last for 20 days. Passengers from the Westerdam cruise ship will begin to disembark on Friday (Feb 14) at the Sihanoukville port in Cambodia where the ship was allowed to dock. There are no confirmed cases of coronavirus on the ship. No other countries in the region reported new cases of the virus.

ASIA: Japan has announced its first death from the COVID-19 outbreak. It also confirmed 44 more cases on the Diamond Princess cruise ship quarantined near Tokyo. It currently has a total of 251 cases, the most outside of mainland China. The country’s first fatality was a woman in her 80s who had been in hospital since Feb 1 for pneumonia. Her confirmed diagnosis came after she passed away. The World Health Organization’s representative to North Korea reported that while there are no confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the country, it is preparing for anything. It requested personal protective gear such as masks, gloves and goggles from the World Health Organization (WHO), which is donating the medical supplies to the East Asian country. The country said that its coronavirus quarantine period of 15 days will be increased to 30 days. India reported two new cases of the virus, bringing the country’s tally up to five confirmed cases. No other countries in the region reported new cases of the virus.

EUROPE: At a meeting of the Health Council in Brussels on Thursday (Feb 13), European health ministers emphasised the need for a “coordinated European Union (EU) response” to the COVID-19 outbreak. The United Kingdom reportedone new case of the virus, bringing the country’s numbers up to nine confirmed cases. The two hospital employees who came into contact with the a confirmed case “are undergoing active surveillance at home” for 14 days after. Asian university students across the UK have experienced discrimination directly related to the coronavirus outbreak. No other countries in the region reported new cases of the virus.

AMERICA: The United States confirmed two additional cases of COVID-19, bringing the countrywide total up to 15. Nearly six weeks after the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) first offered its expertise and help to China with its coronavirus outbreak, the offer still has not been accepted, CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield said to CNN. Dr Redfield also announced that “asymptomatic transmission” of the coronavirus is possible.

An infected person not showing symptoms could still carry and transmit the virus to others. This is based on information from his colleagues in China. Dr Redfield also told CNN that the virus would go “beyond this season, beyond this year“, citing that a mitigation phase would eventually follow this containment phase. No other countries in the region reported new cases of the virus.

AUSTRALIA: Australia, which currently has 15 confirmed cases of COVID-19, extends its ban for all foreign nationals who have travelled to China recently. The ban will continue to be in effect for another week after its initial end date of Saturday (Feb 15). The travel ban will be reviewed weekly. New Zealand still has no cases of the virus in the country.

AFRICA: As of yet, no confirmed cases of the coronavirus have been reported in the region. Around 50 Nigerian students living in Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak, say they’ve been abandoned by their country, as their continual cries for repatriation and medical supplies have largely been ignored by the authorities.

/TISG
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