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Morning brief: Wuhan coronavirus update for Feb 8, 2020

Morning brief




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As of 5am, Feb 8, 2020:

WORLD COUNT: There are 31,537 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in the world. A total of 28 countries and territories have been affected so far. The number of deaths has risen to 638. Across the world, a total of 4,826 are in critical condition, while 1,780 previously infected persons have recovered.

CHINA: There are 31,210 confirmed cases of infection in China. The country’s death count now stands at 636 people. In China, public anger has risen over the lack of medical supplies in hospitals across the country, despite the Chinese Red Cross receiving US$86 million (S$119 million) in donations. Three officials from the charity were punished for mishandling the donations. After the death of Chinese whistleblower doctor Li Wenliang, Chinese social media has erupted with anger against the government’s handling of the 2019-nCoV outbreak. Hong Kong has confirmed its two latest cases of the virus, bringing the total country tally to 26. Meanwhile, thousands of medical workers in the country have ended their five-day strike demanding that the government close borders with China after members voted not to continue it. Hong Kong’s Government has announced that all travellers from China who refuse to undergo the mandatory quarantine for 2019-nCoV may be jailed for six months. The World Dream cruise ship is still at Hong Kong’s Kai Tak Cruise Terminal, with more than 3,600 passengers and crew members on board being inspected for symptoms of 2019-nCoV. Cruise ship The Westerdam is currently in the middle of the East China Sea, unable to find somewhere to dock after being refused entry by both Taiwan and Japan over fears of virus contamination. Macao’s case count remains at 10.

SINGAPORE: Three more cases of the virus have been reported in Singapore, bringing its total to 33. Outside of mainland China, only Japan has more confirmed cases. All three latest cases are Singaporean citizens with no travel history to China. They are currently in isolation. Following the growing number of local transmission cases in Singapore, the Ministry of Health (MOH) has raised the Disease Outbreak Response System Condition alert level will be raised to orange, the second highest. Large-scale events and inter-school activities will be cancelled, and daily health screenings will be conducted at workplaces.

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ASEAN: Malaysia was the only country to declare a new case of the virus in the region. Its new tally of confirmed cases has risen to 15. No other countries in the region reported new cases of the virus.

ASIA: Only Japan has more cases than this outside mainland China, with 25 infections on land, and 61 aboard a cruise ship quarantined near Tokyo. The country’s total case count is up to 86 persons. The cruise ship Diamond Princess is under quarantine off the coast of Yokohama, with 1,045 crew and 2,666 passengers on board. At least 61 persons on the ship have tested positive for the virus. Japan’s fourth flight evacuating citizens from Wuhan has landed in Tokyo, with 198 Japanese citizens and their family members on board. All will be placed under quarantine. Japan had already repatriated more than 550 of its citizens out of Wuhan. South Korea has also confirmed an additional case of 2019-nCoV, bringing the national total to 24 confirmed cases. No other countries in the region reported new cases of the virus.

EUROPE: A scientist from the United Kingdom is working on developing a vaccine for the novel coronavirus. Robin Shattock of Imperial College London said that a treatment could be ready by early 2021. World Health Organization (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus announced that there is a worldwide “chronic shortage” of medical equipment needed to combat the coronavirus. Ghebreyesus and WHO will be working with the Pandemic Supply Chain Network to find solutions. Germany reported a new case of the virus, bringing the national total to 14. No other countries in the region reported new cases of the virus.

AMERICA: Two American flights from Wuhan carrying American citizens have landed in the US and Canada, officials have confirmed. All persons on board will be placed under quarantine and screened for a period of time. The United States currently has a confirmed case count of 12 persons. Canada, which has seven confirmed cases of the virus, has repatriated 176 of its citizens out of Wuhan, China. All passengers will be checked and isolated upon their return. Passengers on a cruise ship that docked Friday morning (Feb 7) near New York City will be inspected in port for any signs of 2019-nCoV. No other countries in the region reported new cases of the virus.

AUSTRALIA: Australia, which has 15 cases of the virus, will quarantine patients in a mining camp in Darwin, the capital of Australia’s Northern Territory. There is another isolation centre on Christmas Island, but it does not allow proper segregation of people in the facility. New Zealand has not reported any cases of 2019-nCoV.

AFRICA: As of yet, no confirmed cases of the Wuhan coronavirus have been reported in the region.


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