US, Australia, Thailand report first coronavirus deaths



US, Australia, Thailand report first coronavirus deaths


March 2 ------ China reported a fresh spike in coronavirus infections on Sunday, as President Donald Trump urged calm after the US, Australia, and Thailand registered their first fatalities. The virus has spread to more than 60 countries around the globe, prompting the World Health Organization to raise its risk assessment to its highest level. The global risk level has been raised because of, first, the “difficulty in identifying cases due to non-specific symptoms and the potential of undetected transmission,” and second, the “potential for major impact on healthcare systems in some affected and potentially affected countries,” WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Twitter. He also cited the “spread of the new coronavirus and countries’ capacity to respond” as the basis for raising the risk level and said WHO risk assessments have been shared with public health authorities, including through the International Health Regulations Event Information Site.


The global risk level has been raised because of, first, the “difficulty in identifying cases due to non-specific symptoms and the potential of undetected transmission,” and second, the “potential for major impact on healthcare systems in some affected and potentially affected countries,” WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Twitter. He also cited the “spread of the new coronavirus and countries’ capacity to respond” as the basis for raising the risk level and said WHO risk assessments have been shared with public health authorities, including through the International Health Regulations Event Information Site.


Worldwide, nearly 3,000 people have been killed and about 87,000 infected since the virus was first detected late last year in the central Chinese city of Wuhan. China on Sunday reported 573 new infections, the highest figure in a week after a dip. All but three of them were in Hubei province, of which Wuhan is the capital. While the numbers in China are still far lower than the huge daily increases reported during the first two weeks of February, COVID-19 has spread rapidly across borders, with South Korea, Italy, and Iran emerging as hotspots.


South Korea, which has the most infected people outside China, reported 376 new cases on Sunday, bringing its total to 3,526. The US, Australia, and Thailand reported their first deaths caused by the coronavirus, while the Trump administration expanded travel restrictions, including advisories barring travel to parts of Italy and South Korea most affected by the outbreak. Washington State health officials said the man who died was in his 50s. In Australia, a 78-year-old man died in a Perth hospital after being quarantined aboard the Diamond Princess Cruise ship, a local health official said. Thailand said a 35-year-old retail worker passed away in a Bangkok suburb.


On Sunday, China reported 35 new deaths — the lowest in three days — and 573 more cases for Feb. 29, with 570 of the fresh infections in Hubei. South Korea added 376 more cases, taking the total to 3,526. Leaders in Europe, the Middle East, and the Americas rolled out bans on big gatherings, and stricter travel restrictions as cases of the new coronavirus spread around the world. Ecuador on Saturday reported its first case, in a woman who had traveled from Madrid, while Mexico reported four cases, all in people who had visited Italy. Brazilian officials confirmed that country’s second case, a patient in São Paulo who recently visited Italy.


Luxembourg on Saturday announced its first case of infection by the new coronavirus: a man who recently returned from Italy, Health Minister Paulette Lenert told reporters. The man in his 40s returned to Luxembourg “at the beginning of the week” and, after “more recently” exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms, had a test that confirmed the disease, she said. A second test is being carried out in the Netherlands and the results should be known on Sunday, she added. The patient was isolated in a Luxembourg hospital and his family members were in quarantine, the minister said, adding that the procedures had “gone as planned” for this scenario.


As governments worldwide stepped up efforts to halt the spread of the virus, France announced a temporary ban on public gatherings with more than 5,000 people in confined spaces. Switzerland said it is banning events expected to draw more than 1,000 people.


Source: mb.com.ph