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COVID-19 Update

Updated on 16 March 2020

The Situation:

As of Monday, 16 March, there are almost 170,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases worldwide. These numbers include 6,513 deaths and 77,257 recoveries. A total of 148 countries are reporting confirmed cases as numbers of cases and deaths continue to change rapidly.

For the first time since the outbreak the number of deaths outside of mainland China surpassed those recorded in China. Additionally, the total number of cases outside China has surpassed those reported in mainland China. China is continuing to see a drop in daily cases reported, while the WHO noted the epicenter of the outbreak had moved to Europe.

In Europe there were significant increases in cases reported over the weekend with Spain, Germany, and France almost doubling cases and Italy increasing by almost 10,000 new cases. Germany has closed some of its borders and Spain and France have placed strict limits on public gatherings. Additionally, the Czech Republic, Cyprus, Denmark, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Slovakia have banned entry to all foreigners.

Sunday proved to carry heavy death tolls for several countries as Spain reported 97, France 29 and the U.K. set a single-day record with 14. Italy had a devastating 24 hour period in which 3,590 new cases were reported and 368 deaths.

The U.S. CDC recommends limiting gatherings to no more than 50 people for the next 8 weeks. Countrywide schools saw closures and cancelations of large events, gatherings, church services, sporting events, concerts and, in many large cities, restrictions on bars and restaurants. NYC, with the nation’s largest school district, closed the city’s schools and ordered all movie theaters, restaurants, and bars to close except for takeout options.

CDC clarifies that Covid-19 in Europe Travel Notice includes the following countries:

  • Austria

  • Belgium

  • Czech Republic

  • Denmark

  • Estonia

  • Finland

  • France

  • Germany

  • Greece

  • Hungary

  • Iceland

  • Italy

  • Latvia

  • Liechtenstein

  • Lithuania

  • Luxembourg

  • Malta

  • Netherlands

  • Norway

  • Poland

  • Portugal

  • Slovakia

  • Slovenia

  • Spain

  • Sweden

  • Switzerland

  • Monaco

  • San Marino

  • Vatican City


Entire country remains on lockdown as it saw significant increases in new cases and deaths over the weekend. The number of infected has reached over 24,700 with 1,809 deaths reported.

South Korea

South Korea continues to see number of new cases reported slowing with 74 new cases reported on Monday, slightly lower than the day before.

Daegu and Cheongdo are “special care zones”

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

  • City of Gyeongsan (just east of Daegu) declared third “special care zone” Thursday with 282 total cases, the majority of which are linked to the church in Daegu.


Iran continues to see sharp increases in new cases being reported as well as deaths. At least 12 Iranian politicians and officials, both sitting and former, have now died of the illness, and 13 more have been infected and are either in quarantine or being treated. Currently, the number of confirmed cases stands at almost 14,000 with 724 deaths. *Monday reports by state officials coming in add another 129 deaths over the past 24 hours putting the death toll at 853


New measures announced between 12 and 14 March to prevent the spread of Covid-19 include, the closure of all schools, crèches and universities effective from Monday 16 March until further notice; prohibiting gatherings of more than 100 people; recommended for people over 70 years of age and/or those with existing health conditions to stay at home as much as possible; among others.


Prime Minister Sanchez announced Sunday an absolute quarantine as cases almost doubled over the weekend. Currently, the number of confirmed cases stands at 7,844 with 292 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.

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

  • Specialized quarantines based on needs per country.

  • Department of State – Global Health Advisory Level 3 – Reconsider Travel

  • The Department of State advises U.S. citizens to reconsider travel abroad due to the global impact of COVID-19. Many areas throughout the world are now experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks and taking action that may limit traveler mobility, including quarantines and border restrictions. Even countries, jurisdictions, or areas where cases have not been reported may restrict travel without notice.

  • Travel Ban on Europe – to take affect Friday, March 13 at midnight, no travel from Schengen Area countries.

  • From DHS: These countries, known as the Schengen Area, include: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland. This does not apply to legal permanent residents, (generally) immediate family members of U.S. citizens, and other individuals who are identified in the proclamation. LINK

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. The virus might spread during the incubation period – which is believed to be from 1 to 14 days. Be on the lookout for the following symptoms:

  • High fever

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath

  • Cough (usually dry) 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

  • Travelers who return from infected areas should self-quarantine

  • Practice social distancing at the workplace and in public spaces

  • Consider work from home arrangements for employees in locations where the virus is spreading or if employees must transit through those areas

  • Employees who feel ill or who have flu-like, respiratory or other symptoms should consider self-quarantine and or stay at home instead of attending office or other functions

  • Weigh the risks of conducting large scale gatherings where the virus is located and the potential for attendees to transit through higher risk areas

  • 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

  • Confirm travel schedule is not impacted by the coronavirus (including quarantines, which may be individually-imposed, visit/visa restrictions etc.)

  • Ensure the validity of all visas prior to travel as this could be subject to restrictions and changes

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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