Coronavirus: Global cases surpass 400,000

  Total cases Deaths   Total cases Deaths
Global 451,355 20,498 US 55,568 809
China 81,661 3,285 Spain 47,610 3,434
Italy 69,176 6,820 India 606 10

Source: John Hopkins University & Medicine Corona Resource Center

WHO publishes updated testing guidance for SARS-CoV-2.

Global cases surpassed 400,000: The number of COVID-19 cases surpassed 400,000 globally. Four new countries, one from the South-East Asia Region and three from the Americas Region have reported COVID-19 cases. Among the overall cases, China is still the most affected (18.8%) followed by Italy (16%), United States (12.6%), Spain (11.0%) and Germany (7.8%) out of the total cases globally. But the mortality statistics depict a different picture, with Italy being the worst hit (34.9%),  followed by Spain (17.8%), China (16.8%), Iran (10.6%) France (5.6%) and Unites States (4%) to account for the total deaths from COVID-19 globally. Read more…

US: New York remains the most affected state in US. 26,348 cases have been reported till date. About 60 percent of the country’s new confirmed cases of the coronavirus were in the New York City metropolitan area and the infection rate was 8 to 10 times greater than other parts of the country, officials said. Read more…

$2 trillion for a nation under siege: The Senate and the Trump administration agreed early this morning on a roughly $2 trillion measure that would send direct payments and jobless benefits to individuals, as well as money to states and businesses hit by the coronavirus pandemic. Read more…

Trump wants U.S. ‘Opened Up’ by Easter, despite health officials’ warnings: President Trump said on Tuesday that he wanted to reopen the country for business by Easter, on April 12, despite widespread warnings from public health experts that the worst effects of the coronavirus were still weeks away and that lifting the restrictions now in place would result in unnecessary deaths. Read more…

WHO SARS-CoV-2 testing guidance: The WHO published updated testing guidance for SARS-CoV-2, noting the existing limitations on testing supplies and capacity compared to the needs of the growing pandemic. The WHO breaks down its guidance into 4 tiers based on the level of transmission in the country: no cases, sporadic cases, clusters of cases, and community transmission. Read more…

National ‘stay at home’ orders & curfews:

UK: Individuals are instructed to remain home except for essential activities, including shopping for food and other necessary supplies, medical needs, and outdoor activity. The UK will also restrict gatherings of more than two people (excluding members of the same household), and events such as weddings and funerals will be prohibited.

India:  Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a nationwide lockdown for 21 days beginning on March 22nd at midnight. The announcement did not include specific details regarding how the lockdown would be implemented or whether exceptions will be made, such as for medical care, shopping for essential supplies, or outdoor activity.

Saudi Arabia implemented a curfew from 7 pm until 6 am for a period of 21 days in an effort to limit SARS-CoV-2 transmission. The curfew includes exceptions for essential activities such as shopping for groceries or other supplies, medical needs, supply chain and shipping (particularly for the health sector and food), and other essential services like gas stations, the energy sector, and emergency services.

Mass gathering transmission in Pakistan: Reports are emerging about multiple confirmed COVID-19 cases among attendees at a recent large religious gathering in Pakistan. A gathering of Tablighi Jamaat, a global Muslim missionary group, was hosted March 10-12 in eastern Pakistan. Read more…

Wuhan will lift travel restrictions on April 8: The National Health Commission of China announced that Wuhan will open travel to outside the city on April 8, with other parts of Hubei province ending their lockdown on Wednesday. Read more…

Prehabilitation could save lives in a pandemic: By definition, prehabilitation involves interventions aimed at improving patients’ health prior to an anticipated upcoming physiologic stressor so that they are better able to withstand that stress. Among others, it also includes nutrition and exercise. Read more…

How can a society assess the trade-off between economic well-being and health? On Tuesday, President Trump said he wanted to lift restrictions by Easter despite the warnings of public-health experts, fueling a debate about the right balance between saving lives and saving the economy. Here is a range of perspectives from eminent economists and public health specialists. Read more…

Coronavirus pandemic battering global economy: surveys: Business activity collapsed from Australia, Japan and Western Europe to the United States at a record pace in March as measures to contain the coronavirus pandemic hammer the world economy, cementing economists’ views of a deep global recession. Read more…

(Dr. Sandhya Sukumaran is a globally renowned public health expert focusing on zoonotic diseases and One Health. Based in Washington, DC, she engages in consultancies for international organizations like WHO, World Bank, and FAO as well as advises governments and other forums.)


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