WORLDWIDE HEALTH ALERT - COVID-19 UPDATE

Updated on 4 May 2020


The Situation: As of Monday, 4 May, there are 3,524,429 confirmed COVID-19 cases worldwide – over 248,000 more cases than Friday. This data includes 247,971 deaths and 1,133,079 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:


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 health minister warns that developing a vaccine could take years.

  • Spain’s death toll adds 164 Monday for a total of 25,428. Case number total stands at 217,466, 2nd only to U.S.

Eurasia

  • Russia reports 10,581 new cases, a slight decrease from Sunday’s record high of 10,633 cases (along with 58 deaths). Saturday the country saw 9,623 new cases. Total now stands at 145,268 cases with 1,356 deaths.

  • Ukraine had extended its lockdown until 22 May, but will ease some restrictions starting 11 May opening parks and recreation areas and allowing some shops to reopen.


Asia

  • Malaysia reported 122 new cases on Sunday – highest number since mid-April. Monday businesses and restaurants were told they could reopen with requirements on social distancing, hygiene and contact tracing. Federal authorities are encouraging people to work form home and some state governments are saying they will not ease their restrictions following the recent spike in numbers.

  • Bangladesh reports 688 new cases Monday pushing total over 10,000. Daily case numbers have been increasing over past several days. Death toll stands at 182.

  • South Korea to reopen schools starting 13 May. Number of domestic cases have fallen close to zero recently, but health authorities still calling for vigilance. Reported 8 new cases Monday – all imported.

  • Singapore reports 573 new cases Monday, majority of which are still foreign workers. Community spread numbers are still low. Total number of cases is at 18,778 and only 18 deaths.

  • Japan extends nationwide state of emergency through the end of May as the country still faces rising cases. PM Abe repeated calls for people to refrain from crossing prefectural borders and reduce person-to-person contact in prefectures seeing high case numbers. The state of emergency will be re-assessed on 14 May and could be eased in areas with low caseloads.

  • India’s case numbers continue to rise despite lockdown measures. Reported 2,644 new cases Sunday – highest daily numbers to date.

o Concerns over virus spreading in India’s severely overcrowded prison system (about 17% over capacity). There are no official numbers right now of how many inmates are infected

  • China reported 3 new cases – all returning from overseas. No new deaths.

o Wuhan schools to reopen Wednesday for some students


Middle East

  • Case numbers in Iran continue to climb as total approaches 100,000. 74 more deaths in the past 24 hours brings the total to 6,277 in the country.

o Mosques in lower case areas to be allowed open again.

  • 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

  • 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

  • New Zealand reported no new cases for the first time since mid-March.

o Australia and New Zealand to discuss possibility of opening up travel between the two countries.

South/Central America

  • Brazilian president Bolsonaro attacked courts and Congress in speech to a rally of hundreds of right-wing supporters Sunday. Coronavirus cases in the country climb over 101,000.

o Prison authorities say 10 guards and 5 inmates were injured in a prison riot in Manus. 7 guards were held hostage for 5 hours before the situation was brought under control. Protest was against suspension of all family visits and the poor prison conditions amid the outbreak.

  • UN’s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has called for an investigation into a prison riot in western Venezuela that left 75 injured and 46 dead. Incident happened Friday at the Los Llanos penitentiary in Portuguesa state and occurred shortly after prison officials barred family members from bringing food to prisoners.

  • 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 numbers climbs by over 3,000 over the weekend. Total now stands at 23,471 confirmed cases and 2,154 deaths.

  • 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 1,158,341 confirmed cases, 67,686 total deaths and 180,152 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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