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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Coronavirus UPDATE: No cases in Indonesia, why? Are paper face-masks effective?

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Coronavirus UPDATE: No cases in Indonesia, why? Are paper face-masks effective? | Thaiger
PHOTO: Face mask or no face mask? New York Times

“Covid-19”. After a month and a half of being called the Wuhan Coronavirus, the Chinese Coronavirus or just boring old ‘coronavirus‘, the viral strain now has an official name. WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus was speaking in Geneva. “We now have a name for the disease and it’s Covid-19,”

This morning the number of cases worldwide has reached 44,852, resulting in 1,113 deaths 4,536 total recoveries. The vast majority of the world’s cases are still in China with a recent outbreak of new cases in Japan. Hong Kong, Singapore and Thailand make up the Top 5 countries for current cases.

Coronavirus UPDATE: No cases in Indonesia, why? Are paper face-masks effective? | News by Thaiger

WHO chief Tedros said that they needed to find a name that “did not refer to a geographical location, an animal, an individual or group of people, and which is also pronounceable and related to the disease.”

“Having a name matters to prevent the use of other names that can be inaccurate or stigmatising. It also gives us a standard format to use for any future coronavirus outbreaks.”

The word ‘coronavirus’ refers to the family of viruses it belongs to, rather than the latest strain. The virus itself has been designated SARS-CoV-2 by the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses. Researchers wanted an official name to avoid confusion and stigmatisation of any group or country.

The latest news from around the world…

• A cruise ship carrying more than 1,450 passengers has denied permission to dock in Thailand over coronavirus fears. The “Westerdam” had already been turned away from several ports, including in Japan, Taiwan, Guam and The Philippiness. Holland America, the owners of the ship, say they have “no reason to believe” anyone on board is contagious. It had planned to dock in Bangkok this Thursday but the Thai government has “refused” permission.

“While the ship would not be allowed to disembark, Thailand would gladly help providing fuel, medicine, and food to the vessel.”

• The coronavirus outbreak will hit a peak in China this month and may be over by April. The Chinese government’s senior medical adviser made the claim yesterday in the latest assessment of the Coronavirus outbreak. His predictions include…

• Virus peaks in February, then eases

• Numbers of new cases already falling in many spots

• Zhong wants global early warning system to spot future outbreaks

• Believes Chinese local authorities made mistakes

Speaking to Reuters, the 83 year old epidemiologist Zhong Nanshan, who won notoriety for combating the SARS epidemic in 2003, shed tears about the doctor Li Wenliang who died last week after being admonished for raising concerns over social media early on.

But Zhong Nanshan is optimistic the spread of the current outbreak would soon slow, with the number of new cases already statistically declining in some places.

“We don’t know why it’s so contagious, so that’s a big problem.”

• Health authorities are questioning how or why Indonesia has not yet reported a single case of the coronavirus, even though officials were slow to halt nonstop flights from China. Indonesia takes in about 2 million Chinese tourists a year, most of them to the resort island of Bali.

China’s consulate general on Bali says that about 5,000 Chinese tourists were still in Bali, including 200 from the city of Wuhan, the epicentre of the current outbreak.

Indonesia’s close neighbours have all reported cases, including Thailand, The Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia and, to the south, Australia.

Indonesia’s security minister, Mohammad Mahfud MD made the proud boast last Friday…

“So far, Indonesia is the only major country in Asia that does not have a corona case. The coronavirus does not exist in Indonesia.”

Do masks do anything to help?

Using a face mask to prevent infection is popular in many countries, especially China. They are also worn to protect against high pollution levels. In both cases scientists and doctors are skeptical if they do anything to prevent the wearer from catching a virus or breathing in polluted air.

Now virologists say they doubt their effectiveness against even airborne viruses (The current Coronavirus has not been confirmed to be an airborne virus. Studies continue to examine the current viral strain’s ability to be transmitted through the air).

But there is some evidence to suggest the masks can certainly help prevent hand-to-mouth transmissions.

The flimsy paper surgical masks were first introduced into hospitals in the early 1800s but didn’t make the transition into public use until the Spanish flu outbreak in 1919 that killed over 50 million people.

Speaking to the BBC, Dr David Carrington, of St George’s, University of London, says “routine surgical masks for the public are not an effective protection against viruses or bacteria carried in the air”, because they were too loose, had no air filter and left the eyes exposed. But he says they could help lower the risk of contracting a virus through the “splash” from a sneeze or a cough at extremely close range and provide some protection against hand-to-mouth transmissions. In Australian, a 2016 study from New South Wales noted that people touched their faces about 23 times an hour.

Jonathan Ball, professor of molecular virology at the University of Nottingham, says that the wearing of face masks, properly fitted, has been a standard sight in hospitals, and mostly an effective tool, especially to prevent the spread of a disease from the patient.

“However, when you move to studies looking at their effectiveness in the general population, the data is less compelling. Tt’s quite a challenge to keep a mask on for prolonged periods of time.”

Dr Connor Bamford, of the Wellcome-Wolfson Institute for Experimental Medicine, at Queen’s University in Belfast, says (as conformed by the WHO and numerous studies) “implementing simple hygiene measures” was vastly more effective.

“Covering your mouth while sneezing, washing your hands, and not putting your hands to your mouth before washing them, could help limit the risk of catching any respiratory virus.”

Whilst wearing a face mask may make you ‘feel’ more protected, unless properly worn if it unlikely to prevent you from catching the disease. The following three suggestions are your best bet to avoid catching a flu or coronavirus, confirmed by the UK NHS and the WHO…

• regularly wash your hands with warm water and soap
• avoid touching your eyes and nose wherever possible
• maintain a fit and healthy lifestyle

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Avatar

    Eva Brooks

    Wednesday, February 12, 2020 at 9:48 am

    Its unlikely that Indonesia has no covid-19. It’s more likely that they didn’t recognise it or they didn’t acknowledge it; or would rather boast that they haven’t got it instead of saying what they are doing to prevent it. Its ticking time-bomb.

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Covid UPDATE: New cases rise to 1,543, DDC recommends work from home in red zone areas

Maya Taylor

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Covid UPDATE: New cases rise to 1,543, DDC recommends work from home in red zone areas | Thaiger
PHOTO: Facebook/กรมควบคุมโรค กระทรวงสาธารณสุข

Thailand’s Covid-19 infections are still on the rise, with the Kingdom reporting 1,543 new infections in the last 24 hours. Only 3 of those are imported with 1,540 being cases of community transmission. Thailand has now recorded 37,453 infections. 8,973 patients are receiving hospital treatment, 41 of whom have pneumonia.

11 people are currently in a serious condition on ventilators.

1,540 were community cases, most from the hot zone of Bangkok with 409 new infections. Chiang Mai had 278 new cases, Prachuap Khiri Khan 98 and Chon Buri (including Pattaya) 98.

UPDATE: Dr Chawetsan Namwat, the acting director for emergency health at the Department of Disease Control, says that people will need to consider working from home for 2 weeks if they live in a red zone area.

He said that it may be necessary to increase restrictions further to mitigate the upward trajectory of Covid-19 that is expected to rise after Songkran. Those red zone areas include Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chon Buri, Samut Prakan, Narathiwat, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Samut Sakhon, Pathum Thani and Sa Kaeo.

“To reduce risks, people should work from home after the Songkran festival.”

Covid UPDATE: New cases rise to 1,543, DDC recommends work from home in red zone areas | News by ThaigerHere’s the trajectory of the outbreak since April 1…

April 1 – 26 infections
April 2 – 58 infections
April 3 – 84 infections
April 4 – 96 infections
April 5 – 194 infections
April 6 – 250 infections
April 7 – 334 infections
April 8 – 405 infections
April 9 – 559 infections
April 10 – 789 infections
April 11 – 967 infections
April 12 – 985 infections
April 13 – 965 infections
April 14 – 1,335 infections
April 15 – 1,543 infections

Covid UPDATE: New cases rise to 1,543, DDC recommends work from home in red zone areas | News by Thaiger

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Bangkok officials issue advice for Covid contacts required to self-isolate

Maya Taylor

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Bangkok officials issue advice for Covid contacts required to self-isolate | Thaiger
PHOTO: Mika Baumeister on Unsplash

The governor of Bangkok says anyone who has had contact with a Covid-19 patient must self-isolate for 10 days, the incubation period for the virus. Nation Thailand reports that Governor Aswin Kwanmuang has issued advice for those self-isolating, saying they must adhere to the following 4 steps.

1. Sleep in a separate room to other residents
2. Do not eat with other people living in the house
3. Separate trash, as garbage used by a potentially infected person can be a source of transmission
4. Use a separate bathroom where possible. If not possible, the potentially infected person should be last to use the bathroom, washing sinks and the toilet seat after each use

The governor says people who live alone in a house or condo can use a food delivery service, but must wear a mask while in the presence of food delivery workers, as well as washing their hands regularly. Condominium residents must advise the building manager that they are self-isolating and avoid using common areas such as elevators.

Masks should be worn at all times indoors and all residents should observe social distancing while in common areas. Building managers are responsible for instructing residents to observe disease prevention measures and should also undertake regular disinfection of common areas and manage potentially infectious waste appropriately.

Nation Thailand lists the following numbers for those who need further medical advice.

Covid-19 situation at the Bangkok Health Office Hotline (02) 203 2393 or (02) 203 2396 or (02) 203 2883 and (02) 245 4964 (24 Hours)

BKK COVID-19 website hotline (02) 203 2393 and (02) 203 2396 (service hours 8am-10pm)

People with Covid-19 symptoms should contact the Erawan Centre, Bangkok 1646. People at risk of exposure to infectious cases can call the Emergency Operation Centre at 097 046 7549 and the Department of Disease Control at 1422.

Infected patients can get more advice on self-isolation at the Medical Department Hotline 1668, the National Institute of Emergency Medicine 1669 or the NHSO 1330 hotline, 24 hours a day.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Pattaya

Officials confirm Koh Larn will remain open to domestic visitors for now

Maya Taylor

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Officials confirm Koh Larn will remain open to domestic visitors for now | Thaiger
PHOTO: Richard Barton / Flickr

Officials in Pattaya and Koh Larn say there are currently no plans to close the island to visitors despite a man who worked briefly at a local restaurant testing positive for Covid-19. It’s understood the worker was employed from April 3 to April 6, before quitting. During his short employment stint, he visited a number of nightlife venues in Pattaya during the course of one evening, before returning to the island. The name of the restaurant where he worked has not been released.

The man was later contacted by contact-tracers and subsequently tested positive for the virus. The Pattaya News reports that the restaurant on Koh Larn was closed for 3 days, with officials testing several people the man had come into contact with. It’s understood all have tested negative but are self-isolating for 14 days.

No other infections have been recorded on the island, with officials confirming it can remain open to domestic tourists, with strict disease prevention measures in place, including mandatory use of the contact-tracing MorChana app. Officials have also urged people to comply with mask-wearing regulations, saying a small minority – mostly foreigners – are failing to do so.

There is currently no planned lockdown for the island, with high-risk venues such as bars and clubs already temporarily closed. Restaurants and hotels remain open to domestic tourists and outdoor activities such as boat tours and diving can still go ahead until such time as the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration deems otherwise. The province of Chon Buri currently does not have any restrictions in place for those entering or leaving.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

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