WORLDWIDE HEALTH ALERT - COVID-19 UPDATE

Updated on 29 April 2020


The Situation:

As of Wednesday, 29 April, there are 3,139,415 confirmed COVID-19 cases worldwide – just over 146,000 more cases than Monday. This data includes 218,456 deaths and 947,504 recoveries. A total of 185 countries are reporting confirmed cases. CDC adds six symptoms to Covid-19 list: chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, and new loss of taste or smell. 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


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.

Below is an example of the virus’ progression from inception to reported numbers:

The U.N. Secretary General: “the pandemic is the world’s biggest challenge since World War II” as a U.N. report estimates that 25 million jobs could be lost worldwide. Experts are saying the number of cases and deaths worldwide are “seriously under-counted” due to mild cases that are missed, lack of testing and governments underplaying the pandemic’s impact.

U.N. World Food Programme warns that global hunger could double and the number of people facing acute food insecurity could hit 265 million in the wake of the pandemic.

Europe

  • Germany extends foreign travel warning until 14 June. New case numbers have been increasing. Reported 1,304 new cases and 202 more deaths in past 24 hours.

o Has begun testing vaccine on volunteers

  • Spain reports 325 new deaths, slightly up from 301 yesterday. 2,144 diagnosed cases added to total: 212,917.

  • U.K. PM and fiancée announce birth of healthy baby boy. Both parents have had coronavirus and recovered.

  • Poland to reopen hotels and malls beginning 4 May. Possibly pre-schools on 6 May.

Eurasia

  • Russia’s case total approaches 100,000 after reporting 5,841 new cases in last 24 hours. Death toll added 108 people for a 972 total during same period. Russia claims to have tested some 3.3 million people.

  • Turkey extends school closures through end of May. Close to 115,000 cases and almost 3,000 deaths.


Asia

  • 20 April: Experts worry that Southeast Asia could become next hotspot as it has seen a quick rise in numbers over the past couple weeks. Over 28,000 cases across the region as of Sunday with Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia and Singapore accounting for 87.9% of those cases. Low testing rates in Indonesia and Philippines have raised concerns that tens of thousands are going undetected.

  • Singapore reported 690 new cases, total moves up to 15,641.

  • Indonesia adds 260 more cases, pushing total close to 10,000 and 784 deaths.

  • Japan Prime Minister Abe says 2021 Olympics cannot take place next year unless pandemic is contained.

o Tokyo Governor Koike calls for Japan’s state of emergency to be extended past its current 6 May expiry date.

  • India saw its highest daily jump in deaths as 73 people died Tuesday, pushing death toll to 1,007. Number of cases pushed past 30,000. Majority of cases in and around Mumbai, Pune and capital New Delhi.

  • China reports 22 new cases Tuesday – 21 were imported.

o Beijing municipal government to lower Covid-19 emergency response level Thursday from Level II to I, which will remove quarantine requirements for people arriving the city from low-risk areas of the country.


Middle East

  • Iran’s death toll nears 6,000 as case numbers hit 93,657.

  • Pakistan reports highest daily new case number with 806 on Tuesday and its highest daily death toll with 26. This marks the 2nd consecutive day of reporting deadliest day. Totals stand at 14,885 cases and 327 deaths.

  • 3 March: WHO’s regional director for the eastern Mediterranean calls for countries in the region to “be more aggressive” in testing and tracing efforts


Africa

  • Morocco reporting over 300 cases in jails. Almost 80,000 inmates total in the country. 4,252 total cases and 165 deaths as of today throughout the country.

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

  • 10 March: The WHO says some African countries could peak in next couple weeks, observing that numbers have doubled over past 4 days with concerns over lack of testing.

  • More than half of Africa’s 54 countries have implemented lockdowns, travel ban, curfews or other restrictive measures in efforts to stem the spread of coronavirus. Leaders warn that the continent faces economic collapse if financial assistance isn’t provided to the millions that are out of work.

  • There has been an increase in reports of police and military abuses of civilians. A 13-year-old boy was shot and killed in the Mathare area of northeastern Nairobi, Kenya earlier this week. Other reports coming from Uganda and other countries as well.


Oceania

  • Australia to expand testing with acquirement of 10 million more testing kits from China.

South/Central America

  • Peru – 9 inmates have died in a prison riot in the Castro Castro prison in Lima. Riots broke out after two prisoners died from Covid-19. Two prisoners, five police officers and 60 prison guards were injured.

  • Unrest in prisons over conditions have been reported in several countries across Latin America. 23 were killed in a prison riot in Colombia last month.

  • Mexico reports 1,223 new cases, pushing total to 16,752. 135 more deaths pushed that total up to 1,569. Government says actual number of cases is higher – “significantly” – than confirmed cases.

  • Brazil’s new cases have jumped by over 5,000 per day for past 48 hours. Death toll hits 5,017 after record day with 474 new deaths in last 24 hours.

o The country is also dealing with a deepening political scandal surrounding president Bolsonaro, accused of corruption and meddling in law enforcement – he recently assigned a family friend as head of the federal police. Also, ongoing investigations into the wrongdoings by Bolsonaro’s sons.

o On Monday, Brazil’s Supreme Court approved investigations by top public prosecutor into allegations against Bolsonaro.

  • 24 March: At least 44 attacks against medical workers have been reported in Mexico since mid-March. Mexico is reporting 11,633 confirmed cases and 1,069 deaths.


Canada

  • 20 April: Canada says border restrictions with U.S. will remain in place for some time as both countries battle the virus.


U.S.

  • U.S. cases rose to 1,035,765 confirmed cases, 59,266 total deaths and 142,238 recovered.

  • 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.

  • On April 16, US President Trump’s guidelines for moving out of stay-at-home restrictions suggests that states start reopening businesses, restaurants and others by 1 May or earlier as governors deem appropriate for their state.

  • On April 14, President Trump announced a temporary halt in funding to the World Health Organization until a review can be conducted on the WHO’s initial handling of COVID-19 in China.

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

  • Dr. Fauci says it would “not be surprising” to see 100,000 deaths in U.S. from the coronavirus. High end projections put number of U.S. deaths at around 200,000.


Please note changes to the following chart: Numbers in ( ) reflect ranking of country in the previous report on 24 April for comparison. New countries to reach the top 25 and data are in red. New numbers are inredand numbers from last report are in black.

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 and other hot spots around the globe.

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

  • Specialized quarantines based on needs per country.

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

o 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

o The Department of State advises U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19.

* In countries where commercial departure options remain available, U.S. citizens who live in the United States should arrange for immediate return to the United States, unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period. · Chills sometimes with repeated shaking

· Headache

* U.S. citizens who live abroad should avoid all international travel. 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. If you choose to travel internationally, your travel plans may be severely disrupted, and you may be forced to remain outside of the United States for an indefinite timeframe.

o On March 14, the Department of State authorized the departure of U.S. personnel and family members from any diplomatic or consular post in the world who have determined they are at higher risk of a poor outcome if exposed to COVID-19 or who have requested departure based on a commensurate justification. These departures may limit the ability of U.S. Embassies and consulates to provide services to U.S. citizens.

  • Department of State – Information for Travelers - LINK

o Includes advise for U.S. citizens that are currently abroad with specific information for those in China, Europe and on cruise ships.

o Covid-19 virus related emergency numbers:

* From U.S. or Canada: 1-888-407-4747

* From Overseas: +1 202-501-4444

* Enroll in STEP - LINK

  • Current CDC Travel Alerts for Covid-19:

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

o 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) and/or sore throat

  • Fatigue

  • Chills sometimes with repeated shaking

  • Headache

  • 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

  • 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


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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