COVID-19 Update

Updated on 2 March 2020



The Situation:

As of Monday, 2 March, there are over 89,700 confirmed COVID-19 cases worldwide, These numbers include 3,079 deaths and 45,175 have recovered from the virus. Fourteen countries reported their first cases of the virus since Friday and numbers of cases and deaths are changing rapidly. Currently recovery rates are increasing faster than new case reporting.


The CDC has upgraded to Level 3 Alert for both Italy and Iran, avoid nonessential travel.


Italy

The Italian government-imposed quarantines on 11 communes in the regions in an effort to stem the spread remain in place, as well as banning public gatherings, including sporting events. Numbers of infected have reached nearly 1,700 with 34 deaths reported.


South Korea

The total number of cases in South Korea saw a significant increase as clusters were identified in two southern cities: Daegu and Cheongdo – both have been declared “special case zones”.

  • More than half of South Korea’s cases are in Daegu and centered around members of the same church


Iran

On 28 February, authorities called off Friday prayers in the capitals of 23 of Iran’s 31 provinces, including Tehran and the Shi’ite Muslim holy cities of Qom and Mashhad. On Monday 2 March, one of Iran’s advisors to the Supreme Leader died as a result of the coronavirus. Inconsistent numbers of infected have been reported. Currently the number of confirmed cases stands at 1,501 with 66 deaths as announced by the Deputy Health Minister of Iran on state TV Monday.


Japan

On 26 February, a woman in Japan who works as a tour bus guide tested positive for the second time with COVID-19 weeks after recovering. This woman is the first reinfected case in Japan. Japan totals 256 cases and 6 deaths





Other significant factors for consideration:

  • Experts estimated the actual number of cases could be much higher than what is being officially recorded and reported. If that is true, the mortality rate could be much lower.

  • Men were also disproportionately affected during MERS and SARS outbreaks.

  • Women, in general, have a stronger immune response than men.

  • China accounts for nearly a third of the world’s smokers with more than half of the men smoking compared to just over 2% of China’s women smoking.


Cases in the US

  • There are 7 reported recoveries

  • There are 2 reported deaths, both in Washington State.


Travel Effects:

  • Many countries have urged citizens to reconsider travel or avoid nonessential travel to China and avoid all travel to Hubei.

  • Airlines around the world suspended services to all or some of China

  • Several countries banned foreigners who recently traveled to China and/or are Chinese passport holders and increased health screening measure at ports of entry

  • Chinese nationals restricted from booking international flights out of the country

  • The Chinese government ordered 65 million people in Hubei Province to remain at home in an effort to contain Covid-19, allowing one family member out every three days for food and essentials and in cases of an emergencies. The use of private cars has been banned indefinitely.

  • Specialized quarantines based on needs per country.

Current CDC Travel Alerts for Covid-19:

Level 3 – Avoid all nonessential travel

Level 2 – Practice Enhanced Precautions

Level 1 – Practice usual precautions

Other Destinations with Apparent Community Spread:

  • Community spread means people have been infected with the virus, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected. At this time, the extent of virus spread is not sustained or widespread enough to meet the criteria for a travel notice.

  • Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand


Symptoms to Watch Out For:

Officials say the respiratory disease, is capable of spreading through human-to-human contact, droplets carried through sneezing and coughing, and germs left on inanimate objects. Chinese officials warn that the virus might spread during the incubation period – when a person has the virus but isn’t yet showing symptoms. Incubation period is currently believed to be anywhere from 1 to 14 days. Authorities have advised citizens to be on the lookout for the following symptoms:

  • High fever

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath

  • Cough and/or sore throat

  • Muscle Aches in some cases also being reported

  • Pneumonia (secondary infection)


Mitigating Measures to Apply:

  • Monitor local authorities for updates

  • Avoid travel to or through China (including layovers) and specifically through Wuhan and Hubei province

  • Avoid non-essential travel to areas where the infection is known or spreading rapidly

  • Avoid contact with animals (alive or dead), animal markets, and products that come from animals (such as uncooked meat)

  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water; use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water isn’t available

  • Older travelers and those with underlying health issues may be at higher risk and should speak to their healthcare provider before travel

  • Avoid exposure to those presenting the above symptoms

  • Avoid populated areas and gatherings if you feel ill (if at all possible)

  • Allow extra time for temperature screening at airports worldwide

  • Enroll in a Safe Traveler Program to receive warnings from your preferred embassy

  • Seek medical care immediately if you experience symptoms and have recently traveled to the infected areas; notify your healthcare provider of your recent travel



DISCLAIMER and Hold Harmless

Disclaimer: LSDS™ gathers information from multiple sources and offers insight and perspective to travelers. Sources cannot be validated for accuracy in every instance. Travelers assume all risk associated with their travel and are responsible for the decisions associated with travel and for their own safety. Users of this reference document agree, to hold harmless LSDS™ (LLC) its employees and clients associated with any risk or injury incurred during travel.

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