International Asia Morning brief: update for Feb 12, 2020

Morning brief: Wuhan coronavirus update for Feb 12, 2020

Morning brief




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As of 9am, Feb 12, 2020:

WORLD COUNT: There are 45,957 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus () in the world. A total of 28 countries and territories have been affected so far. The number of deaths has risen to 1,115. Across the world, a total of 8,242 are in critical condition, while 4,601 previously infected persons have recovered.

CHINA: There are 44,540 confirmed cases of infection in China. The country’s death count now stands at 1,113 people. Monday (Feb 10) was the first time more than 100 people—108 exactly—died of the coronavirus in one day in mainland China. The death count per day in mainland China has been climbing daily.

Here’s the breakdown from the National Health Commission in China:

  • February 10: 108 deaths reported
  • February 9: 97 deaths reported
  • February 8: 89 deaths reported
  • February 7: 86 deaths reported
  • February 6: 73 deaths reported
  • February 5: 73 deaths reported
  • February 4: 65 deaths reported
  • February 3: 64 deaths reported
  • February 2: 57 deaths reported
  • February 1: 45 deaths reported
  • January 31: 46 deaths reported
  • January 30: 43 deaths reported
  • January 29: 38 deaths reported
  • January 28: 26 deaths reported
  • January 27: 26 deaths reported
  • January 26: 24 deaths reported
  • January 25: 15 deaths reported
  • January 24: 16 deaths reported
  • January 23: 8 deaths reported
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China is facing challenges as it tries to get back to business amidst the outbreak. According to the Chinese authorities, different factors like employee shortages, transport disruption, a lack of medical supplies and overly strict local officials are contributing to the struggle. Chinese officials studying the say most of the cluster cases they have observed from a study are within families.

Hong Kong confirms seven additional cases of the virus, bringing the country total to 49, with one confirmed death. Activist Joshua Wong announced on Twitter that his pro-democracy group Demosisto has imported 100,000 masks from the United States to Hong Kong. Officials in the country are looking into a case of two residents who live on different floors of the same high-rise building. They both may have contracted the infection from faecal matter due to a possible design flaw in the building’s piping system. Macao has not reported any new cases of the virus, with the country’s total at 10.

SINGAPORE: The Ministry of Health (MOH) in Singapore has confirmed two new cases of the virus, bringing the total to 47. Both patients have no recent travel history to mainland China. One case is a 46-year-old man who lives in Singapore and the other is a 39-year-old Bangladesh national who works in Singapore. Both are currently in isolation, and contact tracing of the confirmed cases are ongoing.

ASEAN: Thailand has confirmed another case of the coronavirus, bringing the total number of infections in the country up to 33. Vietnam announced that two new patients—one is only three months old—have tested positive for the virus, raising the countrywide total to 15. No other countries in the region have reported any new cases of the virus.

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ASIA: Taiwan, which currently has 18 cases of the coronavirus, has announced new travel warnings for several regions in Asia: Hong Kong and Macao—do not travel to unless “necessary”, Singapore—take “protective measures” if travelling there, and Thailand—all those travelling to Thailand must “adhere to local preventive measures”. Japan reported 41 new confirmed cases, bringing the total up to 202. Two Japanese citizens who had initially tested negative for coronavirus have now been diagnosed with the disease. The men were screened again after developing fevers. South Korea, which announced one new case, has a country total of 28. The nation is sending a third plane to Wuhan to evacuate its citizens and their families on Wednesday (Feb 12). It also updated its “contaminated zone” list to include Hong Kong and Macao. This will go into effect on Wednesday (Feb 12) at midnight. Travellers entering South Korea from the two cities will be required to fill out a health questionnaire and be checked for fever. The Health Ministry also warned its citizens against traveling to Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia, and Vietnam. No other countries in the region have reported any new cases of the virus.

EUROPE: The World Health Organization (WHO) announced that it has named the disease”, short for “coronavirus disease 2019”. Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned that is a “very grave threat” and “very much an emergency”. Ghebreyesus also said that he believes there is a “realistic chance” of stopping the virus. Dr. Michael J. Ryan, executive director of the WHO, said that “one clinical trial is already on the way” in China, in terms of finding a cure for the virus.

Ryan added that the WHO is working with Chinese authorities on further clinical trials. In the United Kingdom, which now has eight cases of the virus, two prisoners are being tested for COVID-19. Germany reported two new cases of the virus and brought its case numbers up to 16. No other countries in the region have reported any new cases of the virus.

The latest updates on the Wuhan coronavirus. Infographic: The Independent SG (*The total death count now stands at 1,115)

AMERICA: The United States’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and a hospital in San Diego made a mistake and sent a woman with the coronavirus back to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar instead of the isolation ward at the hospital because of mixed-up health results. The country declared one new case of the virus, bringing the country total up to 13. A second plane carrying 185 passengers evacuated from Wuhan arrived in Canada on Tuesday (Feb 11). That was the last group of Canadians who had asked to be repatriated from the Chinese city. Repatriated Canadians and their family members are being quarantined at Canadian Forces Base Trenton for 14 days for health testing and observation. No other countries in the region have reported any new cases of the virus.
AUSTRALIA: Australia’s confirmed cases are at 15 in total, and 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.


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