WORLDWIDE HEALTH ALERT - COVID-19 UPDATE

Updated on 26 May 2020


The Situation: As of Tuesday, 26 May, there are 5,543,439 total COVID-19 cases worldwide. This data includes 379,157 deaths and 2,266,394 recoveries. A total of 188 countries are reporting confirmed cases.


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


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

  • Spain call on EU partners to establish common rules for borders and reestablishing travel with the Schengen Area.

  • Germany planning to extend social distancing until 29 June, such as groups of 10 people or less.

Eurasia

  • Russia reports record daily death toll over past 24-hours with 174 new deaths. 8,915 new cases officially reported Tuesday as well.

Asia

  • India reports its biggest jump in cases for the 7th consecutive day with 6,535 new cases, pushing total over 146,000. Majority of cases concentrated in neighboring states in central India: Maharshtra (Mumbai there has 1/5 of all of India’s cases & hospitals are struggling with capacity) and Gujarat.

  • Malaysia reported 187 new cases, illegal migrants in detention centers accounting for most of them. No new deaths.

  • Taiwan is set to lift ban on mass gatherings beginning 7 June.

  • Hong Kong set to lift remaining business restrictions this Friday, to include karaoke parlors, nightclubs and bath houses. Hong Kong has only reported one new locally transmitted case in the past four weeks.

o Public transport from the airport to resume 1 June.

o Restrictions on non-resident entry to the territory via Hong Kong International Airport to expire 18 June.

  • Singapore reports 383 new cases Tuesday, also claims fewer tests being conducted as part of the drop in reported cases.

  • South Korea requires masks to be worn on public transportation – including taxis and all domestic or international flights – starting Wednesday.

  • Japan lifted the state of emergency that was still in place for the last 5 prefectures, including Tokyo, on Monday.

  • China reported 7 new cases Monday, 11 on Sunday. National Health Commission reports that all were imported.

Middle East

  • Saudi Arabia to loosen curfew starting Thursday everywhere, but Mecca.

  • 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

  • Africa reports almost 4,000 new cases in past 24 hours pushing continent’s total to 115,346, death toll stands at 3,471, recoveries at 46,426. South Africa continues to be worst-hit country with 23,600 cases. Egypt has the most deaths with 783.

  • 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 Prime Minister Morrison says borders won’t open “anytime soon”, though travel between New Zealand is still in talks.

o 6 of 48 crew members on a cargo ship from United Arab Emirates tested positive and are currently in quarantine. Ship docked at the west coast port of Fremantle on Friday. As yet undecided as to what to do with the 42 remaining crew members.


South/Central America

  • Brazil jumps Russia and now reports the second highest number of bases in the world behind the U.S. with almost 375,000 cases. The death toll jumped by 807 in the past 24 hours for a total of 23,473. 11,687 new cases officially reported in same time period.

  • Mexico – analysis by individual researchers claim that 8,072 more deaths have been registered in the first 5 months of 2020 in Mexico City than the averages during the same time period over the previous four years. Health officials have acknowledged that the true death toll from coronavirus is higher than what’s being reported, but difficult to establish due to low testing rate.

  • 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 in April.

  • 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

  • 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 1,669,040 confirmed cases, 98,426 total deaths and 379,157 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 18 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.

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.

  • 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:

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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