Tag: WHO

Coronavirus. The six stages of the pandemic, how it develops and how will end
Americas, Europe

Coronavirus. The six stages of the pandemic, how it develops and how will end

Each pandemic has its own course. From the declaration of the beginning of a pandemic wave to the peak and deceleration, to then prepare for a future wave. These are the steps that need to be addressed every time an epidemic spread globally. These are the reference adopted internationally by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CoC). The scientists believe that the progression of a pandemic occurs in six steps. The first is the appearance of a new dangerous microorganism for humans, as happened in China in late 2019 with the coronavirus SarsCoV2. In this phase, the first objective is to assess the level of risk and aggressiveness. The second step is to identify all cases of contagion to understand the potential spread and to adopt containment actions. The third step marks the beginning of a global spread infection, the pandemic. The fourth step corresponds to the acceleration of the pandemic wave, with an epidemiological curve pointing upwards. Public health actions focus on containment interventions, such as the closure of schools and social distancing, as well as the use of drugs and the search for a vaccine. The goal of these combined actions is to reduce the spread of the virus into population. The fifth step consists in the progressive and constant reduction of cases and, in parallel, of containment actions as happened in China, in Italy and how is happening in the USA now. The sixth and final step marks the end of the pandemic and at the same time the beginning of a phase of preparation for further waves.

But how will all this end? An answer comes by Ed Yong, Science writer at The Atlantic and author of I CONTAIN MULTITUDES, a New York Times bestseller on animal-microbe partnerships. Yong affirms in his paper that whether through accumulating herd immunity or the long-awaited arrival of a vaccine, the virus will find spreading explosively more and more difficult. The Science writer stress that it’s unlikely to disappear entirely. “The vaccine may need to be updated as the virus changes, and people may need to get revaccinated on a regular basis, as they currently do for the flu. Models suggest that the virus might simmer around the world, triggering epidemics every few years or so”. The expectation is that the severity of the virus would decline, and there would be less societal upheaval. In this future, COVID-19 may become like the flu is today — a recurring scourge of winter. Perhaps it will eventually become so mundane that even though a vaccine exists, large swaths of Gen C won’t bother getting it, forgetting how dramatically their world was molded by its absence. Ed Young write on Medium (https://medium.com/the-atlantic/how-the-pandemic-will-end-c6200beea706).

After the pandemic, people who recover from COVID-19 might be shunned and stigmatized, as were survivors of Ebola, SARS, and HIV. Health-care workers will take time to heal: One to two years after SARS hit Toronto, people who dealt with the outbreak were still less productive and more likely to be experiencing burnout and post-traumatic stress. People who went through long bouts of quarantine will carry the scars of their experience. “My colleagues in Wuhan note that some people there now refuse to leave their homes and have developed agoraphobia,” says Steven Taylor of the University of British Columbia, who wrote The Psychology of Pandemics. But there is also the potential for a much better world after we get through this trauma. Already, communities are finding new ways of coming together, even as they must stay apart. Attitudes to health may also change for the better.

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How Governments around the world are responding to Coronavirus emergency?
Americas, Europe, Middle East & Africa

How Governments around the world are responding to Coronavirus emergency?

The spread of the Coronavirus epidemic (COVID-19) is alarming, as are the measures taken by nations to stop it. States around the world have implemented a wide range of policies in an attempt to safeguard public health and safety, as well as to stem the economic effects of the outbreak. We have collected the data of the main governments, starting from China – the first epicentre of the epidemic – to the most affected countries, from the United States to Africa. It must be said that reactions of the governments adapt according to the “curve” of the contagions. The measures taken by Beijing have been fundamental in reducing the number of new cases. Today China has significantly fewer occupied beds than a two weeks ago. In parallel with the drop in new cases, new antiviral therapies have been adopted, also through the convalescent plasma which now exceed the number of new infections according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

As reported by the WHO-China Joint Mission on Coronavirus Disease 2019, a Central Leadership Group for Epidemic Response and the Joint Prevention and Control Mechanism of the State Council were established in China. The prevention and control measures have been implemented rapidly, from the early stages in Wuhan and other key areas of Hubei, to the current overall national epidemic. It has been undertaken protocols for COVID-19 diagnosis and 15 treatment, surveillance, epidemiological investigation, management of close contacts, and laboratory testing were formulated, and relevant surveillance activities and epidemiological investigations conducted. The response mechanism was initiated with multi-sectoral involvement in joint prevention and control measures. Wet markets were closed, and efforts were made to identify the zoonotic source. Measures were also taken to ensure that all cases were treated, and close contacts were isolated and put under medical observation. Other measures implemented included the extension of the Spring Festival holiday, traffic controls, and the control of transportation capacity to reduce the movement of people; mass gathering activities were also cancelled. Information about the epidemic and prevention and control measures was regularly released. Public risk communications and health education were strengthened; allocation of medical supplies was coordinated, new hospitals were built in 10 days, reserve beds were used and relevant premises were repurposed to ensure that all cases could be treated; efforts were made to maintain a stable supply of commodities and their prices to ensure the smooth operation of society.

Italy has found itself managing something completely new, the most difficult crisis since the Second World War. Despite the Chinese experience, the Italian government’s response has been uncertain as to what to do. Giuseppe Conte first closed certain businesses, then reopened them fearing for the national economy. Politicians first appeared on TV saying that the virus was a normal flu, only to later suggest citizens to stay home when the number of infections and deaths rose to alarming levels. In the latest decree, President Conte introduced heavy fines, from 400 to 3000 euros, for those who violate the anti-contagion rules. And the possibility for individual Regions to take harsher measures than national ones if the contagion increases, but in coordination with the government. Not only. Those in quarantine are punished with imprisonment for one to five years because they are positive for Coronavirus and intentionally leaves the house violating the absolute ban on leaving their home. According to Palazzo Chigi, the new decree which tightens sanctions for anti-Coronavirus measures provides for this. The measures so far adopted by Rome include the limitation of the movement of people, also the possibility of moving away domicile or residence, or entering or leaving the national territory except for individual movements, limited in time and space and motivated by work needs, situations of need or urgency, for health reasons or other specific reasons. Quarantine for those who have had close contacts with the infected – absolute ban on leaving the house for the positive, limits or stops at meetings or gatherings in public places; no cultural, recreational, sporting and religious events. In Italy from the beginning of the emergency there have been massive TV information campaigns to educate the public on basic preventative measures like stay home, washing hands, staying away from crowds, maintaining a social distance of 1 meter and not touching your face. With the spread of Coronavirus, French president Emmanuel Macron followed the “Italian” model.

According to ‘Politico’, in the United States many states have limited the operations of dining establishments to prevent the spread of the disease among crowds, requiring bars and restaurants to either shift to takeout-only operations or close down entirely. California, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin have initiated the most comprehensive policies. They’ve closed all bars and restaurants except for takeout and delivery, banned all gatherings, ordered mandatory state-wide quarantine, closed all nonessential businesses, and closed all schools. California and Washington have also enacted paid sick leave for workers. The American newspaper stress that though the development of a coronavirus vaccine is likely more than a year away, many states have already enacted policies dictating that the vaccine be provided to all residents for free. Lawmakers pushing for this argue the high cost of vaccinating the population for free pales in comparison to the cost of failing to do so and having the virus resurge in the future. Many states have also banned large gatherings to slow the spread of the virus, but there is wide variation on what constitutes a “large gathering.” As the crisis has worsened over the past few weeks, states have brought down the size of allowed gatherings from 1,000 to 250 to 50 to just 10.

So far, Russia has managed to contain the coronavirus, but the country is unable to completely block the threat. Vladimir Putin said this when speaking to the nation today, stressing that it is now imperative to respect the indications of the authorities. To contain the epidemic, Putin announced that “one week stop” will be introduced to “non-essential” activities, from March 28 to April 5. “Stay home,” Putin said on television. In Asia, the spotlight remains on South Korea, which has the largest number of patients outside mainland China. More than half of its 5,612 cases are linked to a branch of the Shincheonji religious group in the country’s south. The government has proposed an extra budget of about $9.8 billion in response and recovery, which will be submitted for approval on Thursday. South Korean authorities have aggressively rolled out testing across the country, even setting up drive-through testing stations where people can get tested in minutes, all without leaving their cars. They have also employed creative technologies in this “war,” like a GPS system that sets off an alarm when patients violate quarantine at home. Millions are still working from home across Asia, with both government departments and private companies implementing flexible or remote working arrangements for better social distancing. Events and public gatherings have been cancelled for the same reason — in Japan, the Rugby Sevens invitational tournament was cancelled over coronavirus fears and Olympic Game 2020 have been postponed to 2021 before summer. According to CNN’ reporters, governments in these places have also had to address unexpected issues like panic buying, which saw toilet rolls and face masks sell out across supermarkets in Hong Kong. The same issue is now being seen in Australia, which announced additional cases this week after nearly a month of no new cases — images from cities like Sydney and Brisbane show empty grocery store aisles and crowds jostling for products. In response, governments have urged people not to panic buy, and said that there was no threat to supply. Supermarkets have also imposed limits on how much shoppers can buy of items like toilet roll.

Libya announced yesterday its first positive Covid-19 case, but so far, the conflict still ongoing. Civil organizations and NGOs conducted several campaigns to promote awareness about the virus and sterilization of public places. The Tripoli based government of national accord (GNA) imposed a curfew from 18,00 to 6,00 am, while authorities in the east have previously announced a total curfew with shops open just two hours, then as people were overcrowding the markets, they reduced the time of curfew from 15,00 to 6,00 of morning. UN secretary general, Antonio Guterres, called for a world ceasefire to globally respond to coronavirus emergency. Tunisia also disposed 24h curfew and deployed the army to guarantee the respect of the decision. All shops, restaurant, cafes and mosques remain closed, only excepted groceries and pharmacies. Also India announced yesterday to lockdown with similar measures.

Iran is at the heart of the Middle East outbreak. Bahrain accused the Islamic Republic of “biological aggression” by covering up the spread of the coronavirus and failing to stamp Bahraini travellers’ passports. Gulf Arab states took new steps to contain the virus, with Saudi Arabia’s highest religious authority saying anyone diagnosed with coronavirus was forbidden from attending Friday prayers. Many of the recorded infections throughout the Gulf region are linked to travel to Iran, which hosts several important shrines and pilgrimage sites for Shi’ite Muslims. Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi has denied that not stamping passports has anything to do with coronavirus and called on Riyadh to avoid politicizing the epidemic. No Gulf Arab state has reported a coronavirus death. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) decided to completely suspend passenger flights for two weeks. Also, the state has stopped issuing visas. The UAE has shown significant effectiveness in taking preventive measures to limit the spread of coronavirus. Since the virus spread itself, the state has been actively implementing stringent procedures at its borders, using thermal scanners, and has also trained qualified medical teams that are available around the clock for residents of the state. The Government supported the epidemiological investigation system, providing strategic reserves of essential medical supplies for the early detection of the virus, quarantine and medical isolation campaigns, and building fully equipped isolation rooms. The authorities also suspended the distribution of paper publications and encouraged e-learning and smart working.

California’s Governor, announces statewide order to ‘stay home’ as coronavirus cases rise

California’s Governor, announces statewide order to ‘stay home’ as coronavirus cases rise

California’s Governor Gavin Newsom ordered residents to remain at home indefinitely and go outside when it’s necessary, and he cautioned that the coronavirus threat could inundate the state’s medical system.

The announcement came after he sent a letter to President Donald Trump, cautioning the infection was spreading rapidly and could infect the large part of California’s population.

“I can guarantee you home quarantine isn’t my favored decision, I know it’s not yours, yet it’s a vital one,” Governor Newsom stated at a press meet on Thursday.

He guaranteed residents that they “can take their children outside, but to practice social distancing. You can even take your dog for walks”. Eateries meals could be home delivered. “I don’t believe that residents of California should be notified via law enforcement that it’s important to stay home,” he added.

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As indicated in the data of Johns Hopkins University, There are around 1,030 affirmed infected cases in California, and 18 people have expired.

Lately, panic shopping has led to long queues in some markets because of which the Governor needed to call upon the 500 National Guard troops to help disperse food.

According to the World Health Organization, For some people, the novel coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, like flu. It can cause progressively severe disease, including pneumonia, for specific individuals, particularly elderly and those with existing medical issues.
The vast majority recovers – those with mild sickness in about fourteen days, while those with the progressively serious ailment may take three to six weeks.

Newsom had composed a letter to Trump requesting for the hospital ship, expressing that California’s disease rates were multiplying at a fast pace. He likewise asked the House and Senate leaders for $1 billion to help start state-run and mobile hospitals. He said the cash would be a help in testing and treatment for individuals without health care coverage.

Article Credit: CNBC/The National

WHO officials slams calling corona virus a ‘Chinese virus’
Americas, Asia Pacific Focus

WHO officials slams calling corona virus a ‘Chinese virus’

World Health Organisation slams US President Donald Trump’s statement in which he referred to corona virus as a ‘Chinese virus.’ During a media conference on Wednesday, Dr. Mike Ryan, the executive director of WHO’s emergencies program said, “Viruses know no borders and they don’t care about your ethnicity, the color of your skin or how much money you have in the bank. So it’s really important we be careful in the language we use lest it lead to the profiling of individuals associated with the virus.”

WHO deliberately gave the deadly virus a generic name which doesn’t not hold any association with any territory, community, place, or animal. It was done to avoid any form of racial violence from erupting.

US President Donald Trump, during a press conference on Wednesday, defended his previous ‘Chinese virus’ statement. He said, “It’s not racist at all…No, not at all.”
On being asked, why he called it so, Mr. Trump said, “Because it comes from China…That’s why.”
There have been several reports of mistreatment of Chinese Americans who have been blamed for allegedly spreading the coronavirus.

The virus was first found in Wuhan in China, about three months ago from where it spread across the world. To this day it has infected over 212,000 people and taken at least 8,727 lives, according to data compiled by John’s Hopkins University. The virus which causes COVID-19, a respiratory disease is called corona virus. In ‘covid’ CO stands for corona, the VI for virus and the D for disease.

Mr. Ryan stressed on WHO’s call for solidarity against the pandemic. He said, “This is a time for solidarity, this is a time for facts, this is a time to move forward together, to fight this virus together. There is no blame in this…All we need now is to identify the things we need to do to move forward quickly, with speed and to avoid any indication of ethnic or other associations with this virus.”

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UAE sends aid to Iran to fight the COVID-19 outbreak
Middle East & Africa

UAE sends aid to Iran to fight the COVID-19 outbreak

The UAE has sent two planes stacked with an essential medical aid to Iran to help the nation battle against the COVID-19 outbreak.

Over 32 tons of medical supplies have been sent to Iran, where 15,000 cases have been recorded, and 853 people have died.

On Monday, two airplanes took off from Abu Dhabi containing more than 32 tons of supplies, including a large number of sets of gloves, protective equipment, and surgical masks.

It was the second batch of help to be sent to Iran from the UAE this month. On March 3, the Emirates helped Iran in collaboration with the World Health Organization, sending a UAE airplane conveying 7.5 tons of medical supplies and five WHO professionals to help 15,000 medical care workers.

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Reem Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Co-operation, stated, “The UAE’s attempts in carrying out a second medical aid flight to Iran are steady with our country’s establishing humanitarian policies, which direct our conviction that supplying life-saving assistance to those undergoing crisis is fundamental to serving the common welfare,” The National detailed.

“The COVID-19 emergency has declared the viability of the UAE’s aid approach, wherein the administration and individuals stand together with countries in their period of need,” she included.

After the underlying Covid-19 episode in Wuhan, the UAE sent medical supplies, including gloves and masks, to China. It additionally sent a necessary medical aid shipment containing 20,000 medical testing kits and equipment to Afghanistan too.

The UAE additionally helped flew 215 people from various nations out of Wuhan to Abu Dhabi, and they are under medical isolation at Emirates Humanitarian City and will be sent to their countries of origin when they are in sound health.

On Monday, Iran announced a rise in number of deaths from the coronavirus reaching to 129 and around 15,000 affirmed cases. Official leading Iran’s response to the pandemic stated concerns that medical services frameworks could be overwhelmed if the pace of new cases continued to rise.

Article Credit: The National/Reuters

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Corona Virus is raising a Global Risk says WHO
Asia Pacific Focus

Corona Virus is raising a Global Risk says WHO

On Friday, WHO alerts against the deadly coronavirus and says that it might spread rapidly all around the globe.

WHO representative Christian Lindmeier told correspondents the flare-up was “getting bigger” and emphasized the association’s warning that the dangerous novel coronavirus infection could spread around the world.

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stated that his organization was not underestimating the threat of the disease. He told journalists in Geneva, “That is the reason we said today the worldwide risk is high,” The Reuters reported.

The World share market fell once again, wrapping up their most noticeably awful week since the 2008 global financial crisis and taking the global crash to $6 trillion. The U.S. stock market tumbled for the seventh straight day amid fears of a worldwide epidemic.

People are hoping that the pandemic that began in China at the end of 2019, and the swung financial market would soon come back to normal.

Tedros Adhanom, the director-general of WHO, stated that mainland China had revealed 329 new cases over 24 hours, taking its count to over 78,800 cases with around 2,800 deaths.

South Korea has revealed 571 new cases on Friday, carrying the aggregate to 2,337, with 13 deaths reported.

Switzerland banned significant events from attempting to check the epidemic, canceling the Geneva international car show, which was scheduled for next week.

Japan is booked to host the 2020 Olympics in July. However, organizers are examining whether to proceed with it due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had ordered to close schools and colleges and promised to prevent the epidemic from spreading further.

U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration is taking full measures, and Trump has complete confidence that the U.S. would be able to manage coronavirus.

In Europe, Germany cautioned of a looming pandemic and Greece, declared more tightly border checks.

The loss of life due to the pandemic in Italy rose to 17, and those testing positive increased to 655. France has around 38 and Spain 23, and Germany has almost 60 cases, as per Reuter’s reports.

In India, there have been three affirmed cases of coronavirus detailed in Kerala. However, India is practicing stringent screening tests to curtail coronavirus cases.

On Friday, as per Iran’s Health Ministry, 34 Iranians died, and 388 positive cases were reported.

There are doubts that the new coronavirus (COVID-19) might spread in all the nations and majorly risk many nations that are not fully prepared to face the deadly epidemic with sufficient medical care.

Article Credit: The Reuters/ The Guardian

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Outside China, the world fights the novel coronavirus infection pandemic
Asia Pacific Focus

Outside China, the world fights the novel coronavirus infection pandemic

On Tuesday, the World Health Organization revealed that the number of new cases outside China exceeded in many new coronavirus infection cases. The number of cases in China was 412, while the count in the remainder of the world is 459.

WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Wednesday, “The sudden increase of cases in Italy, the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Republic of Korea is profoundly concerning.”

As the world attempted to stop the quick spreading infection outside China, where the epidemic began, nations around the globe are avoiding potential risk by scrubbing everything from cash to transports, army bases were on high alert, and quarantines were upheld.

The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) disease is spreading rapidly and has affected numerous countries around the globe.

Brazil affirms the emergence of Latin America’s first case. In Europe, where Spain, Germany, and France also reported, around 440 instances of developing coronavirus have been reported. In the Middle East, coronavirus has spread in Bahrain, Kuwait, and Iraq, and South Korea is fighting a mass flare-up in 2.5 million populated city of Daegu. In the United States, 60 cases of coronavirus have been reported. The U.S. affirmed another instance of coronavirus disease in California that could be the prime example of the infection spreading in a U.S. community. The patient in California was not known to have traveled outside the country or be associated with an infected patient. India has three confirmed cases of coronavirus in the state of Kerela. India is checking the new coronavirus flare-up at the highest level to forestall a pandemic by screening at different ports of passage and keeping a tab on 15,000 travelers who have come from abroad, says the Health Ministry of India.

WHO is working closely with international experts, governments to expand research on this novel virus rapidly, and to track the spread of the virus, and to give counsel to nations and people on measures to secure the wellbeing and forestall the new epidemic.

Article Credit: Associated Press/ BBC/WHO

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