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Governments ramp up preparations for coronavirus pandemic

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Governments ramp up preparations for coronavirus pandemic

By Colin Packham, Josh Smith

 

efrew.PNG

Employees from a disinfection service company sanitize a shopping district in Seoul, South Korea, February 27, 2020. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

 

SYDNEY/SEOUL (Reuters) - Governments ramped up measures on Thursday to battle a looming global pandemic of the coronavirus as the number of new infections outside China for the first time surpassed new cases in the country where the outbreak began.

 

Australia initiated emergency measures and Taiwan raised its epidemic response level to its highest, a day after U.S. President Donald Trump put his vice president, Mike Pence, in charge of the U.S. response to the looming global health crisis.

 

The United States and South Korea postponed joint military drills to limit the spread of the virus, which has emerged far beyond China, where it originated late last year, apparently in a market selling wildlife in the city of Wuhan.

 

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said his country, which has 23 cases of the virus, was operating on the basis of a pandemic and hospitals were under orders to ensure enough medical supplies, personal protective equipment and staff.

 

“There is every indication that the world will soon enter a pandemic phase of the coronavirus,” Morrison told a news conference in Canberra.

 

“As a result we have agreed today and initiated the ... coronavirus emergency response plan.”

 

French President Emmanuel Macron called the outbreak a “crisis, an epidemic that is on the way”.

 

Stocks sunk deeper into the red, oil prices fell and U.S. Treasuries rallied into record territory as more signs of the global spread of the virus heightened fears of a pandemic.

 

Global markets have dropped for six straight days, wiping out more than $3.6 trillion in value. .MIWD00000PUS

 

The coronavirus has infected more than 80,000 people and killed nearly 2,800, the majority in China. Much remains unknown about the virus but it is clear the ramifications of the world’s second-biggest economy in lockdown for a month or more are vast.

 

The rapid spread of the virus in different places - notably Italy, Iran and South Korea - in recent days has met the definition for a pandemic, and raised alarm.

 

The World Health Organization has not used the word pandemic to describe this outbreak.

 

There is no cure for the virus that can lead to pneumonia, and a vaccine may take up to 18 months to develop.

 

In Japan, a woman has tested positive for the virus for a second time, the first known person in the country to do so, raising new concern about it.

 

Japan has more than 190 cases and is facing questions about the Olympic Games, due to begin in Tokyo on July 24. The government will ask schools to close from March 2 until around the end of the month, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said.

 

FIRST CASES

 

There have been 3,246 cases outside China, including 51 deaths, according to a Reuters tally.

 

A rash of countries have reported their first cases in the past couple of days with the latest being Denmark, in a man who returned from a ski holiday in Italy, and Estonia, in a man returning from Iran, media reported.

 

Brazil confirmed Latin America’s first infection on Wednesday.

 

China reported 433 new cases on Thursday, against 406 a day earlier.

 

South Korea reported another 334 cases, pushing its total to 1,595, the most in any country other than China.

 

The U.S. State Department issued a new travel warning for South Korea after the U.S. military reported on Wednesday its first case of the coronavirus, in a 23-year-old soldier based near the South Korean city of Daegu.

 

The South Korean military has also reported a number of infections and confined most troops to base.

 

A “command post training”, usually conducted by members of the two militaries’ Combined Forces Command, will be postponed until further notice, the command said.

 

The outbreak has played havoc with international aviation with airlines cancelling flights as countries ban visitors from hot spots and nervous passengers put off travel plans.

 

News that a Korean Air (003490.KS) flight attendant who worked on flights between Seoul and Los Angeles later tested positive, is likely to unnerve passengers further.

 

‘VERY READY’

 

The United States is managing 59 cases - most of them Americans repatriated from a cruise ship quarantined in Japan where almost 700 cases developed. Four people from the ship have died in Japan.

 

Trump said the risk from the virus was “very low” in the United States, and it was “very very ready” to face the threat.

 

Chinese authorities said the number of new deaths stood at 29 on Thursday, the lowest daily tally since Jan. 28. The virus has now killed 2,744 people in China, most in the central province of Hubei.

 

Italy reported another 100 cases nationwide, taking the total in Europe’s biggest hot spot to more than 400, while its death toll rose to 12.

 

Many of the cases appearing in the Middle East have been linked to Iran, which has had 141 cases and 22 deaths, the most outside China.

 

Saudi Arabia suspended foreigners’ entry for the Umrah pilgrimage and tourism from countries with new coronavirus cases. The kingdom has no cases.

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2020-02-27

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as you can see, you don't need to get the virus to be affected by it.

 

I'm going to buy another bottle of Best Foods mayonnaise and a bottle of Patrón Tequila. 

 

 

 

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Schools are being hit heavy in preparation/precaution, and it will cost teachers a lot more money than they can afford in forced quarantine/need to get a doctor's certification for being clear of the virus under threat of being fired if they leave then return during the summer holiday. That's how my little microcosm is being affected, I can only imagine how the rest of the world is dealing with it in real world terms.

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4 hours ago, NCC1701A said:

as you can see, you don't need to get the virus to be affected by it.

 

I'm going to buy another bottle of Best Foods mayonnaise and a bottle of Patrón Tequila. 

 

 

 

sounds novel, shaken or stirred ?

 

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7 minutes ago, NCC1701A said:

BREAKING: Iran's former ambassador to the Vatican, Hadi Khosroshahi, has died of coronavirus - IRNA

 

https://twitter.com/BNODesk/status/1233052330460884998

 

there is news that the pope is sick with the flu. unknown what type.

FWIW. 

PHE (public health England )has Thailand as a cat2 country now, with Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Myanmar, and Malaysia. surrounded with confirmed cases by the looks of it. time to stock up.

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Independents like myself thoughts in that voting booth are who to pull the lever for "Medicare for all" or COVID19 prayers by Mike. America WAKE  up

Edited by earlinclaifornia
correction
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19 hours ago, snoop1130 said:

The United States and South Korea postponed joint military drills to limit the spread of the virus,

so they went to phuket, right ...

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Trump isn't worried, though, he said the virus will be gone in April. Certainly now that Pence is in charge, he will just say a few extra prayers and the virus will be gone before you know it.

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italy has become an exporter of spreaders so uk airlines are stoppping flights to italy as infected are becoming back to wales and ireland so far

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Nigeria has just had its first case who came from italy

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Hugely impressed with Scott Morrison's straight off the mark get ready for a pandemic approach in Australia . Not a fan of him politically but am now. Aussies of whatever stripe get behind your PM he's a good un. 

 

Trump is off the scale of bad and Johnson in the UK has done nothing publically at all on this. This is the biggest threat facing us in our lives and governments will rise and fall on what they do and how they do it. Have a horrible feeling this is going to be with us for most of the year now and will get worse before it gets better. My thoughts and prayers are with the frontline NHS staff that will fight this at great risk to themselves on a daily basis - it's gonna be a real war for them. 

 

Britain should suspend Brexit until the crisis is over and get all the Brexit preparedness staff onto coronavirus like NOW with a key team of medical and logistics folk in charge. Cumming's is a clever fellow he could be great at this. We can beat this but we need to firstly accept the immediacy and severity of the threat and cut out all BS and tell the truth and think of public health over economics first. This is not just another flu outbreak/overhyped - it's a vicious and highly contagious new virus for which there is no cure or vaccine currently. 

 

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/feb/27/australias-coronavirus-pandemic-plan-mass-vaccinations-and-stadium-quarantine

Edited by URMySunshine
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I am reading the report on the WHO mission to China from 16-24 Feb:

 

The good

 

At the individual level, the Chinese people have reacted to this outbreak with courage and conviction. They have accepted and adhered to the starkest of containment measures – whether the suspension of public gatherings, the month-long ‘stay at home’ advisories or prohibitions on travel. Throughout an intensive 9-days of site visits across China, in frank discussions from the level of local community mobilizers and frontline
health care providers to top scientists, Governors and Mayors, the Joint Mission was struck by the sincerity and dedication that each brings to this COVID-19 response.

 

The bad

 

While the scale and impact of China’s COVID-19 operation has been remarkable, it has also highlighted areas for improvement in public health emergency response capacity.
These include overcoming any obstacles to act immediately on early alerts, to massively scale-up capacity for isolation and care, to optimize the protection of frontline health care workers in all settings, to enhance collaborative action on priority gaps in knowledge and tools, and to more clearly communicate key data and developments internationally

 

Take away point for rest of the world:

 

Much of the global community is not yet ready, in mindset and materially, to implement the measures that have been employed to contain COVID-19 in China.
These are the only measures that are currently proven to interrupt or minimize transmission chains in humans. Fundamental to these measures is extremely proactive surveillance to immediately detect cases, very rapid diagnosis and immediate case isolation, rigorous tracking and quarantine of close contacts, and an exceptionally high degree of population understanding and acceptance of these measures.

Edited by URMySunshine
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