WORLDWIDE HEALTH ALERT - COVID-19 UPDATE

Updated on 1 May 2020


The Situation: As of Friday, 1 May, there are 3,276,373 confirmed COVID-19 cases worldwide – almost 137,000 more cases than Wednesday. This data includes 233,998 deaths and 1,024,529 recoveries. A total of 187 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. 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.


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

  • France’s national lockdown to end 11 May, but President Macron warns that life will not be “normal”. Traditional Labour Day protests were canceled this year due to the outbreak which usually see thousands of participants.

  • Spain reports 281 more deaths in past 24 hours and 268 the day before. Death toll approaching 25,000.

  • German authorities to reopen playgrounds, churches and museums and zoos as country begins to move out of lockdown. Added 1,639 new cases, pushing total over 160,000.

  • Hungary to ease restrictions in countryside on Monday, while the capital – which claims 80% of the death toll – remains under restrictions for the time being. Prime Minister Orban warns country to prepare for a possible second wave in October/November.

Eurasia

  • Russia sees record number of new cases for 3rd consecutive day with 7,933 in past 24 hours. Total pushes past 114,000.


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.

  • Malaysia to allow most businesses to reopen 4 May with some conditions.

  • South Korea reports 9 new cases Friday, 8 of which came from overseas. Only one new death reported.

  • Japan to extend the state of emergency Monday for another 30 days.

  • Philippines to start relaxing restrictions in areas with few Covid-19 cases as number of infections and deaths continue to rise. Reported 284 new cases and 11 deaths, totals at 8,772 cases and 579 deaths.

  • China reports 12 new cases by end of day Thursday, 6 of those imported. Countrywide about 94% of total cases have recovered.

o Hubei province will lower its provincial emergency response level starting 2 May from the highest to the 2nd highest.

o WHO expresses hopes that China will invite them to help investigate animal origins of the virus.


Middle East

  • Iran’s published death toll rises to 6,091 with 63 new deaths in past 24 hours. Total number of cases reaches 95,646 with 2,899 of those in critical condition.

  • Pakistan’s speaker of National Assembly, Asad Qaiser, tested positive for Covid-19 after hosting an iftar dinner to celebrate Ramadan. Had met with Prime Minister Imran Khan and other high officials within the week.

  • Afghanistan could be facing a “health disaster” according to a U.S. watchdog.

  • 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

  • South Africa begins to ease lockdown, allowing restaurants to do takeout and deliveries and some manufacturing to resume. Some outside activities will be allowed during designated morning hours.

  • 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

  • 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 1,425 new cases and 127 deaths. Total number of cases close to 20,000 and 1,859 deaths.

  • 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 29 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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