WORLDWIDE HEALTH ALERT - COVID-19

We are closely tracking the re-opening of international travel and the changing restrictions around the world. This is a period of significant differences between international destinations with respect to travel impact. Globally, we have surpassed 7.9 million total confirmed cases. We have also noted that 48% of confirmed cases have recovered – increasing 3% points since 8 June. Of the reported closed cases (4.3 million) 10% have died. Of the current active cases (3.7 million) 1% are listed as serious or critical (over 54,500 cases).

We are closely watching locations where large gatherings and demonstrations recently occurred to determine any second and third order effects to the spread of COVID-19.

We continue to recommend telework for employees wherever possible, adhering to social distancing and applying aggressive preventive measures (washing, cleanliness, ensuring anyone with symptoms or who feels ill does not join gatherings or come to work etc.). Eliminate non-essential travel and encourage employees and visitors to apply social distancing.

We strongly encourage all leaders and individuals to comprehensively plan for return to work with integrated risk management protocols and practices and avoid rushing to failure.

Notable Statistics:

  • 7,944,236 total cases across 188 countries globally – up from 7,036,623 cases in 188 countries on 8 June (907,613 case increase from 8 June)

  • 3,796,719 recoveries (48% of total cases) – up from 3,155,088 on 8 June

  • 434,060 deaths (5.5% of total cases)– up from 403,267 on 8 June

  • Social distancing and shelter in place directives are increasing and easing across the globe (location dependent)

The Situation:

On 1 June, the WHO warned of risks of “immediate second peak” as lockdowns are eased, and urges U.S. and Europe to step up testing and tracking measures.

Experts are concerned that cooler weather patterns beginning in the Southern Hemisphere could possibly trigger a more intense transmission of Covid-19. Saying it is “very likely” that the virus will show a similar seasonal pattern to other coronaviruses and could be able to transmit more efficiently due to people changing lifestyle patterns (i.e. indoors more).

Countries around the world beginning to ease lockdowns as daily infections and deaths slow while some are continuing to maintain and/or increase restrictions.

Vaccine trials are under way in the U.S., Europe and China, but will take 12-18 months to be fully developed and released to the public. Officials say more than half dozen vaccine programs are in the clinical phase and over 80 are in preliminary phase.

Researchers suggest social distancing measures might be necessary into 2022 without an effective treatment or vaccine. Globally, countries – and in the U.S. state governors – begin to outline plans to restart their economies. Public health officials around the world say the only way to keep the death toll from growing quickly is to extend lockdowns.



Europe

  • European countries beginning to reopen – largely within Schengen area – though restrictions still in place for travelers from Asia, U.S., Middle East and Latin America.

  • Spain to open up to foreign travel on 1 July.

  • According to Prime Minister Johnson, Britain is schedule to lift some of its lockdown measures on 4 July.

  • England’s shops to reopen Monday with limits on number of customers and social distancing restrictions.

  • Finland withdraws emergency powers as cases drop.

  • France to reopen restaurants in Paris Monday.

  • Germany to release coronavirus contact tracking app this week.

  • Norway to stop using Covid-19 track and trace app and delete all data collected so far after the Norwegian Data Protection Agency raised concerns.

  • Montenegro reports first case since 5 May, in a person who came from neighboring Bosnia. Prime Minister Markovic had just declared Montenegro Covid-free on 24 May.

  • Greece reopens main airports to more international flights in hopes of restarting its vital tourism sector. About 20% of Greece’s economic output comes from tourism and it will be key to country’s recovery. Coronavirus tests upon arrival and 14-day quarantine depending on test results for those arriving from “high-risk” airports, some restrictions remain in place.

Eurasia

  • Russia reported 8,246 new cases in past 24 hours, pushing total over 536,000. Death toll climbs over 7,000.

Asia

  • Thailand has reported no locally transmitted cases in 21 days, all new cases have been imported.

  • India reported over 11,000 new cases for 3rd consecutive day. New Delhi may start using train carriages for hospital wards as a panel of experts say Delhi will need at least 15,000 hospital beds by the end of June – it currently has about 9,000.

  • At least 55 journalists were targeted during lockdown in India (25 March – 31 May) for reporting on the coronavirus crisis. The faced arrests, physical assault, threats and property destruction.

  • Lockdown measures reimposed for Chennai, Thiruvallur, Chengalpet & Kanchipuram districts beginning 19 June due to surge in cases.

  • South Korea reported less than 40 new cases for a 2nd day in a row, while keeping an eye on Seoul metropolitan area. 37 new cases on Monday, 24 were local infections and all but two of those were in the Seoul area. New cases clustered around small churches, door-to-door sales and a table tennis center.

  • Also reporting a rise in numbers where origin of cases is unknown, up 1.8% to 9.2% of cases over first two weeks of June.

  • Japan has not decided to ease entry bans yet, but will do so in stages once a decision is made.

  • Singapore to allow small gatherings of up to 5 people, shops and restaurants to reopen, starting 19 June. Social distancing requirements to remain in place.

  • A concerning spike in cases in Beijing as the city’s largest wholesale market, the Xinfadi market in southeastern Beijing, has become the center of a new cluster.

  • China reported 57 new cases on Sunday with 39 locally transmitted and 36 of which were in Beijing, the city’s biggest jump in two months.

  • The Xinfadi market was closed Saturday in response to the new cases, as well as surround residential areas and local schools and kindergartens. Companies were ordered late Sunday to supervise 14-day quarantines for all employees who’d visited the Xinfadi market.

  • Another market, the Yuquandong market in northwest Haidan District, was shut down Sunday after staffers tested positive for the coronavirus, all with links to the Xinfadi market.

  • Ten more neighborhoods in Beijing were sealed off as the city begins conducting mass testing.

  • Source of the outbreak is unclear.


Middle East

  • According to WHO and UN children’s agency UNICEF the disruption of essential nutrition and health services in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) could kill over 50,000 children under 5 in the region. A 40% increase over pre-Covid-19 numbers.

  • Pakistan saw a large spike in cases over the course of last week according to government data. Last week saw a 39% rise in cases from 103,671 to 144,478; deaths rose by 31.4% to 2,787.

  • Country’s planning minister says 1.2 million cases by end of July possible if people don’t adhere to hygiene and social distancing measures.

Africa

  • Ghana’s Prime Minister confirmed to contracted Covid-19

  • 17 April: WHO Africa – a tentative projection shows that cases in Africa could hit as many as 10 million in 3-6 months.

Oceania

  • New Zealand opens up rugby games to public and full crowds attended games over the weekend. The country was declared Covid-free.

South/Central America

  • Latin America continues to see surge in cases as lockdowns drag out, economies struggle and protests begin to break out over job cuts and hunger. Countries struggle to contain the outbreak as winter months loom.

  • Mexico reported 4,147 new cases Sunday as total edges towards 147,000 and death toll pushes past 17,000.

  • Brazil reported 612 more coronavirus-related deaths in past 24 hours, total at 43,332. 17,110 more positive cases reported as well.

  • Unrest in prisons over conditions have been reported in several countries across Latin America.

Canada

  • U.S. and Canada agree to keep border closed to non-essential travel through 22 June, at least.

U.S.

  • U.S. cases rose to 2,094,205 confirmed cases, 115,732 total deaths and 561,816 recovered.

  • U.S. regional data showing that cases are slowing in the Northeast and Midwest, while rising in South and West. Increased testing is partially the cause, while hospitalizations are on the rise in NC, AZ and TX. FL does not report hospitalizations. Biggest concern is that people are disregarding social distancing and not wearing masks as reopenings progress.

  • 21 April: U.S. CDC director Dr. Robert Redfield, warns a second wave of coronavirus during next fall/winter’s flu season could be deadly and states should start preparing now.

  • Federal stay-at-home measures and social distancing guidelines were extended through 30 April.



Please note changes to the following chart: Numbers in parentheses reflect ranking of country in the previous report on 8 June. New countries to reach the top 25 and data are in red. New numbers are in red and numbers from last report are in black.


Worldwide Total Cases, Recoveries, and Deaths:



Travel Effects:

  • Many countries have urged citizens to reconsider travel or avoid nonessential travel

  • Specialized quarantines based on needs per country.

  • Many countries are experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks and implementing travel restrictions and mandatory quarantines, closing borders, and prohibiting non-citizens from entry with little advance notice.

  • Airlines have cancelled many international flights and several cruise operators have suspended operations or cancelled trips.

  • Current CDC Travel Alerts for Covid-19:

  • Level 3 – Avoid all nonessential travel – Global COVID-19 Pandemic Notice – Widespread Ongoing Transmission - LINK

  • See LINK for all current travel alerts by country


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)

  • Sore throat

  • Chills sometimes with repeated shaking

  • Headache

  • Fatigue

  • Muscle aches or pain

  • Diarrhea, nausea, and/or vomiting

  • Loss of smell and/or taste (uncommon)

  • Confusion, stroke-like symptoms, and/or seizures (rare)

  • 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, Northern Italy, South Korea, certain areas in the United States and other notable hotspots where transmission is high or on the rise across the globe.

  • 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

  • Large scale gatherings should be avoided

  • 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

  • Some airlines and airports may require use of a mask at the facility and while aboard the aircraft. Confirm with your airline current policies in place.

  • 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, entry/exit requirements and restrictions, etc.)

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

Affected Travelers and others:

All travelers have the potential for exposure.

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