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Tue Mar 10, 2020, 07:30 PM

COVID-19 news update for 3/10/2020

Hello everyone who reads these. It is voting in the primary day out here in beautiful western Washington state. Man am I glad we vote by mail in this state. Today I'm going to start in Canada. There are two interviews with Canadian experts in the pandemic response field and have worked closely with the WHO. (I wish we had such experts working for us instead of being loyal to one man) I will also be adding articles about the US as seen in other countries. Let's begin.

The Star:

Coronavirus is mysteriously sparing kids and killing the elderly. Understanding why may help defeat the virus

One of the few mercies of the spreading coronavirus is that it leaves young children virtually untouched — a mystery virologists say may hold vital clues as to how the virus works.

...Figuring out why children are so unaffected could lead to breakthroughs in understanding how and why the virus sickens and kills other age groups, said Frank Esper, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at Cleveland Clinic Children’s. Among the questions Esper and others are exploring: Is the severity of infection related to what patients were exposed to previously? Does it have to do with how our immune systems change with age? Or could it be due to pollution damage in the lungs that people accumulate over years?

“Or maybe it has nothing to do with the virus and has to do with the host, like underlying conditions in the lungs, diabetes or hypertension. After all, few seven-year-olds or newborns have hypertension,” said Esper, who studies viral respiratory infections and new diseases. “Figuring out what’s at play here could be helpful in so many ways.”

...To find out why, Menachery has been giving mice at his Texas lab SARS — which is a very close cousin to the new coronavirus. Baby mice at his lab have shaken off the infection, while the older mice have had their lungs and bodies ravaged by the disease.

Menachery found the older mice’s fatalities were strongly related to not just weakness in their immune systems but also a “disregulation” that caused their immune systems to overreact to the SARS coronavirus. That’s similar to how humans die of infections from the new coronavirus, called SARS-CoV-2.

Dr. Bonnie Henry, a virus hunter and a healer, resolves to ‘break’ coronavirus

VICTORIA—At the end of a stark news conference during which Dr. Bonnie Henry wiped tears as she broke the news confirming diagnosis of two cases of COVID-19 transmission at a North Vancouver long-term care home, she worried she was about to frighten her parents.

British Columbia’s provincial health officer paused to compose herself before warning that the elderly in Canada are at most risk from COVID-19 and she urged everybody to do what they can to protect the vulnerable, which may mean staying away from parents and grandparents.

...“Dr. Henry was on the front lines in Toronto in 2003, has been in the front lines of Ebola outbreaks in West Africa, is a co-author of the Canadian Pandemic Plan and was key to the responses to both H1N1 and the 2014 Ebola response,” he said.

Kendall said Henry headed the B.C. Centre for Disease Control on an acting basis during H1N1 and is the author of “Soap and Water and Common Sense,” a guide to staying healthy in a microbe-filled world.


Federal government to announce supports for people, businesses hit by COVID-19 on Wednesday

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will announce on Wednesday supports for people and businesses affected by COVID-19, CBC News has learned — the first part of a federal package designed to help workers who are forced to stay home from their jobs as the virus spreads and disrupts the economy.

..."I don't think purely monetary rate cuts are going to satisfy the disruption that's coming at corporate cash flows and consumer cash flows," McKay said at a conference, citing the Bank of Canada's decision to cut rates by 50 basis points to 1.25 per cent last week.

"We're having an ongoing dialogue with governments around the world around co-ordinated and effective and targeted fiscal stimulus, whether that's payroll tax cuts or whatever mechanism has to be used to inject cash flow into the economy."

..."We will have Canadians' backs. We will make sure Canadians are supported from a health and safety perspective and we have the measures in place to protect them, and protect them in an economic downturn situation," Hajdu told reporters.

A Newfoundlander is leading the global fight against COVID-19, and wants you to know the facts

he St. John's-raised, Memorial University-educated doctor was appointed the leader of the World Health Organization's efforts to contain the virus in China in January.

There's no reason to panic about this disease, but you have to be deeply concerned.
- Dr. Bruce Aylward
Since then, his expertise has gone worldwide. Aylward spoke with The St. John's Morning Show on Tuesday from Geneva.

...How did you come to be leading the mission to China for the World Health Organization?

I have a long history in working in large-scale infectious disease and public health outbreaks and humanitarian emergencies. As you may know, I led the first WHO response and then the UN response on the Ebola outbreak in West Africa a few years back. And so after our director general here and the president of China met and discussed the escalating situation in China back in January, they agreed on the value of having an international team come in and look, and I got tapped to lead the team.

...How does this effort compare to some of the others you've been involved with?

Someone asked me yesterday if the different ones I worked on before this one were dress rehearsals, and one of the things I pointed out is there's really no dress rehearsal because every one of these outbreaks and viruses are different.

Take COVID-19 testing out of Ontario hospital ERs, Waterloo MPP says

Testing for the coronavirus needs to be taken out of hospital emergency rooms and done in a separate location, says Waterloo MPP Catherine Fife.

During question period at Queen's Park on Tuesday, Fife said she had heard from two doctors in Kitchener who wanted COVID-19 screening taken out of local emergency departments.

"Individuals who require testing are taken through acute areas of the emergency room to reach the screening area," Fife said.

"To quote the emergency physician: 'We know COVID-19 will kill the eldest and the sickest patients in a higher amount than the general population. So when your grandmother goes to the emergency room for a fainting spell, she is putting herself at higher risk of contracting COVID-19 purely because she is in the location where patients are forced to be screened."


Coronavirus: Troops sent to New York 'containment zone'

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced a one-mile (1.6km) coronavirus "containment zone" around a town north of New York City.

New Rochelle has seen "probably the largest cluster" of US cases, he said.

National Guard troops will be used to clean schools in the town and deliver food to any quarantined individuals.

...Mr Cuomo said there would be no travel restrictions in the town (population 77,000) but large meeting points in the area would be closed.

Coronavirus: UK virus cases rise again as sixth person dies

The man, who was in his early 80s, had underlying health conditions.

A total of 373 UK cases was announced as of 0900 GMT - a rise of 54 from the previous day - with a further nine cases confirmed by health officials in Wales later.

Meanwhile, airlines have cut thousands of flights including to and from Italy after the country was put on lockdown.

And GPs are warning routine appointments at surgeries may have to stop as the number of coronavirus cases rises.

The British Medical Association said routine monitoring of long-term health conditions might have to stop to enable GPs to "focus on the sickest patients".

Coronavirus: Victim's family never got to say goodbye

The 60-year-old man, the third person with the virus to die in the UK, had recently returned from Italy.

He was put in isolation at North Manchester General Hospital after a visit to his GP, but died five days later.

His son told the BBC relatives, who have been advised to self-isolate, were unable to schedule a funeral.

"When they broke the news to me that he passed away - obviously I could not believe it,", the man's son said.

"We all burst into tears.

Coronavirus: Airlines cancel thousands of flights

Ryanair will stop services to and from Italy from Friday until 8 April, with BA scrapping its routes until 4 April as the country goes into lockdown.

EasyJet has cancelled all of its flights to and from Italy between 10 March and 3 April.

It has said it will operate "rescue flights" in the coming days.

Norwegian Air has also said it will cut about 3,000 flights in the next three months, about 15% of its capacity.

It also plans to temporarily lay off "a significant share" of its workforce.

Coronavirus: Banks to allow customers to defer mortgage payments

Taxpayer-owned bank RBS will allow people affected by the coronavirus outbreak to defer mortgage and loan repayments for up to three months.

TSB and Lloyds said they would also allow a mortgage window, and the banks said savers could close fixed-term savings accounts without charge.

This is designed to allow people to access cash if they need it as the impact of the virus is felt.

Banks are also announcing extra support for affected businesses.

Coronavirus: Italians barred from Austria to stop spread

Austria has banned people entering the country from Italy unless they carry a medical certificate, in an attempt to stop coronavirus spreading.

Speaking after the Italian government imposed travel restrictions across the country, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said Austrians returning from Italy would have to self-isolate for two weeks.

Austria has seen 158 cases of coronavirus so far.

By contrast, Italy has had more than 10,000 cases and 631 deaths.

The number of cases in Italy continues to rise and 168 more fatalities over the previous 24 hours were announced on Tuesday evening. Health officials said 8,514 people were currently infected, a rise of 529, while a further 1,004 had now recovered.


UK budget: Coronavirus, Brexit are double whammy for economy

In untroubled times the presentation of a budget is a fairly mundane affair and likely to cause eyes to glaze over. However, throw a couple of major spanners in the works, and the fiscal foundation starts to show some cracks.

That's the dilemma facing Rishi Sunak, the UK's chancellor of the exchequer (the equivalent to the role of finance minister in other countries), as he prepares to unveil his budget on Wednesday.

Sunak's task looks formidable. On the one hand, the UK government wants to fulfill its electoral promise and launch an economic renaissance by setting aside funds for a massive public spending spree on everything from infrastructure projects to health, education and communications. On the other hand, realities on the ground in the form of COVID-19 and Brexit may curtail those lofty ambitions.

Coronavirus budget?

Sunak has been forced to hastily rewrite his budget plans as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. He's promised that the already beleaguered National Health Service (NHS) will get extra cash to counter the effects of the impact, including funds for test centers at hospitals and to purchase testing kits.

Coronavirus: German doctors now able to grant sick leave by phone

On Monday, the national association of physicians working in the public health system and the association of health insurance companies announced that telephone consultations would be enough to keep employees out of workplace. The changes should only stay in place for the next four weeks.

The move, according to the doctors' association, aims to reduce workload for medical professionals.

"We are in an extraordinary situation — and it requires extraordinary measures," the group's representatives were quoted as saying by the Welt newspaper.

Coronavirus latest: Germany pledges €1 billion to tackle outbreak
Germany has pledged €1 billion to fight COVID-19, the whole of Italy is on lockdown and coronavirus cases have been confirmed in every EU member state. Follow DW for the latest coronavirus updates.

Over 118,00 cases of coronavirus, or COVID-19 (Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2), have been confirmed worldwide, with more than 4,000 deaths

Italy has imposed travel restrictions on the entire country to stop the spread of the disease

The German government has pledged €1 billion ($1.1 billion) to tackling COVID-19. There are more than 1,200 cases

Two leading German research institutes have predicted that the country will fall into recession this year

The Local - Italy (has a paywall after limited articles)
Coronavirus: Italy records 168 more deaths in one day as new quarantine measures begin

Overall in Italy, 631 people have now died from the COVID-19 disease caused by the virus and a total of 10,149 have been infected in just over two weeks.

This figure includes the deceased and a total of 1,004 people who have now recovered, meaning the total number of active cases in Italy is now at 8,515.

The number of patients in intensive care rose by 144, to a total of 877 nationwide.

The northern region of Lombardy has seen most of the deaths with 468 in total as of Tuesday March 10th. The region of Emilia Romagna has had 85 fatalities and Veneto in the north east 26.

Some 11 of Italy's regions have now recorded deaths linked to coronavirus, most of them in the north.

Italy's links to the outside world shrink as neighbours tighten borders and airlines scrap flights

...Austria -- which is also banning big gatherings -- ordered a halt to flights and trains from Italy, while Slovenia said it would close its 232-kilometre (144-miles)-long border with the country.

...The Spanish government said Tuesday that it was suspending all air traffic from Italy for two weeks while Austria said it would be introducing new restrictions on arrivals from Italy.

However, at Rome's main Fiumicino airport there were still services running to destinations in Europe and beyond on Tuesday afternoon, as well as to domestic Italian destinations.

...As for rail travel, mask-wearing police at Rome's main Termini train station were checking passengers' reasons for travel and making sure everybody was keeping the recommended distance of one metre away from each other.

Al Jazeera:

Threat of coronavirus pandemic 'very real': Live updates

The head of the World Health Organization warned the threat of a global coronavirus pandemic was "very real" as the contagion continued its rapid spread around the world.

In Italy - where some 16 million people are now under quarantine - there were 97 deaths reported, bringing its total on Monday to 463.

Iran temporarily released about 70,000 prisoners because of the coronavirus epidemic, as the death toll rose by 43 new fatalities to 237.

More than 3,800 people have died worldwide from coronavirus and over 110,000 infections have been recorded, according to WHO.

UN urges Iran to free political prisoners amid coronavirus spread
Tehran freed 70,000 prisoners to help limit the spread, but UN rapporteur says non-violent offenders must be released.

...Iran's judiciary chief said on Monday that authorities temporarily freed about 70,000 prisoners to help limit the spread of the coronavirus as officials reported hundreds of new infections and dozens more deaths across the country.

But UN rapporteur Javaid Rehman said only those serving sentences of less than five years had been freed, while political prisoners and others with heavier sentences linked to their participation in protest marches remained in jail.

"A number of dual and foreign nationals are at real risk if they have not ... got it [coronavirus], they are really fearful of the conditions," Rehman told a press briefing in Geneva, asked about the fate of rights activists such as Narges Mohammadi.

"This is also my worrying concern and, therefore, I have recommended to the state of the Islamic Republic of Iran to release all prisoners on temporary release."

Kuwait Times:

Xi visits Wuhan, says tide turning against epidemic

WUHAN, China: Chinese President Xi Jinping said yesterday that Wuhan has turned the tide against the deadly coronavirus outbreak, as he paid his first visit to the city at the heart of the global epidemic. Xi’s visit came as unprecedented quarantine measures that have sealed off Wuhan and the rest of central Hubei province since late January appear to have paid off, with new infections dropping dramatically in recent weeks.

During Xi’s trip, Hubei announced it would ease travel restrictions to allow healthy people in low-risk areas to travel throughout the province. But the measure did not appear to loosen restrictions on Wuhan nor indicate if people could leave the province of 56 million people. State media also reported that the last of Wuhan’s 16 makeshift hospitals that were converted from public buildings during the worst of the outbreak had closed.

“The spread of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has been basically curbed in Hubei province and its capital city Wuhan,” Xi said, according to the official Xinhua news agency. “Initial success has been made in stabilising the situation and turning the tide in Hubei and Wuhan,” he said. China’s progress against the outbreak stands in stark contrast with the growing global crisis, with cases now growing at a faster pace abroad, and Italy enacting its own nationwide travel restrictions.

State media images showed Xi, who arrived by plane in Hubei’s capital, wearing a face mask as he spoke via video-link from a conference hall to frontline medical workers and patients who are at one of two field hospitals set up in the city. He then went to a residential community in Wuhan to speak with people quarantined, and community workers.

Expats stuck outside Kuwait due to coronavirus could face problems soon

KUWAIT: The spread of coronavirus all over the world saw the suspension of flights between Kuwait and various affected countries. As a result, many people, especially expats living in Kuwait, are stuck abroad and are not able to return. According to the rent law, tenants are obliged to pay rent before the 20th of each month. This deadline is approaching soon, and tenants may face problems with their landlords.

According to a judge at the Hawally Court, the landlord has the right to file a case at the court to get an eviction order against a tenant for being behind on rent. “We don’t have such cases yet, but if the tenant is not able to pay the rent through somebody during the legal period and the landlord files a case, he will have enough time to come back, as the first court session won’t be held before a month from filing the case. It usually takes between a month and three months to set the date for the session,” he told Kuwait Times.

“When the tenant comes back to Kuwait and realizes a case has been filed by the landlord to vacate the property, he should attend the court session and bring all the documents including the airline tickets, passport and so on to prove his absence and for missing the legal period for paying the rent, and the judge will take this into consideration,” the judge said.


Amid coronavirus cancellations, Republican Jewish Coalition to hold its conference with Trump as a speaker

WASHINGTON (JTA) — As events around the world are canceled because of the coronavirus, at least one major Jewish gathering is going forward: this weekend’s Republican Jewish Coalition conference in Las Vegas.

The annual event, which is scheduled to feature an address by President Donald Trump, drew a crowd of nearly 1,500 last year.

...Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whose hold on power is tenuous, dithered for several days over whether to restrict travel to Israel from the United States because of the virus. When he announced a two-month quarantine on Monday, he extended it to all countries, although many nations have reported no or very few cases.

On Monday, quoting anonymous officials, Axios reported that Vice President Mike Pence had asked Netanyahu to expand any ban to the entire world so the United States would not appear to be singled out. A Pence spokesman denied the account.

The Times of Israel:

Expert: COVID-19 virus has caught humanity off guard, unlikely to wane in summer
Coronavirus in a different league from flu, Israeli officials say; predict quarantine rules will remain in force far beyond initial 2 weeks; Netanyahu at odds with Trump on policy

...The new restrictions came as US President Donald Trump appeared to mock concern about coronavirus. He tweeted on Monday: “So last year 37,000 Americans died from the common Flu. It averages between 27,000 and 70,000 per year. Nothing is shut down, life & the economy go on. At this moment there are 546 confirmed cases of CoronaVirus, with 22 deaths. Think about that!”

...Moses said that the reason Israel is unleashing measures now that it never used against even the most harmful strains of flu, such as swine flu during the 2009 pandemic, is that COVID-19 has caught humanity off guard. People have some immunity against flu even if they haven’t been vaccinated, but are completely undefended against the new virus, he said.

...Moses wouldn’t predict how long the restriction will end up lasting, but said that it will take time to get the virus under control, and cast doubt on the theory that the summer heat will end its spread.

He said: “One possibility is that the disease will wane by itself when the summer comes and seasons change. This happened with SARS in 2003, but this option is unlikely now because there are so many sick people [around the world].”

Number of coronavirus cases in Israel jumps to 70
Twenty new cases on Tuesday marks largest single-day jump as authorities tighten restrictions on public gatherings in bid to stop spread of COVID-19

The Health Ministry late Tuesday sent out additional itineraries of Israelis and tourists who were found to be carrying the coronavirus, as the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country climbed to 70.

The routes released late Tuesday by the ministry showed those infected had visited shopping malls, supermarkets, the US Embassy branch in Tel Aviv and gyms across the country before falling ill, potentially exposing thousands to the disease.

2 more AIPAC attendees test positive for coronavirus, bringing total to 5
Cleveland-area man in his 50s employed by Jewish Education Center of Cleveland and lay leader at Toronto’s Beth Sholom Synagogue diagnosed after returning from DC

At least five people have tested positive for the coronavirus after returning from last week’s AIPAC policy conference, including attendees from Cleveland and Toronto.

The Cleveland-area man in his 50s is an employee of the Jewish Education Center of Cleveland. He traveled to the conference on a bus with other members of the Jewish Federation of Cleveland, the Federation said in a statement Monday to the Cleveland Jewish News.


Coronavirus: could the Tokyo Olympics be cancelled?

...Q: Could the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo be cancelled?

A: In theory, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has the power to cancel the Games or to relocate them away from Tokyo. But at this point the IOC does not appear to be considering either option. After an executive board meeting last Wednesday its president, Thomas Bach, said: "Neither the word cancellation nor postponement was mentioned."

The IOC has told AFP: "We are working with the Tokyo-2020 Organising Committee for the success of the Olympic Games. We have confidence in them, in the Japanese public authorities and in the World Health Organization (WHO) with whom we are in constant contact."

But with the worsening of the coronavirus crisis, the possibility of cancellation cannot be entirely ruled out.

At 1400 GMT Tuesday, Japan had had more than 500 coronavirus cases across the country and has been linked to 12 deaths.

Incoming Trump chief of staff to self-quarantine

Incoming White House chief of staff Mark Meadows has self-quarantined after he may have come into contact with a person who tested positive for the coronavirus, his spokesman said Monday.

Meadows is not exhibiting symptoms and a precautionary test came back negative, the spokesman said on Twitter.

"Mark Meadows was advised this weekend that now 12 days prior at CPAC, he may have come into contact with the COVID-19 positive test individual," the tweet said, referring to a conservative conference in late February.

That is where I'm going to stop for today. I have just found that the Straits Times out of Singapore has a paywall so I won't be looking at that newspaper anytime soon. Until the next time.

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Reply COVID-19 news update for 3/10/2020 (Original post)
icymist Mar 10 OP
Dennis Donovan Mar 10 #1
icymist Mar 10 #4
captain queeg Mar 10 #2
icymist Mar 10 #5
livetohike Mar 10 #3
MustLoveBeagles Mar 10 #6

Response to icymist (Original post)

Tue Mar 10, 2020, 07:33 PM

1. Thank you for these OP's

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Reply #1)

Tue Mar 10, 2020, 10:11 PM

4. You are welcome.

I like to keep informed and with this virus on the loose, well I can just as easily post some of what I read here.

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Response to icymist (Original post)

Tue Mar 10, 2020, 07:36 PM

2. At least that thing about sparing kids is good news

I suppose they can still transmit it, but at least minimal amount of severe symptoms.

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Response to captain queeg (Reply #2)

Tue Mar 10, 2020, 10:14 PM

5. From what I understand young people haven't had the time to develop

long term conditions like high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and such. This is really the era when the youngsters should care for their elders.

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Response to icymist (Original post)

Tue Mar 10, 2020, 07:49 PM

3. K&R

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Response to icymist (Original post)

Tue Mar 10, 2020, 10:17 PM

6. K&R

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