WORLDWIDE HEALTH ALERT - COVID-19 UPDATE

Updated on 11 May 2020


The Situation: As of Monday, 11 May, there are 4,136,056 confirmed COVID-19 cases worldwide – over 450,000 more cases than Wednesday, 6 May. This data includes 283,478 deaths and 1,422,984 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

  • U.K. lockdown to remain in place until 1 June, as it wants to “slowly” and “cautiously” reopen. Monday those who cannot telecommute are encouraged to go to work and starting Wednesday people will be allowed outside for unlimited amount of exercise. Social distancing measures remain in place.

  • France prepares to open Monday as ICU cases have dropped to 2,776 from its peak at 7,148 on 8 April.

  • Germany reports an increase in new cases after social restrictions were loosened, reporting 667 new cases and a reproduction rate of 1.1 – anything over 1 mean number of infections indicates growth.

  • Spain’s daily death toll continues a downward trend with 123 reported on Monday, 143 on Sunday and 179 on Saturday.

Eurasia

  • Russia reports a new daily record number of cases on Monday with 11,652 (after 11,012 on Sunday); pushing its overall total up to 221,344 and passing France, Germany, and Italy since last Wednesday’s report.

o A fire at a Moscow hospital has killed 1 and forced the evacuation of about 200 others.

Asia

  • Malaysia extends its movement and business curbs until 9 June (another 4 weeks), which includes strict hygiene practices and social distancing requirements.

  • South Korea sees its biggest single-day jump in a month with 35 new cases. 29 of which have been linked to a nightclub, bar and disco district in Seoul. 4,000 have been tested and health officials are seeking out another 3,000 for testing.

  • India to gradually restart train operations starting Tuesday. Also reported 4,213 new cases in past 24 hours, its largest single-day increase.

  • Philippines’ number of cases pushes past the 11,000 mark, passes South Korea.

  • Japan – Tokyo reports 15 new cases Monday; its first time below 20 in 42 days.

  • Singapore reports 486 new cases, pushing total to 23,822. Majority of cases are still amongst migrant workers.

  • China reported 14 new cases on Sunday in first double-digit rise in 10 days. 12 of the cases were domestic with 11 of them in Jilin county, which borders North Korea in the northeast. The coronavirus situation in North Korea remains unclear.

o Monday China reported 17 new cases – 5 in Wuhan, 7 imported, the rest were in Jilin

Middle East

  • Pakistan to reopen markets and shops Monday for several days a week, depending on province.

  • Lebanon extends night curfew – 7pm – 5am – as it sees a small spike in cases.

  • Iran locks down Khuzestan province in its southwest – borders Iraq and includes the county of Abadam where cases have spiked due to people not observing social distancing rules. Number of patients has tripled there and hospitalizations saw a 60% increase.

o Meanwhile, Iran is easing restrictions elsewhere to assist an already struggling economy, while also warning of resurgence after reporting 51 new 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

  • Djibouti has plans to begin easing lockdown measures Monday for economic reasons though it has the highest prevalence of cases in Africa.

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

Oceania

  • Australia – about 150 protesters rallied outside Victoria’s state parliament in Melbourne claiming coronavirus outbreak was a government-engineered conspiracy with purpose of controlling the population. 10 were arrested and one police officer was injured.

o New South Wales to start easing lockdown 15 May. State was Australia’s hardest-hit with 45% of all cases and deaths.

South/Central America

  • Brazil’s death toll pushes past 10,000 according to the Health Ministry, but scientists think it could actually be 15-20 times worse due to inability for widespread testing.

  • Mexico saw a spike in cases over the weekend with over 3,500 new confirmed cases since Saturday. Sunday saw 1,562 cases alone and 112 deaths, according to its Health Ministry.

o Mexico’s deputy health minister urged residents over age of 60 or with pre-existing conditions to not wait to seek medical attention.

o Hospitals in Mexico City were reportedly turning away new coronavirus patients by end of last week due to overcrowding. Press agency reports that 26 of 64 hospitals designated to take Covid-19 patients are completely full.

o Health experts warn that actual death toll is likely much higher due to limited nationwide testing and cases going unconfirmed.

  • 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.

  • 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

  • Canada saw one of its lowest daily death toll increases with 2.2% on Sunday.

  • 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 1,332,411 confirmed cases, 79,607 total deaths and 216,169 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 on4 May for comparison. 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.

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.

* 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. 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.

* 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

  • 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


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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