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Covid-19 coronavirus UPDATE – Italian lockdown, US surge in cases, death rate up to 3.4%

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Covid-19 coronavirus UPDATE – Italian lockdown, US surge in cases, death rate up to 3.4% | The Thaiger
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The cases of coronavirus in China continue to fall as Italy locks down entire cities to contain the virus. New York officials have announced a state of emergency. Around the world, the virus has now infected 95 countries. There is a total of 110,066 cases, 3,830 related deaths and 62,278 total recoveries.

The epidemic is moving west as new cases in China drop dramatically. Meanwhile Italy is imposing an unprecedented peacetime lockdown which directly affects 16 million people as new cases and deaths skyrocketed over the weekend. Italy’s cases have nearly tripled from about 2,500 infections just last Wednesday to more than 7,300 yesterday, with deaths rising to more than 366.

In the Lombardy region of northern Italy, which has been locked down, schools, conferences, markets, tourist attractions, church congregations, and even funerals, are banned. People are now required by law to keep a distance of one metre from one another.

In the US cases have also risen to 538 with 22 deaths recorded, 3 in the past 24 hours. Californians remain on edge as a cruise ship starts disembarking today. The cruise ship, the Grand Princess, with nearly 3,000 stranded passengers, prepares to dock today in the Port of Oakland in San Francisco Bay.

The local Department of Health and Human Services say the Grand Princess docks today and outlined plans for the nearly 3,000 people aboard the ship, 1,000 of them local Californians. They stressed that no one on board would be released immediately to the general public.

“All of those passengers will be quarantined for 14 days at military installations.”

Leading health officials warn that the US is now entering a new stage in dealing with Covid-19 coronavirus, saying that containment is no longer possible. Dr. Scott Gottlieb, commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) during the first two years of the Trump administration says “we’re past the point of containment.”

“We have to implement broad mitigation strategies. The next two weeks are really going to change the complexion in this country. We’ll get through this, but it’s going to be a hard period. We’re looking at two months, probably, of difficulty.”

The World Health Organisation now estimates the death rate from Covid-19 at 3.4%, shocking experts following the progress and statistics of the current outbreak.

Speaking at a media briefing, the World Health Organisation’s director-general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, reported that the death rate was far higher than that of the seasonal flu, which kills about 0.1% of those infected.

But he clarified that the death rate is likely to change further as more cases are confirmed, though experts predict that the percentage of deaths will decrease in the longer term since milder cases of COVID-19 may be going undiagnosed.

But he warned that Covid-19 caused a “more severe disease” than the seasonal flu and explained that “while people around the world may have built up an immunity to the flu over time, the newness of the Covid-19 meant no one yet had immunity and more people were susceptible to infection.”

“A patient’s risk of dying from Covid-19 varies based on several factors, including where they are treated, their age, and any preexisting health conditions.”

Covid-19 coronavirus UPDATE - Italian lockdown, US surge in cases, death rate up to 3.4% | News by The Thaiger

In other coronavirus news…

• In China, 10 people have died and dozens are still trapped after a hotel used as a quarantine building collapsed. The owner of the building is under police custody.

• New York officials declared a “state of emergency”, as the state’s caseload rose to 105 yesterday from 89 on Saturday. Oregon, with just 14 cases, also followed suit.

• In Iran, where dozens of senior officials are sick, a senior adviser to the supreme leader and a member of Parliament died after contracting the virus. State media reported that all flights to Europe would be suspended indefinitely.

• Saudi Arabia has cut off access to Shiite Muslim towns and villages in the east of the kingdom, cordoning off an area in Qatif Governorate where all 11 of the country’s confirmed coronavirus cases have been identified. And local Saudi media reported that the country would temporarily close down all educational institutions and block travel to and from a number of countries in the region. The kingdom had already suspended pilgrimages to the Muslim holy cities of Mecca and Medina.

• The health minister in France, one of Europe’s bigger trouble spots with 1,209 cases, has announced a ban on gatherings of more than 1,000 people.

• Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu says that Israel, with 39 cases (no recorded deaths yet), is considering requiring all Israelis and foreign nationals arriving from abroad to go into a 14 day self-quarantine.

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

10 new Covid-19 cases in quarantine, all asymptomatic

Caitlin Ashworth

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10 new Covid-19 cases in quarantine, all asymptomatic | The Thaiger

10 new Covid-19 cases were detected in quarantine including a 7 month old boy, according to the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration. Thailand’s total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases is raised to 4,008 with 3,811 recoveries and 60 deaths. 137 people are currently receiving medical treatment for the coronavirus.

  • 3 people travelling from the United States tested positive for Covid-19. The 23 year old American woman arrived on November 27 and the 63 year old Thai woman and 65 year old and Thai man arrived the next day. They all tested positive for the coronavirus while in quarantine and were asymptomatic.
  • A 50 year old Thai woman travelling from Sudan tested positive for Covid-19. She arrived on November 24 and tested positive 2 days later. She was asymptomatic.
  • 4 Russian nationals travelling from Russia, and on the same flight as a previously confirmed coronavirus case, tested positive for Covid-19. The 39 year old man, 7 month old boy, 29 year old man and 28 year old woman arrived on November 23 and tested positive 5 days later while in quarantine. They were all asymptomatic.
  • 2 Pakistani nationals travelling from Pakistan tested positive for Covid-19. They arrived on November 15. The 30 year old woman tested positive 12 days later and the 32 year old man tested positive 14 days later. They were asymptomatic.

10 new Covid-19 cases in quarantine, all asymptomatic | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

No lockdown in Chiang Mai after local Covid-19 case

Caitlin Ashworth

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No lockdown in Chiang Mai after local Covid-19 case | The Thaiger
PHOTO: INN News

There will be no lockdown in Chiang Mai after the recent Covid-19 case where a woman tested positive at a local hospital after returning from Myanmar. Director general of the Public Health Ministry’s Department of Disease Control, Opas Karnkawinpong, says the locals in Chiang Mai are taking health precautions and he doubts the case will cause an outbreak.

“Widespread Covid-19 transmission is unlikely because people in Chiang Mai are still predominantly wearing masks on a daily basis. The ministry will continue monitoring the situation for a further 14 days.”

Tourist destinations, like Chiang Mai, have taken a beating since international travel restrictions were put in place in late-March. The province now relies on domestic tourism for income and the Bangkok Post says Opas’s statements were made to allay fears of an outbreak.

The 29 year old Thai woman tested positive for Covid-19 during a visit to a Chiang Mai hospital where she reported flu-like symptoms. The woman had worked at a bar in Myanmar and is feared to be a “super spreader.” 2 other women who worked at the same bar tested positive for Covid-19 in Chiang Rai after returning from Myanmar.

On November 23, while still in Myanmar, the original patient developed a fever, watery diarrhea and lost her sense of smell. The next day, while she still had a fever, she travelled by public van and entered Chiang Rai’s Mae Sai district. Reports say she was somehow able to evade the mandatory quarantine. She then caught a bus to Chiang Mai.

In Chiang Mai, the woman visited friends and went to a mall where she shopped, had meals and watched a movie. On November 26, she went to the hospital and was tested for Covid-19. Authorities say she came in close contact with 328 people, 107 of them were considered at high risk, but Opas is asking people to remain calm and not to overreact.

“The ministry has been testing all those who came into contact with the patient and there has yet to be a positive result”

For the related cases in Chiang Rai, Opas says they are not as worried about a potential outbreak because the women, ages 23 and 26, apparently did not go out in public. After hearing about her colleague’s case, the 26 year old decided to get tested for the coronavirus. Only 4 people in close contact with the 2 women are considered to be at a high risk while 22 people are asked to take precautions and monitor their health.

The recent local Covid-19 cases and the rising number of infections in Myanmar have prompted Thai officials to tighten security along the Thai-Myanmar border. The Chiang Rai governor Prachon Pratsakul says many Thais working in the neighbouring country are returning with the virus to get treated in Thailand.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Phuket officials concerned about virus risk from undocumented migrant workers

Maya Taylor

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Phuket officials concerned about virus risk from undocumented migrant workers | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Wikimedia

The discovery that 3 Thai nationals infected with Covid-19 returned from Myanmar and bypassed health checks and quarantine, has officials in Phuket on high alert. Over the weekend, it was discovered that a 29 year old Thai woman had illegally crossed from Myanmar and subsequently tested positive for Covid-19 after admitting herself to a Chiang Mai hospital. 2 other women who worked with her have also tested positive for the virus.

Phuket’s deputy governor, Pichet Panapong, says news of the 3 infected Thai women who managed to enter Thailand without undergoing any health checks or mandatory quarantine, has officials on the southern island worried. He adds that local authorities are monitoring Burmese workers, calling on them to follow disease control measures if returning to Phuket from Myanmar. (It would appear he missed the bit about the 3 infected women being Thai, not Burmese)

In a report in the Bangkok Post, Pichet says officials are considering setting up a quarantine facility for any migrant workers already in Phuket illegally, adding that of the 59,900 registered migrant workers on the island, 80% are Burmese. The Thailand/Myanmar border is longer than 2,000 kilometres with hundreds of official and “natural” border crossings.

“People can also act as eyes and ears for the authorities. If they find something suspicious in their communities, they should alert immigration police or local police.”

Phuket has 21 alternative quarantine properties, offering over 2,500 rooms in total, but arrival numbers are low. It’s understood that only 11 people have applied to enter Phuket in the period December 4 – 12, and so far, only a single application has been received for January. There are currently 726 people in local quarantine, 20 in alternative local quarantine, and 4 people carrying out yacht quarantine. Since Phuket agreed to receive foreign-registered yachts, 6 vessels have entered its waters, with all passengers and crew carrying out quarantine on board, 6 kilometres from shore.

Pichet says that, at a meeting of the communicable disease control committee, the Thai Yachting Business Association submitted a proposal to manage cruise ships, and officials have also received a request to extend the opening hours of shopping malls over the New Year holiday.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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