Coronavirus – International Updates
The novel coronavirus has now been reported in at least 25 countries. The international response has been active in trying to stop the spread of the virus yet the number of infected keeps rising on a daily basis.
So far, the number of deaths by this virus has risen to 636. China has reported over 31,000 infected while more and more countries have started to investigate probable cases.
Almost all the cases have had some sort of direct or indirect exposure to the Chinese city of Wuhan, where the virus is believed to have originated. In this respect, countries of the world have taken up swift and drastic measures to keep their population safe from infection.
In this article, we’ll cover the steps taken by the major countries trying to combat this deadly virus.
Table of Content
As the novel coronavirus spreads, more and more countries are reporting cases confirmed in their borders. International travel is significantly accelerating the rate at which the virus is traveling. The countries affected so far are:
- USA – 12
- UK – 3
- Australia – 14
- Canada – 6
- China – 31,000
- France – 6
- Germany – 13
- Italy – 2
- Spain – 1
- Sweden – 1
- UAE – 5
- Belgium – 1
- Japan – 86
- Singapore – 35
- South Korea – 24
- Thailand – 25
- Taiwan – 16
- Vietnam – 12
Apart from these, countries like India, Sri Lanka, Russia, Cambodia, etc. have also detected cases of coronavirus infection.
China is struggling to combat the coronavirus infection. The total number of infected now stands around 31,000 and the death toll over 600. Most of the cases are in the proximity of Wuhan city in the province of Hubei.
The government has initiated a full scale lockdown of the city, with door-to-door searches and mass quarantines. Moreover, the government of China has been criticized for trying to hide information regarding the initial virus outbreak from the public. Doctor Li Wenliang, who was silenced by the authorities when he tried to expose the virus outbreak, died on February 7 due to the infection, causing public outrage with Chinese social media erupting with profound grief and anger.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), part of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has been the primary organization in the United States leading the response to the coronavirus outbreak.
The measures taken include screening travelers at airports who recently visited the city of Wuhan, the epicenter of the virus, or mainland China, operating quarantine stations for sick patients and tracking potential infections, developing tests to detect and diagnose the virus and broadcasting best practices to the public and encouraging citizens to avoid nonessential travel to China.
Since January 21, the CDC has investigated 337 people in 36 states. Among them, only 12 have been tested as positive, 225 negative and 100 still pending.
A cruise ship in Japan, the Diamond Princess has been the center of attention for having 61 coronavirus positive passengers on board.
The cruise ship was quarantined off the coast of Yokohama with 1,045 crew and 2,666 passengers. The ship was flagged and quarantined after one of the passengers who disembarked in Hong Kong was later tested positive for coronavirus. The 217 passengers who had been in contact with the man, as well as anyone developing symptoms like fever or flu, are being monitored by health officials.
The ship will remain in quarantine for 14 days.
Singapore has raised its coronavirus alert level. The current orange level was last reached during the 2003 SARS outbreak and the 2009 H1N1 swine flu epidemic, which indicates the virus is severe and is easily transmitted between persons.
Singapore has confirmed 33 cases infected with the new coronavirus.
The UK has issued a health advisory that all who are experiencing flu symptoms remain indoors.
The authorities have also given instructions that anyone who has recently returned from Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia or China be vigilant if experiencing cough or fever or breathlessness and report immediately to health officials.
The UK now has 3 reported cases of coronavirus infection.
Vietnam has ordered all schools to remain closed to allow time for the disinfection of classrooms. Vietnam has had 12 confirmed cases of coronavirus so far. Out of 12, 3 patients have been cleared to be discharged from hospital.
The coronavirus epidemic is still not under control with international powers scrambling to contain the spread of infection. The WHO is focusing on efforts to develop a vaccine as quickly as possible to tackle the situation. However, it seems unlikely that the situation will be resolved anytime soon.