WORLDWIDE HEALTH ALERT - COVID-19 UPDATE

Updated on 13 April 2020


The Situation:

As of Monday, 13 April, there are 1,864,629 confirmed COVID-19 cases worldwide – over 240,500 more cases than Friday. This data includes 115,286 deaths and 440,922 recoveries. A total of 185 countries are reporting confirmed cases.

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.

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.



Europe

  • Italy reports lowest new death toll since 19 March, number of patients in ICU also continues to decline.

  • Spain on Monday reported 3,477 new infections and 517 deaths continuing downward trend seen in the country. Also Monday thousands of factory, construction and office workers went back to work following 2-week ‘hibernation’. Restrictions on bars, restaurants, hotels, sports centers, shops and leisure activities all remain in place. Nationwide lockdown remains in place.

  • France expected to see announcement of another extension of the nationwide lockdown Monday evening from President Macron. Death toll rose to 14,393 as of Sunday evening.

  • U.K.’s Boris Johnson leaves hospital Sunday, though will not yet return to work. Britain’s death toll climbs over 10,000. Mortality rate could be highest in Europe.

  • Russia reported its highest daily numbers Monday with over 2,550 new cases pushing the total over 18,000. Death toll is at least 148.

- China steps up restrictions along land border with Russia after claiming 100s of travelers from Russia have brought the virus back into China.


Oceania

  • Australia only sees 33 new cases on Monday in smallest daily increase in a month after enforcing strict travel bans over Easter weekend.

  • New Zealand sees only 15 new cases.

  • No immediate plans to lift restrictions as “battle with this virus is far from over”.


Asia/ Southeast Asia

  • The WHO warned that the pandemic is “far from over” in Asia.

  • China reports highest number of new cases in 5 weeks with 108, all but 10 of which were imported and nearly half of those in Heilongjiang province bordering Russia. Also reported 61 asymptomatic cases.

  • Japan’s Hokkaido island declares a second state of emergency Sunday as second wave of infections begins. Stay at home orders had been lifted on 19 March and schools reopened. Last week’s double-digit jump in infections has officials on alert. Schools have been closed again until 6 May and nonessential trips outside the home have been discouraged.

- Tokyo’s case numbers push past 2,000

  • India’s nationwide lockdown to end on 14 April, though some, like state of Punjab have extended through the end of April.


Middle East

  • New cases and death tolls rose across the Middle East Monday

  • Iran – still the hardest-hit – reported 1,617 new cases and 111 deaths

  • Oman reported 128 new case

  • Morocco reported 85 new cases and 2 new deaths

  • The question of what to do about usual Ramadan celebrations and gatherings has been raised when the Islamic holy month begins in late April.

  • As of right now curfews and near-total lockdowns have been imposed across much of the region.

  • “Fake news” heavily punishable with fines of even jail time. Journalists in Iraq, Egypt and Turkey challenging the numbers reported by the government have been punished.

  • 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 sees a wave of crime since 27 March lockdown was implemented with increases in gender-based violence, vandalism and robbery – 148 have been arrested as a result. The country reported 2,173 confirmed cases as of Monday morning and 25 deaths.

  • 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.


South/Central America

  • Brazil reports 22,318 cases as of Monday am with close to 1,000 deaths as President Bolsonaro pushes back at social distancing and downplays the virus as “a little cold”.

U.S.

  • U.S. cases rose to 557,663 confirmed cases, 22,116 total deaths and 41,871 recovered.

- U.S. is the epicenter of the outbreak, but has seen numbers start to stabilize in NY and other hard-hit areas over past couple of days.

- Death toll decline over past several days: Sunday with 1,557, Saturday had 1,877 and Friday’s total was 2,000.

  • 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. Compared to the 2017-2018 flu season, which killed 60,000 in the U.S., stating that this virus is “clearly worse”. 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 8 April 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.

- 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

- 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.

* 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.

- 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

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

- 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:

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

- 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

  • Muscle Aches in some cases also being reported

  • 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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