International Asia Daily brief: COVID-19 update for Feb 15, 2020

Daily brief: COVID-19 update for Feb 15, 2020

Daily Brief




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As of 6am, Feb 15, 2020:

WORLD COUNT: There are 64,474 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 1,384. Across the world, a total of 10,613 are in critical condition, while 7,184 previously infected persons have recovered.

CHINA: There are 44,690 confirmed cases of infection in China. The country’s death count now stands at 1,116 people. China reported that 1,716 medical workers have contracted the coronavirus so far, including six who have died. Around 1,500 cases, or 87.5 percent, are in Hubei province, the centre of the outbreak. Chinese President Xi Jinping called the coronavirus outbreak a “big test” for the country in a speech to Communist Party members. He noted that the country needed to improve epidemic prevention and advance screening for diseases. In terms of the economy, China’s small companies are struggling to survive in the wake of the outbreak, unable to comply with the new strict health regulations. Hong Kong has confirmed three new cases of the coronavirus, bringing the citywide total to 56. Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced the launching of a HK$25 billion (S$4.5 billion) fund to help alleviate economic fallout due to the virus outbreak. Macao, which has a total of 10 cases, has not reported any new cases of the virus.

SINGAPORE: Singapore has confirmed nine additional cases of COVID-19, bringing the countrywide total to 67. None of the new cases have recent travel history to China, said the Ministry of Health on Friday (Feb 14). At least six of the newly confirmed cases are connected to the cluster of cases linked to the Grace Assembly of God church. The three remaining cases are a 61-year-old Singaporean woman who is a family member of the 50th and 55th confirmed cases, a 61-year-old male Singaporean who works at a private hospital in Singapore, and a 50-year-old Singapore citizen. Contact tracing for the confirmed cases is ongoing.

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ASEAN: There were no new cases of COVID-19 reported in the region.

ASIA: Japan reported eight new cases of the virus, raising the country’s total to 259, the second highest number of cases outside China. Eleven passengers from the Diamond Princess cruise ship docked off the coast of Yokohama  will be moved to quarantine facilities on the shore, the captain announced on Friday (Feb 14). Those passengers were cleared by the Japanese Ministry of Health to disembark and be moved. No other country in the region reported new cases of the virus.

EUROPE: The World Health Organization (WHO) main team of experts is expected to arrive this weekend, according to WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. The mission, which will include 12 international and WHO experts and a number of national expert counterparts from China, will be focused on reviewing data, conducting in-depth workshops and visiting three provinces, among others things. The team will stay as long as is necessary. A woman in Russia fled from a hospital ward where she was being quarantined for the virus. She was being held under quarantine observation at the Botkin Hospital for Infectious Diseases in St. Petersburg, but she escaped by short-circuiting the electronic lock on the door to her ward. Health authorities in the country, which has two confirmed cases of the virus, have filed a lawsuit against her for endangering public safety. There were no new cases of COVID-19 reported in the region.

AMERICA: The Health and Human Services Secretary of the United States, Alex Azar, told CNN that the US has to be careful about making assessments about the data coming out of China on the coronavirus. Azar repeated the need to send US to China, but China still has not extended an invitation since the US offered on Jan 6. Canada reported one new case of the coronavirus, bringing the country total to 8 confirmed cases.
AUSTRALIA: Australia’s confirmed cases are at 15 in total, and New Zealand still has no cases of the virus in the country.
AFRICA: On Friday (Feb 14), Egypt confirmed its first case of the coronavirus, making it the first case in the African continent. Health Ministry spokesman Khaled Mugahed announced that the infected person was a “foreigner” who was not displaying serious symptoms. The patient is currently being warded in isolation. No details were released on the person’s nationality or travel history.



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