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Coronavirus

10 on quarantined cruise test positive for Coronavirus

Greeley Pulitzer

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10 on quarantined cruise test positive for Coronavirus | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Japanese health officials onboard the Diamond Princess - Kazuhiro Nogi, AFP
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If you’ve got to be quarantined, it may as well be on a luxury cruise ship. But Japan’s health minister Katsunobu Kato announced today that 10 people on the Diamond Princess, the cruise ship quarantined in Yokohama Harbour, have tested positive for the Novel Coronavirus. The 3711 guests and crew are still being tested, after a former passenger, who disembarked in Hong Kong on January 25, was diagnosed with the illness.

The minister told journalists that specimens have been collected from more than 200 people on the ship.

“So far, the results of 31 tests are available, with 10 people on board confirmed to have the virus. From around 7:30am we had them get off the vessel, and with cooperation with the coastguard we are sending them to medical organisations.”

The remainder of the passengers and crew will be required to stay on the vessel for 14 days. Medical consensus indicates the virus has an incubation period of up to two weeks.

The virus has killed nearly 500 people and infected more than 24,000 in mainland China. More than 20 countries have confirmed cases, including Thailand, Japan and the United States. The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared a global health emergency, numerous governments have imposed travel restrictions, and airlines have suspended flights to and from China.

Around 20 cases have been confirmed in Japan, not including the cruise ship infections, but including citizens returning from the Chinese city of Wuhan, the origin of the outbreak.

There have also been several cases of apparent person-to-person contagion in Japan, including a tour guide and bus driver who contracted the virus after coming into contact with visitors from Wuhan. Neither had visited China in recent months.

Japan, like New Zealand, Australia and a growing number of countries, has implemented new rules enabling it to deny entry to those who have recently travelled to Wuhan, or those with Chinese passports issued there. It has evacuated more than 500 Japanese nationals from the city, and attracted some criticism for its relatively loose quarantine approach.

Returnees were asked to voluntarily submit to testing requested to “self-quarantine,” rather than be forcibly isolated as other countries have done with their citizens.

Japanese officials say the current designation of the virus doesn’t allow for either forcible quarantine or mandatory testing for those suspected to have it.

SOURCE: AFP

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Coronavirus

Coronavirus UPDATE: S Korean cases exceed 2,000, cases in 15 European countries

The Thaiger

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Coronavirus UPDATE: S Korean cases exceed 2,000, cases in 15 European countries | The Thaiger

The novel coronavirus (Covid-19) has now killed at least 2,858 people worldwide as the focus of the outbreak now moves away from China and to outbreaks in central South Korea, northern Italy and other parts of Europe.

83,379 people are now infected but, notably (and increasingly), 36,562 people have fully recovered. At least 15 European countries now have confirmed cases of coronavirus, some of which have been traced back to Italy.

The South Korean Centres for Disease Control did not report any new deaths, meaning that the national death toll remains at 13. 2,022 people are now confirmed as infected in South Korea. Among the 256 new cases, 182 are from Daegu, the epicentre of the outbreak in central South Korea – many involved in or connected with a church congregation. A total of 1,314 cases since the beginning of the outbreak have come from Daegu, according to the KCDC.

South Korea has the most confirmed coronavirus cases outside of mainland China.

In Thailand, the Office of Private Education Commission ordered the closure of an international school in Don Mueang district, north of Bangkok’s city area, as a precautionary measure after learning that more than 500 students and teachers had returned from a country hit by the Covid-19 virus.

The secretary-general of the Private Education Commission, Attapon Truektrong, says the school’s management had instructed the group, which includes 60 teachers, to stay at home and self-quarantine following their return on February 23. The Office also asked the school’s management to close the school and switch to online classes.

“A school break is coming, but I’m concerned about international schools that have different break intervals and organise overseas field trips on a regular basis. They are being urged to postpone their trips especially to Covid-19-hit countries.”

He said his office was monitoring the situation at the Phraharuthai Donmuang School in Don Mueang district after an 8 year old pupil tested positive for coronavirus this week. Tests on pupils and teachers who had close contact with the boy have so far been negative.

Meanwhile, a privately-run school in Rayong, a province east of Bangkok, will also close today for “cleaning” as a precautionary measure to allay concerns after it was rumoured that a pupil who returned from a trip to Japan had fallen ill.

The acting director of Anuban Taksin Rayong International School, says the child has tested negative for the virus but is staying at home for self-quarantine. Despite this, the school’s management has decided to suspend classes today for “disinfection”.

South Korea and Israel have asked the Thai government to suspend the travel of workers until the situation returns to normal. Cases in Thailand remain at 40 with 22 fully recovered.

In other coronavirus snippets…

Fears of the spread of coronavirus has forced Saudia Arabia to temporarily suspended entry for Muslims seeking to perform the “umrah” or “haj” – the annual pilgrimage to Mecca.

Prasarn Sricharoen, a representative from Thailand’s Office of the Chularatchamontri, says the office is checking with the Saudi Arabian Thai embassy for more details about the temporary suspension of visas for visits to Mecca, Islam’s holiest site. He says the office is checking if those who already have visas can travel and that it is waiting for a reply from Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Ministry. It is not known if the suspension will affect the annual haj pilgrimage due to start in late July. Moreover,

Meanwhile, the vice president of the Medical Council of Thailand, says people who have travelled to overseas destinations with a high rate of coronavirus infection “must be socially responsible and be truthful to medical personnel to prevent its further spread in Thailand”.

Professor Dr Prasit Wattanapha, made the appeal at a conference in Bangkok yesterday.

“One of the main contributing factors in the outbreak is the lack of knowledge about healthcare and the prevention of communicable diseases among people who are at risk of exposure to the virus. If you travel to areas with a high infection rate such as China, Hong Kong, Macao, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Iran or Italy, you must quarantine yourself at home for 14 days upon returning and avoid crowds.”

“Anyone with a fever, cough or troubled breathing should seek medical treatment immediately and tell the staff if they have travelled abroad recently. It is simply socially responsible to disclose all relevant information, since failure to do so might jeopardise your own safety and that of your family and the public.”

“During the 14 day home quarantine, it’s also advisable to avoid shared rooms like the bedroom and bathroom and stay isolated as much as possible, preferably in properly ventilated room.”

“Stay alert to changes in body temperature (it should be no higher than 37.5 degrees Celsius when checked orally and 37C at the armpit), and any abnormalities in breathing. Symptoms that appear abruptly such as coughing, a runny nose, a sore throat or increased respiration rate are signals that you should immediately contact the nearest hospital or call the Department of Disease Control Hotline at 1422”.

World Health Organisation head, Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, says the coronavirus outbreak has reached a “decisive point” and has “pandemic potential”. He noted, when speaking yesterday, that for a second day, more cases have been reported outside than inside China.

“Iran and Italy have become major centres of infection, with people travelling from there spreading the virus further afield.

“Several high-profile Iranian officials have become infected, the latest being Vice-President for Women and Family Affairs Masoumeh Ebtekar.

“It’s what’s happening in the rest of the world that’s now our greatest concern.”

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Coronavirus

More virus cases reported outside of China than within

Greeley Pulitzer

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More virus cases reported outside of China than within | The Thaiger
PHOTO: - Getty Images

For the first time ever, more COVID-19 coronavirus cases were reported in countries other than China yesterday, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The US is urging travellers to delay or cancel travel to South Korea after that country’s confirmed cases passed the 1500 mark. New cases were found around the world, from Pakistan to Brazil.

The Iranian government said yesterday that 19 people have died there so far and 139 people have been infected, but the true numbers are expected to be much higher. A WHO team will travel to Iran this weekend to evaluate the situation. In a move sure to cause shudders in the Arab world, Saudi Arabia has put a halt on religious travel to its holiest sites, Mecca and Medina.

Authorities in the US say they’ve identified their first coronavirus case with no ties to a known outbreak. The news comes after President Donald Trump assured Americans that they face little risk from the outbreak, and appointed Vice President Mike Pence to lead the country’s response to the virus.

More virus cases reported outside of China than within | News by The Thaiger

Key Developments

Global deaths: 2,801, with 82,084 cases worldwide

China death toll: 2,744, up 29; cases climb to 78,497, up 433

More virus cases reported outside of China than within | News by The Thaiger

For live updates on coronavirus statistics courtesy of gisanddata, click HERE

SOURCE: Bangkok Post | gisanddata

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Coronavirus

Health minister demands full disclosure of travel history after 3 more coronavirus cases confirmed

Greeley Pulitzer

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Health minister demands full disclosure of travel history after 3 more coronavirus cases confirmed | The Thaiger

Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul had harsh words in a press conference yesterday for the 65 year old Thai man who concealed his travel history from medical workers, exposing not only some 30 medics but also his own family members to the COVID-19 coronavirus. The man and his wife had recently returned from Hokkaido in Japan, and, along with their grandson, became the latest confirmed cases of the virus in Thailand, bringing the total to 40. The three are now being treated at Bamrasnaradura Infectious Diseases Institute in Nonthaburi province.

The Public Health Ministry warns people against withholding information to public health officials and has suggested state agencies and companies issue an advisory and/or temporary ban on visits to coronavirus-affected countries, as it increases efforts to contain the spread of the virus.

“If he had not been detected fast enough, he could have become a super-spreader, like [the] elderly woman in South Korea.”

Anutin called man’s conduct “very discouraging, not only for people in general, but especially for the medical staff who have been working very hard.”

All of the classmates of the 8 year old boy, meanwhile, have been quarantined and confined to their homes for 14 days, and their parents told to report to doctors if any of them develops flu-like symptoms.

Anutin said he would prefer that health officials not go abroad and will ask tour agencies to stop offering promotional packages to Japan at bargain-basement prices, some as little as 2,000-3,000 baht, saying it is not worth the risk “as it may be their last trip.”

As for political rallies on school campuses, Anutin said he would like organisers of such events to screen participants and provide face masks and sanitizers at the rally sites.

He assured the public, however, that the spread of COVID-19 in Thailand has not yet reached Level 3.

Permanent secretary of the health department Dr. Sukhum Kanchanapimai said that while there are now 40 confirmed coronavirus cases in Thailand, 24 of them have recovered and returned home.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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