Coronavirus Breaking News

The coronavirus disease COVID-19 is currently reaching pandemic levels in various countries.

Feb 23, 2020 • 4:56 pm CST

Austria Blocks Italy's Trains

The Republic of Austria has blocked rail travel in and out of Italy following fears that a train on late on February 23, 2020, had 2 passengers who may have been infected with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. The Eurocity 86 train was coming from Venice en route through Austria to Munich, Germany.

Austria's interior ministry said 'it had been informed by Italy’s railway company that these passengers had a fever and stopped the train at the Brenner, Italy crossing before it could enter Austria. Three other trains were also stopped, including two regional trains and a night train from Nice to Moscow, a spokesman for the Austrian Federal Railway.

Austria is a landlocked East Alpine country in the southern part of Central Europe.

 

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Feb 23, 2020 • 3:18 pm CST

Italy Confirms 132 Coronavirus Patients & 2 Fatalities

Italy's Ministry of Health reported "A total of 132 people who have been coronavirus positive. Of these 2 died, This is the regional distribution: 88 cases in Lombardy, 24 in Veneto, 6 in Piedmont, 9 in Emilia Romagna and 2 in Lazio. The total number of people who are therefore currently under observation are 129. As for the 'patient zero', "we have not yet been able to find it. It is therefore still difficult to formulate hypotheses on diffusion".

And, for precautionary reasons, the Ministry of University and Research invites the suspension of teaching activities until 29 February 2020. School trips are suspended for all at the national level. 

 

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Feb 23, 2020 • 3:10 pm CST

Gastroenterologist Working At Union Jiangbei Hospital Died From COVID-19

According to a Tweet by CGTN, another doctor caring for patients in Wuhan, China has passed away. Xia Sisi, M.D., age 29, worked as a gastroenterologist at Union Jiangbei Hospital. The fatality toll of medical staff caring for COVID-19 patients in China has reached 10, according to a media report.

China's National Health Commission reported on February 11th, a total of 1,716 medical workers had contracted the infection.

 

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Feb 23, 2020 • 2:38 pm CST

South Korea Confirms 602 Coronavirus Patients

As of February 23, 2020, at 16:00 local time, the Korea CDC confirmed 602 were infected with the COVID-19 disease, and 5 related fatalities. Overall, 8,057 individuals have been tested for the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Additionally, the infectious disease crisis alert is in the 'border' stage and is responding to the 'severe' stages centered on the Central Defense Response Headquarters and the Central Accident and Welfare Division.

 

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Feb 23, 2020 • 2:28 pm CST

Japan Confirms 125th Coronavirus Patient

On February 23, 2020, Japan's Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare reported Sapporo City, Nagoya City, Chiba Prefecture and Hokkaido reported the 12 new cases of the SARS-CoV-2 related infectious diseases. With this announcement, the number of domestically infected people is 144 (125 patients, 16 asymptomatic pathogen carriers, 3 confirmed positive).

 

Feb 23, 2020 • 1:33 pm CST

PHE Confirms 4 Additional COVID-19 Cases In England

PHE Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty reported 4 further patients in England have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of cases in the UK to 13.

PHE says the SARS-CoV-2 virus was passed on while onboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan. These COVID-19 patients are being transferred from Arrowe Park to specialist NHS infection centers.

 

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Feb 23, 2020 • 1:27 pm CST

WHO Situation Report #34 - Very Few COVID-19 Cases Detected While Asymptomatic

The WHO reported of the 1,769 COVID-19 cases reported outside China, only 32 were detected while apparently asymptomatic. For the remaining 1,737 cases, information on the date of onset is available only for the 284 cases presented in the epidemiologic curve.

 

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Feb 23, 2020 • 10:21 am CST

Initial Texas Evacuees Released

The initial 14-day quarantine is over for about 90 evacuees currently housed at JBSA-Lackland in San Antonio, Texas. Only 1 person tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus. That individual was taken to a hospital for care. “These people being released from quarantine pose no health risk to the surrounding community, or to the communities they will be returning to,” the CDC said, according to a local newspaper.

The evacuees just released are separate from another group of 144 people still undergoing quarantine at JBAS-Lackland.

 

Feb 23, 2020 • 9:59 am CST

South Korea Declares Highest-Health-Alert

South Korea President Moon Jae-in said on February 23, 2020, that the country faced "a grave turning point", and the next few days would be crucial in the battle to contain the novel coronavirus disease outbreak.

Media is reporting 6 people have died from the SARS-CoV-2 virus in South Korea and more than 600 people have been infected with the COVID-19 disease.

 

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Feb 23, 2020 • 6:46 am CST

Diamond Princess Cruise Ship Passengers Status = 691 Infected and 3 Fatalities

According to local Japanese media, 691 current passengers onboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship have tested positive for the new coronavirus disease.

And, Japan's health ministry says a 3rd former passenger from the quarantined Diamond Princess has died. The cause of death was pneumonia. He was treated at a local hospital after leaving the cruise ship.

 

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Feb 23, 2020 • 6:36 am CST

Japan Prepares For Surge Of COVID-19 Cases

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has ordered a government task force to prepare for a potential surge in the number of people infected with the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.

According to local media, Abe told the task force on February 23, 2020, that the situation has entered a crucial phase after COVID-19 disease cases with unknown infection routes were reported in multiple regions of the country.

 

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Feb 23, 2020 • 6:15 am CST

Study: the mortality of critically ill patients with SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia is over 60%

A new study published in The Lancet found 'the mortality of critically ill patients with SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia is considerable. Older patients (>65 years) with comorbidities and ARDS are at increased risk of death. This small study reported ill patients (61.5%) patients died at 28 days, and the median duration from admission to an ICU to death was 7 days for non-survivors.

 

Feb 23, 2020 • 6:03 am CST

Experimental Flu Medication Avigan Tested In Japan

Anti-influenza medication Avigan is being used to treat people in Japan infected with the COVID-19 disease, reported JiJi news on February 23, 2020. Japan's health minister Katsunobu Kato said Avigan will be used for COVID-19 treatment as part of an observational study.

The Avigan tablet is an anti-influenza drug developed by the Fujifilm Group company, Toyama Chemical Co., Ltd., and is not distributed in the Japanese marketplace. Avigan (Favipiravir) (T-705; 6-fluoro-3-hydroxy-2-pyrazinecarboxamide) is an anti-viral agent that selectively and potently inhibits the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) of RNA viruses. 

The Japenese government says it possesses about 2 million doses and will supply it to medical institutions.

 

Feb 23, 2020 • 5:20 am CST

Israel Will Ban South Korea and Japan Visitors

Starting on February 24, 2020, Israel will ban all foreign nationals who have visited South Korea and Japan in the past 14 days from entering the country, over concerns they could spread the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, which causes the COVID19 disease in humans, the Israel Health Ministry announced. 

The Health Ministry also said any Israelis returning from Italy, Australia and Taiwan who develop symptoms of illness must be examined according to procedures detailed on its website. Israel is already denying entry to visitors from China, Hong Kong, Macau, Thailand, and Singapore. 

 

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CHINA'S COVID-19 NATIONAL STATISTICS @ 05:54 BEIJING TIME
Feb 23, 2020 • 4:59 am CST

SARS-CoV-2 Infections

China's national statistics for COVID-19 infections:

  • Existing confirmed diagnoses = 51,481
  • Existing severe = 10,968
  • Cumulative fatalities = 2,445

 

Feb 22, 2020 • 4:14 pm CST

Israel May Close Boarders To Non-Residents = COVID-19 Cases Confirmed

Israel's Ministry of the Interior's website announced on February 22, 2020, 'that boundaries for non-residents will probably be closed soon. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called a situation assessment Sunday morning on containing the potential spread of the coronavirus in Israel.

This is after 9 Israelis who are in the vicinity of the South Korean tourist mission were diagnosed with the COVID-19 disease, according to 13 News reporting.

The Education Ministry announced Saturday night that 60 eighth-graders from Haifa who were at the historical site of Masada at the same time as the South Korean group would enter isolation, along with 5 teachers and a security guard.

The announcement on the 23rd came hours after it was announced that 30 Beersheba students, also from eighth grade, would be quarantined at their homes along with two teachers after coming into contact with the pilgrims during a field trip.

 

 

Feb 22, 2020 • 2:52 pm CST

Travel Alert For Japan Elevated to Level 2

Posted on February 22, 2020, Alert - Level 2, Sustained Community Transmission—Special Precautions for High-Risk Travelers. 

Japan is experiencing sustained community transmission of respiratory illness (COVID-19) caused by the novel coronavirus, which can spread from person to person.

Older adults and those with chronic medical conditions should consider postponing nonessential travel, says the CDC.

 

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Feb 22, 2020 • 2:21 pm CST

Honolulu Added To US Surveillance System For COVID-19 Disease

 Dr. Anthony Fauci from the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said during a CNBC interview that federal officials have added a 6th site—Honolulu— to its surveillance system for COVID-19. The initial US plan is to detect community virus spread hinges on public health lab workers testing samples that are negative for flu for the virus that causes COVID-19. 

The first phase will be launched at public health labs that are part of the flu surveillance system in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, and New York City.

 

Feb 22, 2020 • 2:12 pm CST

Federal Judge Block the Caring For COVID-19 Patients In Costa Mesa CA

U.S. District Judge Josephine Staton granted a temporary restraining order after the city of Costa Mesa filed a request for an injunction on February 21, 2020, which blocked the transfer of 30 to 50 COVID-19 patients to a building there. Named as defendants were the Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Defense, U.S. Air Force, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services and the California Department of General Services.

“Our top priority is the safety and security of this community and those who live in this region,” Costa Mesa Mayor Katrina Foley said in a statement. 'While the City understands the need for the Federal Government to select sites for quarantine, a full and complete explanation of all plans is required.'

 

Feb 22, 2020 • 11:38 am CST

Should Those 14 Infected Passengers Been On the Japan Evacuation Flight?

Dr. Walters from the State Department said on February 21, 2020, during a media telebriefing, 'With regard to decision making during the evacuation, it is important to remember that this was an emerging and unusual circumstance.  We had 328 people on buses.  We had a plan.  We were executing the plan. 

Then we received lab results on otherwise asymptomatic, un-ill people that were on their way to an airport. 

I think the folks on the ground did just the right thing by, out of an abundance of caution, moving those 14 people into an isolation area where they pose no threat to themselves or anyone else. 

It provided room for an inter-agency discussion between not just CDC and state but the operational elements of HHS, which were from the assistant secretary of preparedness and response. 

At the end of the day, the state department had a decision to make, informed by our inter-agency partners.  We went ahead and made that decision.  The decision, I think, was the right one, in bringing those Americans home.

 

Feb 22, 2020 • 11:31 am CST

13 African Countries With Direct Links To China

The WHO has identified 13 priority countries in Africa because of their direct links to China or their high volume of travel with China. Some countries in Africa, including DRC, are also leveraging the capacity they have built up to test for Ebola, to test for COVID-19.

During the past month, about 11,000 African health workers have been trained using WHO’s online courses on COVID-19.

These are great examples of how investing in health systems can pay dividends for health security.

The WHO Director-General said 'We have also shipped more than 30,000 sets of personal protective equipment to several countries in Africa, and we’re ready to ship almost 60,000 more sets to 19 countries in the coming weeks.'

The increasing signs of transmission outside China show that the window of opportunity we have for containing this virus is narrowing.

We are calling on all countries to invest urgently in preparedness. We have to take advantage of the window of opportunity we have, to attack the virus outbreak with a sense of urgency, concluded the WHO Director-General.

 

Feb 22, 2020 • 11:22 am CST

New Virus Detection Protocol “Surface sampling of coronavirus disease"

The role of environmental contamination in the transmission of the SARS-CoV2 virus and COVID-19 disease is not yet clear. On 18 February, a new protocol entitled “Surface sampling of coronavirus disease (COVID-19): A practical “how-to” protocol for healthcare and public health professionals” was published.

This protocol was designed to determine viable virus presence and persistence on fomites in various locations where a COVID-19 patient is receiving care or isolated, and to understand how fomites may play a role in the transmission of the virus.

 

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Feb 22, 2020 • 10:43 am CST

CDC Issues Cruise Ship Warning For Asia

On February 21st, the CDC issued new recommendations that all travelers reconsider cruise ship voyages to or within Asia. Several destinations in Asia are experiencing outbreaks of novel coronavirus infection. And, as recently reported in Japan, cruise ship passengers are at increased risk of the person-to-person spread of infectious SARS-CoV2 virus, which causes the novel coronavirus 2019 disease.

 

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Feb 22, 2020 • 9:28 am CST

South Korean Cities of Daegu and Cheongdo Declared Special Care Zones

South Korea officials said on Saturday, February 22, 2020, that 229 new COVID-19 cases had been confirmed in just 1 day, which increases the total to 433 cases during 2020. In a statement, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said that of the new cases, 95 were related to Daenam Hospital in Cheongdo. There are now 114 confirmed cases at the hospital, 9 staff and 102 patients. 

The KCDC said it has placed a total of 9,336 Shincheonji members in self-quarantine. Among them, 544 people suspected of having contracted the virus are being tested for the virus.

The cities of Daegu (2.5 million) and Cheongdo have been declared 'special care zones.' Vice Health Minister Kim Gang-lip said to BBC the outbreak had entered "a serious new phase".

 

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Feb 22, 2020 • 9:15 am CST

Japan Confirms 132 People Domestically Infected With COVID-19 Disease

As of February 22, 2020, the latest infectious diseases related to the new coronavirus have been reported from Kumamoto City, Kumamoto Prefecture, Wakayama Prefecture, Chiba Prefecture, Hokkaido, Ishikawa Prefecture, Tokyo, Nagoya City, Tochigi Prefecture and Sagamihara City.  With this announcement, there are 132 domestically infected people (113 patients, 16 asymptomatic pathogen carriers, 3 confirmed positive).

 

Feb 22, 2020 • 7:42 am CST

Are Steroids Effective Against SARS-CoV-2?

'In general, the CDC's clinical guidance does not recommend the use of steroids for this virus (SARS-CoV-2) based on the information we have now.  I’ve also seen the reports out of China, but I would consider it to be unverified at this point,' said Dr. Nancy Messonnier, the Director for the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, during a telebriefing on February 21, 2020.

 

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Feb 22, 2020 • 5:25 am CST

Japan Confirms 12 Additional COVID-19 Cases

Japan confirmed 12 additional patients with the COVID-19 disease were reported from Hokkaido, Ishikawa, Saitama, Tokyo, Chiba, Sagamihara and Nagoya on February 21, 2020. With this announcement, there are now 105 domestic infections (91 patients, 14 asymptomatic pathogen carriers). We will carry out proactive epidemiological investigations on this matter, including the identification of close contacts.

 

Feb 22, 2020 • 5:18 am CST

Spokane Officials Say 'Contracting COVID-19 Disease Risk Is Low'

Four patients who have tested positive for the COVID-19 disease arrived at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center on February 20, 2020, to receive treatment in the hospital’s special pathogens unit. Local health officials and Sacred Heart executives stressed that the risk to the general public in Spokane for contracting the novel coronavirus is low.

“Because of the well-practiced processes, this is a controlled situation,” said Dr. Bob Lutz, health officer of the Spokane Regional Health District. “There is no risk to the residents of Spokane County by bringing these individuals into our community for care.”

 

Feb 22, 2020 • 5:11 am CST

First COVID-19 Case Confirmed in Humboldt County

The Humboldt County Department of Health & Human Services Public Health Branch has received confirmation from the California Department of Public Health and the CDC of 1 case of COVID-19 in a Humboldt County resident. A close contact who has symptoms is being tested as well.

Humboldt County comprises the Eureka–Arcata–Fortuna, California Micropolitan Statistical Area. It is located on the 'North Coast', about 270 miles north of San Francisco.

 

Feb 22, 2020 • 5:03 am CST

Nebraska Confirms 11 of 13 Quarantined Individuals Infected With COVID-19

The CDC has verified the test results conducted by the Nebraska Public Health Lab on 13 people who all former passengers of the Diamond Princess cruise ship who were evacuated from Japan to the USA. Eleven of individuals have tested positive for COVID-19, while 2 have tested negative.

Ten of these patients are being treated in the National Quarantine Unit, while 3 are in the Nebraska Biocontainment Unit.

 

Feb 22, 2020 • 4:39 am CST

SARS-CoV-2 Surpasses Both MERS & SARS Reported Fatalities

The BMJ reported despite the lower case fatality rate, the COVID-19 disease has already resulted in more deaths than previous SARS and MERS outbreaks combined.

In comparison, the 2003 outbreak of SARS had a case fatality rate of around 10% (8098 cases and 774 deaths), while the MERS killed 34% of people with the illness between 2012 and 2019 (2494 cases and 858 deaths).

 

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CHINA'S COVID-19 NATIONAL STATISTICS @ 04:53 BEIJING TIME
Feb 22, 2020 • 3:56 am CST

SARS-CoV-2 Infections

China's national statistics for COVID-19 infections:

  • Existing confirmed diagnoses = 53,019
  • Existing severe = 11,477
  • Cumulative fatalities = 2,348

 

Feb 21, 2020 • 6:03 pm CST

CDC Preparing For SARS-CoV-2 Outbreak

Dr. Nancy Messonnier, an official with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) told reporters on a conference call that 'US health authorities want to be ready to adopt a school and business closures like those undertaken in Asian countries to contain the disease.' 

The USA currently has 13 cases of people diagnosed with the COVID-19 disease, within the country and 21 cases among Americans repatriated on evacuation flights from China and Japan.

The CDC is still handling the testing for the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus as it works out issues with test kits sent to states, Dr. Messonnier said.

 

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Feb 21, 2020 • 5:54 pm CST

5 Doctors In Northern Italy Infected With COVID-19

Five doctors and 10 other people tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus in Lombardy, Italy, after apparently frequenting the same bar and group of friends in Veneto, authorities said at a press conference. "Everything is under control", said Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, stressing that the government was maintaining "an extremely high level of precaution" against the virus.

Authorities in northern Italy ordered the closure of schools, bars and other public spaces in 10 towns following new coronavirus cases being reported. Over 50,000 people have been asked to stay at home in these areas while all public activities such as carnival celebrations, church masses, and sporting events have been banned for up to 1 week, reported AFP.com.

 

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Feb 21, 2020 • 3:27 pm CST

Real-Time Epidemic Information On Cell Phones In China

A staff member shows real-time epidemic control information on his cell phone at a checkpoint in Fangcun Village of Shangguan Township in Hangzhou, east China's Zhejiang Province. This township used big data technology to visualize the epidemic control and production resumption information, to help local enterprises restart production amid the fight against the outbreak of the novel coronavirus disease COVID-19. 

 

Feb 21, 2020 • 3:23 pm CST

Special Envoys Appointed By The WHO

WHO Director-General announced 'I’m pleased to announce that today we are appointing 6 special envoys on COVID-19, to provide strategic advice and high-level political advocacy and engagement in different parts of the world: Professor Dr Maha El Rabbat, former Minister of Health of Egypt; Dr David Nabarro, former special adviser to the United Nations Secretary-General on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Climate Change; Dr John Nkengasong, Director of the African Centres for Disease Control and Prevention; Dr Mirta Roses, former Director of the WHO Region of the Americas; Dr Shin Young-soo, former Regional Director of the WHO Region of the Western Pacific; and Professor Samba Sow, Director-General of the Center for Vaccine Development in Mali.

As I said yesterday, the WHO’s key role is coordinating the global response to the epidemic, and our new special envoys will help us to do that.

 

 

Feb 21, 2020 • 3:10 pm CST

Italy Confirms 16 Additional Coronavirus Cases

Sixteen new confirmed coronavirus infections were reported in Italy. 'We have implemented all possible precautionary measures' Italy’s prime minister Giuseppe Conte stated, warning against unwarranted alarmism.

In response, the town of Codogno closed schools, bars, eateries, discos, dancehalls, gambling arcades, and sporting facilities as a precaution at least until Sunday after the first 6 people have been infected with the coronavirus in Italy, all in Lombardy, reported LaStampa.

 

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Feb 21, 2020 • 2:22 pm CST

US States Are Not Conducting SARS-CoV-2 Tests - Only The CDC

According to a telebriefing, the CDC remains the only facility able to conduct the diagnostic tests to determine SARS-CoV-2 infections and COVID-19 disease cases. On February 4, 2020, the FDA issued an emergency use authorization enabling the emergency use of the CDC 2019-nCoV Real-Time RT-PCR Diagnostic Panel. 

 

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Feb 21, 2020 • 2:17 pm CST

2/3 of COVID-19 Cases From China May Be Undetected

Report #6 from the Imperial College London‌ indicates that about two-thirds of COVID-19 cases exported from mainland China have remained undetected worldwide, potentially resulting in multiple chains of as yet undetected human-to-human transmissions. 

Since the start of the COVID-19 epidemic in late 2019, there are now 29 affected regions and countries with over 1,000 confirmed cases outside of mainland China.

 

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Feb 21, 2020 • 2:00 pm CST

34 COVID-19 Cases Confirmed In The USA

The CDC has now confirmed 34 cases of the novel coronavirus 2019, known as COVID-19, in the USA. This total includes 21 cases among repatriated individuals from abroad, as well as 13 cases confirmed while in the USA.

The 13 cases include seven in California, one in Massachusetts, one in Washington state, one in Arizona, two in Illinois and one in Wisconsin. The 13th case was confirmed in Humboldt County, California, on February 20, 2020.

Among these cases, there are 2 instances of person-to-person transmission, one in Illinois and another one in California.

Additionally, the CDC reports there are 50 specimens received and awaiting testing, as well as specimens en route to CDC.

 

 

 

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Feb 21, 2020 • 1:53 pm CST

Food Safety Investigation Into The SARS-CoV-2 Virus

The WHO Situation Report #32 focused on food safety authorities seeking more information on the potential for persistence of SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19 disease, on foods traded internationally, as well as the potential role of food in the transmission of the virus. Currently, there are investigations conducted to evaluate the viability and survival time of SARS-CoV-2.

Raw meat, raw milk or raw animal organs should be handled with care to avoid cross-contamination with uncooked foods. As a general rule, human consumption of raw or undercooked animal products should be avoided.

 

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Feb 21, 2020 • 10:54 am CST

Iran Confirms 4 Coronavirus Fatalities

Iran confirmed 13 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total to 18, including 4 related fatalities. "Based on existing reports, the spread of coronavirus started in the city of Qom, located south of Tehran. Because of people's travels, the SARS-CoV-2 virus has reached several cities in the country including Tehran, Babol, Arak, Isfahan, and Rasht," health ministry official Minou Mohrez said, according to the official IRNA news agency.

Meanwhile, speaking to IRNA, Shahriar Governor Nouroallh Taheri said Iranian students who have returned from China to be safe from Coronavirus will be released from quarantine on February 24, 2020.

 

Feb 21, 2020 • 10:15 am CST

France Confirms 12 Coronavirus Cases During 2020

On February 21, 2020, France's national epidemiological situation reported 12 confirmed cases and 1 related fatality. Among the people who stayed in a chalet from 25/01/20 to 7/02/20, 6 had tested positive for the new coronavirus in France, 5 others on their return to England and 1 in Spain. 

A total of 171 contact persons have been identified. Of these, 69 were symptomatic and had nasopharyngeal swabs taken; all samples taken to date are negative for the new coronavirus. Investigations and follow-up of contact persons are continuing and will make it possible to update this situation.

To date, 5 people have been cured and have left the hospital. The 6th case is still hospitalized, but its clinical course is favorable.

 

Feb 21, 2020 • 9:59 am CST

48 Additional COVID-19 Disease Cases Confirmed By South Korea

As of 16:00 on February, 21,2020, 48 additional COVID-19 disease cases are confirmed, which brings the total number confirmed cases to 204 during 2020.

 

Feb 21, 2020 • 8:33 am CST

Heathrow Airport Clinicians Screen Arriving Passengers From 'Asia'

According to Public Health England (PHE)’s update on February 20, 2020, a team of public health experts has been established in London Heathrow airport to support anyone arriving from China who feels unwell. PHE says teams of 7 clinicians, working in shifts, are now on hand to support COVID-19 infected patients on arrival. 

 

Feb 21, 2020 • 8:25 am CST

SARS-CoV-2 Travel Alert Issued For Japan

A Level 1 Travel Alert has been issued by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding the ongoing outbreak of respiratory illness in Japan. As of February 20th, Japan reported the 93rd case of SARS-CoV-2 infections outside the passengers and crew associated with the cruise ship Diamond Princess. 

 

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Feb 21, 2020 • 8:04 am CST

Taiwan Imposes Fines and Prison For SARS-CoV-2 Spreaders

Taiwan News is reporting violators of the COVID-19 quarantine measures who visit crowded locations or take the train will soon face up to 2 years in prison or a fine of US$65,950 if they put others at risk of infection. Taiwan has so far recorded 24 cases of coronavirus, including one death.

And, those spreading damaging false information about the outbreak would face jail terms of up to 3 years.

 

Feb 21, 2020 • 7:29 am CST

Japan's Paralympic Summer Olympic Games Scales-Back Events

Hisashi Nakaminami, the head of the Paralympic Summer Olympic Games Integration Office, spoke to reporters in Tokyo, pledging to continue preparations for the event despite the new coronavirus outbreak. Nakaminami said momentum toward the Games is growing, as shown by the fact that there were 240,000 applications in the 2nd round of ticket sales for the Paralympics.

However, the organizers have decided to scale down one of four Paralympic test events. The three-day boccia test event, scheduled to start in March 2020 will not be held in the form of an international event. Instead, only some Japanese athletes will take part and there will be no spectators.

As of 12:00 on February 21, 79 patients and 14 asymptomatic pathogen carriers have been identified by Japan's health ministry.

 

Feb 21, 2020 • 7:12 am CST

Israel Confirms 1st Coronavirus Case

Israel’s Ministry of Health confirmed a person returning to Israel from a cruise ship in Japan has tested positive for the COVID-19 disease. The patient is in quarantine and under supervision, the Health Ministry said in a statement, adding the infection did not take place in Israel.

The plane carrying 11 passengers from Japan was brought to a remote area of Ben Gurion Airport where the travelers were immediately put on vans to be taken to Sheba Medical Center, near Tel Aviv, where they will spend the next 14 days in quarantine. Each person will be in a separate quarantined room, with couples staying in adjacent chambers, reports Times of Israel. 

 

Feb 21, 2020 • 7:03 am CST

Coronavirus Outbreak Will Cost Airlines $29 Billion In Lost Revenue

Global air travel demand is set to decline for the first time since 2009 by .06% because of the coronavirus outbreak, the International Air Transport Association reported, says CNBC. Chinese airlines are set to lose $12.8 billion in revenue because of the global SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus outbreak.

 

Feb 21, 2020 • 6:54 am CST

Defining the Epidemiology of COVID-19

Simple counts of the number of confirmed cases can be misleading indicators of the epidemic’s trajectory if these counts are limited by problems in access to care or bottlenecks in laboratory testing, or if only patients with severe cases are tested.

As in past epidemics, the first cases of Covid-19 to be observed in China were severe enough to come to medical attention and result in testing, but the total number of people infected has been elusive. The estimated case fatality ratio among medically attended patients thus far is approximately 2%, but the true ratio may not be known for some time.

 

 

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CHINA'S COVID-19 NATIONAL STATISTICS @ 06:34 BEIJING TIME
Feb 21, 2020 • 6:19 am CST

SARS-CoV-2 Infections

China's national statistics for COVID-19 infections:

  • Existing confirmed diagnoses = 54,678
  • Existing severe = 11,633
  • Cumulative fatalities = 2,239

 

Feb 20, 2020 • 9:47 pm CST

3rd Group Of Passengers Disembark The Diamond Princess

The 3rd group of passengers from the Diamond Princess cruise ship near Tokyo are disembarking. Two passengers died and more than 600 others have contracted the virus. And, more than 700 people have left the ship since their 2-week quarantine period ended. Japan health officials hope to see off another 450 passengers by the end of February 21, 2020.

The important message is only those passengers without SARS-CoV-2 symptoms and who have tested negative for the COVID-19 disease will be allowed to leave. Anyone who shared a cabin with an infected passenger is being asked to stay onboard for another 14 days after they separated -- even if they have tested negative.

And, officials ask those who have returned home to keep an eye on their health for 2-weeks and avoid going out unless absolutely necessary.

 

Feb 20, 2020 • 9:37 pm CST

China Confirms 2,239 Cumulative Fatalities Related to the SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus

 

As of 2020-02-20, at 21:48, China's National Statistics reported 55,039 existing diagnosis and 2,239 related fatalities from SARS-CoV-2 infections, which cause COVID-19 disease.

 

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Feb 20, 2020 • 5:28 pm CST

WHO Shares COVID-19 Therapeutic Testing Optimism

'We’re also looking forward to results from clinical trials of therapeutics prioritized by the WHO R&D Blueprint,' said the WHO Director-General. Preliminary results from 2 clinical trials testing potential treatments for the COVID-19 disease are expected in 3 weeks, the WHO said.

One trial combines HIV drugs Lopinavir and Ritonavir, while the other is testing Gilead Sciences’ antiviral Remdesivir.

 

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Feb 20, 2020 • 5:18 pm CST

4 COVID-19 Disease Patients Mover To Sacred Heart Medical Center

Four Americans who tested positive for the new virus that caused an outbreak China are being sent to a hospital in Spokane, Washington. Two patients arrived at the hospital Thursday with 2 more expected soon, said Christa Arguinchona, who manages a special isolation unit at Sacred Heart Medical Center, which one of 10 in the nation funded by Congress to treat new or highly infectious diseases. 

The four were passengers on the Diamond Princess cruise ship and were flown back to the USA, according to a spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Human Services. These individuals were transferred from Travis Air Force Base in California, reported CNBC. 

 

Feb 20, 2020 • 3:51 pm CST

CDC Reports Coronavirus Specimens Awaiting Test Results = 52

As of the afternoon on February 20, 2020, the US CDC reported 15 positive COVID-19 cases in the USA, and 52 specimens of the SARS-CoV-2 virus received and awaiting testing, as well as specimens en route to CDC.

 

 

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Feb 20, 2020 • 3:35 pm CST

The SARS-CoV-2 Risk For Texans Remains Low

The Texas Department of State Health Services is working closely with the CDC in monitoring the developing outbreak. The CDC has confirmed 1 case of COVID-19 disease in a person who has been under quarantine at JBSA-Lackland in San Antonio since their return from China.

The individual is currently isolated and receiving medical care at a Texas hospital. This case does not change the risk of infection for people in San Antonio or other parts of Texas, because the patient has been under quarantine.

 

Feb 20, 2020 • 2:58 pm CST

China Prohibits Anyone Displaying 'Sickness' From Traveling

Intentionally hiding or misreporting COVID-19 symptoms can constitute a criminal offense, according to a notice issued by the Chinese court. And, concealing one's travel history could also constitute a crime. Furthermore, any resident responsible for causing the SARS-CoV-2 virus to spread can be charged with the crime of endangering public safety by dangerous means, the Beijing Daily newspaper reported.

China's National Health Commission also introduced prohibitions against anyone with a cough, fever, or any other sickness from traveling by road, rail, or aviation.

 

Feb 20, 2020 • 2:27 pm CST

Norwegian Cruise Line Cancels Asia Voyages

Norwegian Cruise Line announced it was joining Royal Caribbean and Carnival Corp in rescheduling future cruise voyages during 2020. Last week, Royal Caribbean canceled 18 cruises in Southeast Asia. Carnival has already suspended cruise operations at ports in China. More than half of all known cases of the SARS-CoV-2 outside China were confirmed aboard Carnival's Diamond Princess cruise ship, which was quarantined in Japan.

Over 600 out of 3,700 people on board the ship were infected, reported NASDAQ.

 

Feb 20, 2020 • 11:23 am CST

China's Hubei Province Business & Schools To Remain Closed Until After March 10th

Companies should not resume business before March 10, 2020, in central China's Hubei Province, authorities announced. However, this closure requirement does not apply to companies necessary for epidemic control, public utilities and people's daily necessities, or those essential for important national and public interests, says the announcement circular.

And, Hubei's universities, colleges, middle and primary schools, vocational schools, technical schools, and kindergartens should delay the new school term .... until further notice, reports Xinhuanet.

 

Feb 20, 2020 • 10:56 am CST

The SARS-CoV-2 Can Also Be Transmitted From Stools

A new report from the Chinese Center for Disease Control describes how the SARS-CoV-2 virus was found in a stool sample of a patient with COVID-19. This finding suggests stools can contaminate hands, food, water, and, as with the other study, it points to multiple routes of virus transmission.

This study also verified that the nucleic acids of COVID-19 disease can be detected from stool samples.

 

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Feb 20, 2020 • 10:38 am CST

Returning To The UK With A Cough, Fever Or Breathing Issue -- Call NHS 111

Based on the scientific advice of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, the UK Chief Medical Officers are advising anyone who has traveled to the UK from mainland China, Thailand, Japan, Republic of Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia or Macau in the last 14 days and is experiencing cough or fever or shortness of breath, to stay indoors and call NHS 111, even if the symptoms are mild.

 

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Feb 20, 2020 • 10:30 am CST

SARS-CoV-2 Caused Pneumonia Could Last A Long Time

'The pneumonia caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 might exist for a long time, like the flu,' said Wang Chen, president of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences.

"The new virus is different from SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome), the latter of which is highly transmissive and pathogenic. It quickly kills the host, and the virus itself cannot easily survive," he said during an interview with China Central Television.

"It's a brand-new disease, the pathology of which is not yet clear. The previous treatment was based on past experiences," Chen said.

 

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Feb 20, 2020 • 8:20 am CST

Nagoya Women's Marathon Reduced To Only Elite Japanese Runners

The organizers of Nagoya Women's Marathon say the 24,000 participants enrolled in the race for March 8, 2020, will be reduced to just a few elite runners to prevent the further spreading of the new coronavirus in Japan. Those elite athletes include Japanese women competing for slots in the Tokyo Summer Olympics 2020.

The new announcement follows the Tokyo Marathon's previous decision to only include elite competitors.

 

Feb 20, 2020 • 7:40 am CST

Iran Confirms 5 Cases & 2 Fatalities Related To SARS-CoV-2

According to the BBC, the country of Iran closed schools and imposed emergency measures in the central province of Qom, which is located 125 km south of Tehran, after 2 people died from the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. These are the initial fatalities in the Middle East from the COVID-19 disease.

Twitter Update:  According to information received, on Thursday, by @IranIntl_En, the number of people who have died, from the #coronavirus, in the Kamkar Arabnia hospital in Qom in #Iran, has risen to 8.

 

Feb 20, 2020 • 6:00 am CST

2.5 Million South Korean Citizens Asked To Stay Home

In a nationally televised news conference, Daegu city Mayor Kwon Young-jin urged its 2.5 million people to stay home and wear masks even indoors, reported ABC News. On February 19th, U.S. Forces Korea Banned "Non-Essential" Travel To South Korea's southeastern region, as it continues to report SARS-CoV-2 infections.

 

Feb 20, 2020 • 5:06 am CST

Japan's SARS-CoV-2 Virus Outbreak Expands

According to local media, a man in his 40s has tested positive for the virus in the northern Japanese city of Sapporo. That's the 88th case of a SARS-CoV-2 infection outside the passengers and crew associated with the cruise ship Diamond Princess. And, authorities in the southwestern city of Fukuoka said a man in his 60s had also tested positive for the virus. He had not traveled abroad recently and is the first confirmed case in the Kyushu region.

Including SARS-CoV-2 infections from the cruise ship, the total number of cases has now passed 700 in Japan.

 

Feb 20, 2020 • 5:00 am CST

Japan Confirms 2 Fatalities Related To The Diamond Princess Quarantine

During a press conference on February 20, 2020, a Japan health ministry official confirmed 2 Japanese citizens who were aboard the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship docked near Tokyo have died. They had been hospitalized and tested positive last week for the new coronavirus disease called COVID-19.

 

CHINA'S COVID-19 NATIONAL STATISTICS @ 04:45 BEIJING TIME
Feb 20, 2020 • 3:52 am CST

SARS-CoV-2 Infections

China's national statistics for COVID-19 infections:

  • Existing confirmed diagnoses = 55,935
  • Existing severe = 11,864
  • Cumulative fatalities = 2,122
Feb 19, 2020 • 9:05 pm CST

JBSA-Lackland Base Transfers Quarantined People To Local Facility

Chris Van Deusen, a spokesman for the Texas Department of State Health Services, said that certain evacuees housed at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland were transported to the Texas Center for Infectious Disease, which is located at 2303 SE Military Drive, San Antonio, Texas 78223.

Texas state officials have reserved 22 beds in a separate wing for people suspected of having the novel coronavirus 2019, as well as infected patients who are experiencing mild symptoms.

Furthermore, COVID-19 disease patients who need a higher level of medical attention will be transferred to an acute care hospital in the area, Van Deusen said, according to Lauren Caruba reporting with the Express News.

 

 

Feb 19, 2020 • 8:45 pm CST

U.S. Forces Korea Banned "Non-Essential" Travel To South Korea's Southeastern Region

U.S. Forces Korea has banned "non-essential" travel to and from South Korea's southeastern city of Daegu and shut down all of its children-related facilities there in the wake of a surge in new coronavirus cases in the region 300 kilometers southeast of Seoul. No confirmed or suspected cases among US service members and their family members have been reported so far, according to USFK officials.

On February 19, 2020, South Korea confirmed more than 50 additional cases of the COVID-19 virus, and a majority of the newly confirmed patients are from Daegu, and its surrounding North Gyeongsang Province, according to health authorities. The total figure of confirmed cases stood at 82 in South Korea.

 

Feb 19, 2020 • 8:17 pm CST

China Reports 2,121 Cumulative Fatalities As Of 21:04

China's National Statistics confirmed 11,977 Existing Critical Cases and 2,121 Related Fatalities as of 21:04 Beijing Time. Health authorities in the Chinese province of Hubei reported 108 more deaths from the new coronavirus infection on Wednesday. Officials say 9,128 people in the province are in serious condition.

Feb 19, 2020 • 2:28 pm CST

China Confirms 3,019 MDs, Nurses, And Other Medical Workers Infected With COVID-19

A paper published by a health authorities' team tasked with dealing with the COVID-19 disease outbreak in China report 3,019 doctors, nurses, and other medical workers were confirmed to be infected with the new coronavirus, as of February 11th. And, many of them likely got the pathogen at hospitals.

China's President Xi Jinping on January 20 is reported to have ordered officials 'to take all-out measures.'

 

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Feb 19, 2020 • 2:20 pm CST

WHO Situation Report #30 - China Confirms Case Fatality Rate Of 2.3%

WHO has been working with an international network of statisticians and mathematical modelers to estimate key epidemiologic parameters of COVID-19 disease. 

The confirmed case fatality ratio, or CFR, is the total number of deaths divided by the total number of confirmed cases at one point in time. Within China, the confirmed CFR, as reported by the Chinese CDC is 2.3%.

Preliminary estimates of the median incubation period are 5-6 days, ranging from 0-14 days, confirmed this new WHO report.

 

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Feb 19, 2020 • 12:05 pm CST

Over 5,000 Californians Self-Quarantined

The WSJ reports public-health officials in the U.S. are striving to keep tabs on thousands of Americans who have quarantined themselves at home after returning from mainland China to curtail the new coronavirus, adding to an epidemic response that is straining already-stretched local departments.

As of February 19, 2020, the US CDC reported 15 confirmed cases of the COVID-19 disease and 60 specimens under review in the USA. This data includes specimens received and awaiting testing, as well as specimens en route to CDC.

Also, the CDC says 42 US states have at least 1 person under review.

 

Feb 19, 2020 • 11:57 am CST

346 American Evacautees From China Released in California

According to NPR news, 346 Americans who were evacuated from Wuhan, China, have emerged from quarantine at military bases in California on February 18, 2020. This group includes 180 Americans who have been living under a mandatory quarantine order at Travis Air Force Base and 166 U.S. citizens who have been living at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, near San Diego.

"One person from the MCAS Miramar group who is confirmed to have COVID-19 remains under care at a local hospital," the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a statement sent to NPR. All of the other U.S. evacuees "have been medically cleared and CDC officials have lifted their quarantine orders," said Jason McDonald, a CDC press officer.

Feb 19, 2020 • 10:46 am CST

Are There Virus Cleaning Options For Homes and Businesses?

The European CDC published new 'cleaning options' due to the potential survival of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the environment for several days. The areas potentially contaminated with SARS-CoV-2 should be cleaned before their re-use, using products containing antimicrobial agents known to be effective against coronaviruses.

Although there is la ack of specific evidence for their effectiveness against SARS-CoV-2, cleaning with water and household detergents and the use of common disinfectant products should be sufficient for general precautionary cleaning. Several antimicrobial agents have been tested against different coronaviruses. Some of the active ingredients, e.g. sodium hypochlorite (contained in household bleach) and ethanol are widely available in non-healthcare and non-laboratory settings.

 

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Feb 19, 2020 • 10:31 am CST

51 Total COVID-19 Cases Confirmed in South Korea

Korea's CDC said they are reviewing policies governing people who refuse to be tested, and added police could be involved in such cases. As of 19 February 2020, there have been 51 confirmed cases in South Korea during 2020.

 

Feb 19, 2020 • 8:38 am CST

UK Confirms 9th COVID-19 Disease Case

As of February 19th, a total of 5,216 people have been tested in the UK, of which there were only 9 positives. The SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus was passed on in China and the 9th patient has now been transferred to a specialist NHS center at Guy’s and St Thomas’ in London.

The UK Chief Medical Officers have raised the risk to the public from low to moderate.

 

 

Feb 19, 2020 • 8:10 am CST

Thailand Advises Citizens To Avoid Japan & Singapore

Thailand's Public Health Ministry Secretary Dr. Sukhum Kanchanapima has advised Thais to postpone any trips to Singapore and Japan to postpone their visits, citing the number of people infected by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.

Dr. Kanchanapima said these countries had reached the third stage ... where local people who have no record of meeting with Chinese people are found to be infected with the virus.

 

Feb 19, 2020 • 7:48 am CST

Masked Gamblers?

The world's leading gambling destination in Macau China reopened for business on February 20, 2020. However, there are new casino rules. Macau now requires all 'punters and croupiers' to wear a mask at the tables, reports Reuters.

Feb 19, 2020 • 7:36 am CST

COVID-19 Disease Can Have Elongated Incubation

Respiratory specialists Zhong Nanshan said 'research (in China) suggest the (COVID-19 disease) incubation period could be as long as 24 days, but the median figure was 3 to 7 days. But, I am not surprised that there are exceptions,' reported SCMP. 

 

Feb 19, 2020 • 6:48 am CST

COVID-19 Case Summary - Analysis and Treatment

The Lancet published a summary of a Vietnamese women's experiences regarding a COVID-19 diagnosis and hospital-based treatment. Moreover, since the patient's 2 colleagues tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2, this summary suggested transmission via respiratory droplets.

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Feb 19, 2020 • 6:20 am CST

SARS-CoV-2 Can Escape Symptom-Base Detection

A new SARS-CoV-2 analysis letter was  published in NEJM by researchers in Germany concluded saying 'We discovered that shedding of potentially infectious virus may occur in persons who have no fever and no signs or only minor signs of infection.' 

In this effort to evacuate 126 people from Wuhan to Frankfurt, a symptom-based screening process was ineffective in detecting SARS-CoV-2 infection in 2 persons who later were found to have evidence of SARS-CoV-2 in a throat swab. 

 

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Feb 19, 2020 • 6:09 am CST

704 COVID-19 Cases Confirmed In Japan

Local media reports Japanese authorities confirmed 704 cases of the new coronavirus as of 8:30 p.m. on February 19, 2020. Sixty-nine of the cases involve Chinese tourists or those who contracted the virus in Japan.

The good news is Japan's health ministry said 20 of those diagnosed with the virus were discharged from hospital after recovery by Tuesday.

 

 

Feb 19, 2020 • 6:01 am CST

Where Did Sars-CoV-2 Originate?

Trevor Bedford, a researcher with the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Centre in Seattle, categorically denied the persistent stories that the epidemic was started by a genetically engineered virus, the Financial Times reported recently.

“There’s no evidence whatsoever of genetic engineering that we can find,” Bedford told the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting in Seattle. “The evidence we have is that the mutations (in the SARS-CoV-2 virus) are completely consistent with natural evolution.”

 

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CHINA'S COVID-19 NATIONAL STATISTICS @ 06:28BEIJING TIME
Feb 19, 2020 • 5:48 am CST

SARS-CoV-2 Infections

China's national statistics for COVID-19 infections @ 06:28 Beijing Time:

Existing diagnoses = 57,465

Existing critical = 11,977

Cumulative fatalities = 2,009

 

Feb 18, 2020 • 2:46 pm CST

Russia To Ban China Nationals

"From 00:00 local time on February 20, 2020, the passage of citizens from the People’s Republic of China across the state border of the Russian Federation is temporarily suspended," a statement on February 17th by the office of the Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, Tatyana Golikova.

This travel ban will affect Chinese citizens traveling for private, educational, working and tourist purposes, the statement published by EuroNews.com. 

During January 2020, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin issued a decree ordering the temporary closure of the border, which extends for 4,200 kilometers. In addition, all train traffic between Russia and China was halted except for 1 train connecting Moscow and Beijing.

 

Feb 18, 2020 • 2:26 pm CST

WHO Distributes COVID-19 Testing Kits To 34 Countries

The WHO Situation Report #29 announced the WHO Operations Support and Logistics (OSL) continues to gather and assess the needs of Member States for critical items. On 14 February, OSL started the dispatch of laboratory COVID-19 testing kits for 56 countries.

As of 17 February, 37 shipments have been dispatched to 34 countries and 3 regional offices.

 

Feb 18, 2020 • 2:21 pm CST

542 Cruise Ship Passengers and Crew Contracted The COVID-19 Disease

Japan's health ministry said to the media on February 18, 2020, that about 500 passengers are expected to disembark from the Diamond Princess cruise ship that has been quarantined at Yokohama, near Tokyo, Japan.

The ministry is conducting virus tests on all 3,100 people who remain on the ship. A total of 542 passengers and crewmembers have already contracted the novel coronavirus disease. These individuals will be allowed to disembark if they show no health problems during the 14-day quarantine period.

Feb 18, 2020 • 12:15 pm CST

Young Children Are Not Experiencing Severe COVID-19 Infections

A new study published by JAMA focused on infants who were infected with COVID-19 and were hospitalized in China, between December 2019 and February 6, 2020. Given the number of infections reported, the number of infected infants identified was only 9. Four patients were reported to have a fever, 2 had mild upper respiratory tract symptoms, 1 had no symptoms but tested positive for COVID-19 in a designated screening, and 2 had no information on symptoms available. The time between admission and diagnosis was 1 to 3 days.

This study's findings may be due to a lower risk of exposure or incomplete identification due to mild or asymptomatic disease, rather than resistance to infection. However, this study confirmed that infants can be infected by COVID-19.

 

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Feb 18, 2020 • 11:16 am CST

Timely Research Papers About The COVID-19 Outbreak In China

According to a recent report in Nature, at least 54 academic papers about COVID-19 were published in English-language journals by Jan 30, 2020. We searched major Chinese databases including the China National Knowledge Internet and WANFANG Data. As of Feb 3, 2020, just 23 Chinese-language papers on COVID-19 were published.

These publications mainly focused on epidemiology, clinical features of COVID-19, and the structure or genetics of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).

 

Feb 18, 2020 • 11:12 am CST

The UK Publishes Guidance For Schools About The COVID-19 Outbreak

The new Public Health England guidance published on February 17, 2020, will assist schools and other educational settings in providing advice for pupils, students, staff and parents or carers regarding the novel coronavirus, COVID-19.

If anyone has been in contact with a suspected case in an educational setting, no restrictions or special control measures are required, while laboratory test results for COVID-19 are awaited. There is no need to close the setting or send other learners or staff home.

 

Feb 18, 2020 • 10:54 am CST

Sanofi Pasteur To Develop SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response announced today its engagement of Sanofi Pasteur to use its recombinant DNA platform to produce a recombinant 2019 novel coronavirus vaccine candidate. This is good news since there is currently no U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved vaccine for the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 infections.

 

Feb 18, 2020 • 9:34 am CST

Why Are COVID-19 Patients Taken to Nebraska?

Since Nebraska Medicine and the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) handled the treatment of Ebola-infected patients in 2014, we have led the world in treatment, training and quarantine methods for highly infectious diseases.

In this video, Nebraska Medicine/UNMC and our partners from the CDC, Nebraska National Guard, Governor Pete Ricketts, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), and many other agencies joined together for a press conference to explain more about the arrival of evacuated Americans.

 

Feb 18, 2020 • 8:38 am CST

China Publishes 5th Version of Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia Diagnosis & Treatment Protoco

China has developed the 5th version for trial implementation of the “Diagnosis and Treatment Protocol for Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia" based on the revisions of the previous version.

Feb 18, 2020 • 8:24 am CST

China Approves 1st Medication Treating COVID-19 Patients

China's National Medical Products Administration has approved the marketing of Favilavir, formerly known as Fapilavir, an antiviral medication that has shown efficacy in treating the novel coronavirus COVID-19. Favilavir was developed by Zhejiang Hisun Pharmaceutical, which is the 1st drug that has been approved for marketing in China. Fapilavir is reported to have demonstrated efficacy with minor side effects in an ongoing 70-patient clinical trial in Shenzhen, Guangdong province.

According to China’s Ministry of Science and Technology, Favilavir is one of the 3 drugs that showed an encouraging profile for blocking the new coronavirus in early clinical trials. The remaining drugs are anti-malaria drug Chloroquine and Gilead Science's experimental drug Remdesivir.

Previously, the Wuhan Institute of Virology filed an application seeking a new patent on Remdesivir. Remdesivir was originally developed to treat the Ebola virus, is not licensed or approved anywhere.

Chloroquine, an existing medicine, is under assessment in patients at over ten hospitals in Beijing and Guangdong provinces.

 

 

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Feb 18, 2020 • 7:29 am CST

14,000 Influenza-Related Fatalities Estimated By the US CDC

The US CDC estimates that during the 2019-2020 flu season in the Northern Hemisphere there have been at least 26 million flu illnesses, 250,000 hospitalizations and 14,000 fatalities from influenza viruses. And, 92 influenza-associated deaths in children have been reported so far this season.

 

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Feb 18, 2020 • 7:17 am CST

Wuchang Hospital Medical Director Dies From COVID-19

The 51-year-old medical director of Wuchang Hospital in China was reported by the Wuhan Municipal Health Committee to have died from the COVIS-19 disease on February 17, 2020. He was the director of a designated hospital for treating the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus in Wuhan, China.