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Mon Mar 9, 2020, 07:13 PM

COVID-19 news update for 3/9/2020

Hello again everyone who reads these. The COVID-19 news is changing so fast that I'm afraid what I write and share here will be old by the end of the day. None-the-less, let's see what's going on in our world.

The Mainichi (Japan):

Battle against virus could last beyond year-end: Japan gov't panel

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- The battle to contain the new coronavirus could take months or even last beyond year-end, a Japanese government panel of experts on communicable diseases warned Monday.

"It may take several months to half a year, or even last beyond year-end" as the virus may survive warmer weather, unlike influenza, Kazuhiro Tateda, a member of the panel and president of the Japanese Association of Infectious Diseases, told a press conference following their meeting.

... Also Monday, Japan implemented tougher border control measures on Monday for travelers from China and South Korea, effectively banning tourists from the two countries through the end of this month as part of measures to prevent a surge in coronavirus infections.

Nearly 3 million visas already issued to Chinese and South Korean nationals, also including residents of Hong Kong and Macau, were invalidated. The step, however, will not invalidate the visas of those from the two countries who are already in Japan.

All arrivals from the two countries, including Japanese and other foreign nationals, will be asked to undergo a 14-day quarantine on a voluntary basis.

Lack of 'control tower' in Japan's coronavirus response deals blow to Abe administration

TOKYO -- Japan has lacked a systemic "control tower" while trying to respond to the new coronavirus outbreak as the government office tasked with handling the issue is unfamiliar with emergency infection control.

While the Cabinet Secretariat's office for response operations and crisis management has spearheaded government measures against the new coronavirus, the office mainly specializes in crisis management in times of large-scale natural disasters such as earthquakes and typhoons, serious incidents including hijackings and terrorist bombings, and civilian protection in the event Japan comes under missile attacks. It lacks experience in dealing with infection control.

The result is that many ministries and agencies have scrambled to respond to the new coronavirus outbreak on their own in numerous cases, bringing the lack of a "command center" to the forefront. The sheer confusion has dealt a serious blow to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's administration, which has heretofore boasted about its "crisis management" ability.

The Straits Times:

Philippines declares health emergency amid fears of community spread of coronavirus

MANILA - The Philippines has declared a health emergency amid growing anxiety that a deadly coronavirus is already spreading undetected in the capital Manila and in nearby suburbs.

"The outbreak… constitutes an emergency that threatens national security, which requires a whole-of-government approach," President Rodrigo Duterte said in a proclamation released early on Monday (March 9).

The country later announced 10 more confirmed cases, bringing the total to 20.

10 new Covid-19 cases, CNY dinner at Safra Jurong biggest cluster; short-term visitors must now pay for treatment

SINGAPORE - Tourists and other short-term-visit pass holders in Singapore have had to pay for Covid-19 treatment since March 7, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said on Monday (March 9).

It cited the rising numbers of infections globally and an expected rise in confirmed cases, saying Singapore will "need to prioritise resources at our public hospitals".

Singapore will still waive testing fees for these short-term visit pass holders, but they will have to pay for treatment if they are warded. The Government will continue to pay for Singapore residents and long-term pass holders - such as work, student's and dependant's passes - who are admitted to public hospitals for treatment, an MOH spokesman said.

The Times of Israel:

Fighting virus, Israel orders all arrivals from abroad into 2-week quarantine

Israel on Monday evening drastically ratcheted up its efforts to protect the country from the coronavirus threat, requiring all those arriving from abroad to go into quarantine.

All Israeli citizens returning to from overseas were ordered to self-quarantine for 14 days with immediate effect.

Non-Israeli citizens will be allowed into the country for another 72 hours. But after that, they will be barred completely unless they can demonstrate that they have a place to quarantine here for 14 days.

The move will essentially shut down tourism, and send shockwaves through Israel’s already battered travel sector.

Coronavirus tally in Israel hits 50, as 8 more cases confirmed

The Health Ministry on Monday announced eight more Israelis tested positive for the coronavirus, bringing the total number of cases in the country to 50.

Four of the patients were infected from close contact with people confirmed to have the virus, including three from the same woman in central Israel.

Jordan restricts use of West Bank crossing amid coronavirus fears

Jordan on Monday limited use of the only border crossing between its territory and the West Bank to Palestinians and individuals with diplomatic travel documents, as the number of those infected with the novel coronavirus continued to climb.

The United Nations’ access coordination unit, which helps facilitate the movement of people and goods across the border, said movement through the Allenby Brigde to Jordan and the West Bank would only be allowed for Palestinians, including those in East Jerusalem, as well as persons with UN travel documents or diplomatic passports, the UK’s Independent newspaper reported.

Other foreigners desiring to travel through Allenby would not be permitted to do so, the report indicated.


Coronavirus in Iran: A case of misinformation, conspiracy theories and propaganda

Iran's most popular travel season will begin with the Persian New Year, Nowruz, on March 20. As millions of people in Tehran prepare for a two-week vacation, one Iranian health expert warned that by that weekend, an estimated 30 to 40% of the Iranian capital's population could be infected with COVID-19.

Masoud Mardani, the director of Iran's national research center for infectious disease, issued this dire prognosis last Thursday. If Mardani's prediction is accurate, it would mean that 2.5 to 3.5 million people out of Tehran's population of 8.9 million will have contracted COVID-19. At the virus' estimated fatality rate of 2%, this would mean that 50,000 to 70,000 people in the capital would die from COVID-19.

A few days after issuing the prognosis, Mardani backpedaled from his prediction. The health expert changed his statements, saying that the time frame in question wasn't limited to March 20 and wasn't focused only on Tehran.

This isn't the first time coronavirus information released to the Iranian public has been confusing or contradictory. Iranian state media are currently full of interviews with experts whose statements contradict each other.


Coronavirus: Italy extends quarantine measures nationwide

Italy is extending its coronavirus quarantine measures, which include a ban on public gatherings, to the entire country.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said that people would only be permitted to travel for work or family emergencies.

He said the measures, which come into effect on Tuesday, were to defend the most fragile members of society.

Italy's coronavirus death toll jumped on Monday by 97 to 463. It is the worst-hit country after China.

The number of confirmed infections also increased to 9,172, up from 7,375 on Sunday, official figures show.

Coronavirus: UK prepares to ask even mildly sick to stay home

People who show "even minor" signs of respiratory tract infections or a fever will soon be told to self-isolate in an effort to tackle the coronavirus outbreak.

The UK government's chief medical adviser said the change in advice could happen within the next 10 to 14 days.

Five people have now died from coronavirus in the UK.

There were 319 confirmed cases as of 09:00 GMT, a rise of 46 since the same time on Sunday.

People will be asked to self-isolate for seven days after showing mild symptoms under the new approach, the UK's chief medical adviser Prof Chris Whitty said.

Coronavirus: Scientists use genetic code to track UK spread

Scientists are analysing the unique genetic code of individual samples from infected patients to track how the coronavirus is spreading across the UK.

Each sample of its genetic material, RNA, reveals another step in the chain of infections - who infected whom.

University of Liverpool scientists can also identify other viruses and bacteria in patients' throat swabs.

And this may help explain why some patients with no known underlying health conditions become seriously ill.

"The aim is to find out who is getting sick, what kind of illness they have and why - is it the virus that is causing it, is their immune system over-responding or do they have some kind of super-infection?" chief investigator Prof Calum Semple told BBC News.

Big banks brace for the coronavirus

Many of the City of London's biggest institutions are taking steps to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

On Monday many of JPMorgan's UK-based staff are being temporarily moved to a different office. They're not alone.

Goldman Sachs last week sent around 200 members of staff to test a site in Croydon, South London for the day to ensure the systems worked effectively.

Many of these measures by some of the world's biggest banks follow the events that took place at HSBC last week.

HSBC sent home more than 100 staff from the tenth floor of its Canary Wharf offices on Thursday. The move came after one staff member, who was part of the research division, returned from travelling and was diagnosed with the Covid-19 virus.


Coronavirus: Here's what's happening around the world Monday

The latest:

Italy announces lockdown of entire country.
Canada confirms 1st COVID-19 death.
Grand Princess cruise ship, carrying more than 230 Canadians, docks in Oakland, Calif.
WHO says more than 100 countries have reported lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19; director general says threat of pandemic 'very real.'
Stock markets tumble amid fears about the widening coronavirus outbreak.
Canada's chief public health officer recommends Canadians avoid cruise travel.

Amid an ongoing battle to stop rising cases of coronavirus, Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte said Monday he is extending the lockdown on the northern part of the country, previously known as the "red zone," to all of Italy.

Deeming it the "I stay home" decree, Conte said people should not move anywhere in Italy — one of the countries hardest-hit by COVID-19 — except for work and emergencies and that all public gatherings will be banned.

The nationwide restrictions will take effect on Tuesday, Conte said.

How Canada will cope with community transmission of the coronavirus

In other countries, community transmission has led to an explosion of cases

In Canada, all cases of COVID-19 have so far been traced back to countries where an outbreak has occurred. But in a news conference on Wednesday, federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu warned that "eventually this is likely something that we'll see in one of our communities."

Here's what community transmission would mean for the country:

1st COVID-19-related death in Canada recorded in B.C.

The first COVID-19-related death in Canada has been recorded in B.C.

A man in his 80s who lived at a North Vancouver nursing home died late Sunday, according to provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry. The man had pre-existing health problems prior to contracting the coronavirus, Henry said.

The Lynn Valley Care Centre facility was identified as a COVID-19 hotspot three days ago.

"This is obviously a very sad day for all of us, but especially for the family and loved ones," said B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix at a news conference in Victoria on Monday.

Henry said a female resident of the home in her 70s has also tested positive for the virus and is in stable condition.

Alberta now has 7 coronavirus cases, Alberta Health says

Almost 1,000 people in Alberta were tested for COVID-19 over the weekend, with 700 of those tests performed on Sunday alone, Alberta's chief medical officer of health said Monday.

Dr. Deena Hinshaw provided details on the province's fifth, sixth and seventh cases of the novel coronavirus at a press conference in Edmonton.

The patients include:

A woman in her 70s who lives in the Edmonton zone and is a close contact of an Edmonton-zone man with COVID-19 whose case was announced on Sunday. Like the man, the woman was on-board the Grand Princess cruise ship before returning home on Feb. 21. Her symptoms started after she got home to Alberta.
A man in his 30s from the Calgary zone who is a close contact of the Calgary-zone woman announced as a case of COVID-19 on March 8. The man had travelled to Ukraine, the Netherlands and Turkey. He returned to Alberta on March 2. His symptoms started after his return.
A woman in her 50s from the Calgary zone who was aboard the MS Braemar cruise ship from Feb. 11 to March 4. She developed symptoms after getting home and was tested on Sunday.


Another Princess cruise ship kept at sea pending virus tests

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Thousands of passengers on an additional Princess Cruises ship are being kept on board while crew members get tested for COVID-19.

The Caribbean Princess, on a 10-day trip to the Panama Canal, was scheduled to dock in Grand Cayman on Monday. But the Çalifornia-based cruise line said it will keep passengers and crew from disembarking, and instead will pick up test kits after notifying the CDC that two crew members had transferred from a Princess ship in California where a guest had tested positive for COVID-19.

These crew members being tested are currently “asymptomatic” and are remaining alone in their rooms “out of an abundance of caution” as the ship returns to Fort Lauderdale, the company statement said.

The ship is under a “no sail order” from the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, requiring it to remain at anchor off the coast of Florida until further notice, the statement said. It was originally scheduled to return Wednesday to Fort Lauderdale.

That's where I'm going to leave this for today. Until next time.

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Reply COVID-19 news update for 3/9/2020 (Original post)
icymist Mar 9 OP
Iliyah Mar 9 #1
BernieBabies Mar 9 #2

Response to icymist (Original post)

Mon Mar 9, 2020, 07:16 PM

1. Thank you for the information . . .

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Response to icymist (Original post)

Mon Mar 9, 2020, 07:30 PM

2. good info

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