Saturday, February 29, 2020

Corona Med Talks Around the Globe

Corona Med Talks Around the Globe

Dr K K Aggarwal
President CMAAO< HCFI and Past national President IMA

29th Feb 2020: JAMA:
1. The virus, which spread from a single city to a whole country in only 30 days, has 2.3% overall.

2. The age distribution shows that most of the cases (87%) occurred in patients aged 30-79 years, while 10% were in patients 29 years and younger and 3% at 80 years and older.

3. While there were 300 cases and 5 deaths with SARS before the Chinese government reported it to the World Health Organization, there were only 27 cases and no deaths with COVID-19 before it was reported to that agency.

4. A major goal, is to buy enough time for scientific research, hopefully before the disease has become too widespread.

5. Iran's COVID-19 situation continued to worsen, with 34 deaths now reported (and a case fatality rate of nearly 10%)

6. Italy's government decried an "epidemic of misinformation" and tried to reassure the public that "only 0.1% of the country is involved" in the outbreak.

7. Summer Olympics in Tokyo, scheduled to begin in late July, may be called off.

8. Japan's leaders are asking all schools in the country to close for several weeks -- to the consternation of health experts who noted that children appear to be the group least vulnerable to COVID-19.

9. Switzerland has cancelled its biggest sports event, a ski marathon that normally attracts 14,000 participants, which was to be held March 8

10. Religious pilgrims are now "temporarily" barred from Saudi Arabia, no matter where they come from.

11. Australia has contingency plans to quarantine people in stadiums and order mass vaccinations if COVID-19 becomes widespread there.

12. In China, some airlines have restored some international flights as virus spread in the country seems to be waning

13. If the disease begins to spread in communities, containment may no longer be a realistic goal and response efforts likely will need to transition to various mitigation strategies, which could include isolating ill people at home, closing schools and encouraging telework, the officials write.

Medscape: Should travelers avoid parts of the world near coronavirus hotspots?

1. The prevailing advice of national authorities is to avoid Hubei province - epicenter of an outbreak that has now infected 80,000 people worldwide - and to reduce Chinese travel to the bare minimum.

2. Once inside China, Swiss travelers for example are urged by their government to avoid large gatherings and "cough or sneeze into a tissue, or use the crook of your arm." France tells its nationals not to eat raw meat or visit animal markets. The Spanish Foreign Ministry also urges against contact with animals in China and suggests making sure that you stay at least one metre away from the next person.

3. For travelers to Italy - the Dutch government recommends that its citizens avoid areas already locked down by local authorities and only travel to parts of the wider Lombardy region around the closed-off towns if necessary. The Finnish Foreign Ministry advice on Italy is simply to "take special care."

Differences also emerge in the advice to travelers on their return from an affected area.

Germany's main authority for infectious diseases tells those returning with symptoms from outbreak regions in Italy to see a doctor and call prior to their visit. But France asks such people not to visit the doctor but to call emergency services.

Britain urges its nationals to "self-isolate" at home if they have been to the areas quarantined by Italy whether or not they have symptoms. The Danish Health Authority currently stipulates no routine quarantine or isolation of people who have travelled to China or other places hit by the outbreak.

4. Turkey advises against all but essential travel to China but has not yet issued travel advice on Italy.

5. Nigeria has a voluntary two-week self-quarantine in place for all passengers arriving from China or any country with "a major outbreak." Guidance for returning air passengers says "try to avoid" going out but wear a mask if you do.

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