Rain-triggered floods force evacuations, disrupt traffic in south China

Robie de Guzman   •   July 9, 2019   •   1242

Various of firefighters evacuating trapped people. Lingchuan County, Guilin City, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, south China | Courtesy: Reuters

Torrential rains battered cities in south China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region over the past two days, causing massive flooding.

In the city of Guilin, persistent downpours unleashed a severe flood in a local village, stranding many people.

The local fire department dispatched 54 members, 9 fire engines and 4 rubber boats to evacuate locals.

As of 14:50 Sunday, 300 affected people have been evacuated to safety.

Transportation, electricity, and communications are still under repair in the flood-affected areas, and the local authorities are still determining the losses caused by the flooding.

Heavy rain also caused waterlogging in the urban area of Liuzhou City on Sunday, disrupting traffic in many streets. Several low-lying roads were submerged by knee-high floodwaters.

The local transportation department initiated temporary traffic control and dispatched police officers to assist stranded motorists and pedestrians.

In the city’s Liubei District, firefighters on Saturday rescued a woman who was stranded in a tree by the fast-moving floodwaters. (REUTERS)

Wuhan health workers call for supplies amid rising death toll from novel coronavirus

Marje Pelayo   •   January 27, 2020

People move medical supplies off a JD.com van coming from the coastal Jiangsu province at a hospital in Wuhan, Hubei province, China, 26 January 2020 (issued 27 January 2020). According to media reports, Wuhan is widely considered as the origin point of the coronavirus outbreak. The virus outbreak has so far killed at least 56 people with around 2,000 infected, mostly in China. EPA-EFE/YUAN ZHENG CHINA OUT

Medical workers at the Wuhan Fifth Hospital are calling for donations of protection materials as they struggle to contain the novel coronavirus (nCoV) that has now claimed at least 56 lives and infected over 1,900 others in China.

The hospital management on a post on social media announced the facility’s lack of supplies to protect their workers who are working arduously to attend to nCoV patients crowding the hospital.

Since the emergence of novel coronavirus in Wuhan City, the hospital has been a designated diagnosis and treatment hospital for fever patients.

However, the hospital said their protection materials are extremely limited for handling the increasing number of patients, putting their medical personnel in danger of being exposed to infection.

Chinese media China Global Television Network reported on Saturday (January 25) that one of the doctors who had been treating the nCoV patients in Wuhan, has died from the new virus.

A doctor from Hubei Xinhua Hospital, 62-year-old Liang Wudong, died after contracting the virus.

Wuhan Fifth Hospital is asking for the following supplies to protect their health workers while they struggle to treat the patients of nCoV:

  • Medical surgical masks
  • Medical protective clothing/gows
  • Protective goggles
  • Disinfectant
  • Disposable disinfection bed cover

“If you have the following resources from all walks of life, please help us!” the hospital statement said.

“The hospital is grateful for all sectors of the society to donate the following protective supplies with formal channels and complete qualifications in accordance with the law,” the statement read further.

Anyone who wishes to help may contact the following persons:

  • Equipment Section Panjiang 18507188286
  • Hospital Office Li Shaoting 13971254047

So far, lockdown has been declared in at least 20 cities in China in a move to contain the virus.

Across the globe, countries with reported cases of nCoV includes Australia (1); Hongkong (6); France (3); Japan (4); Malaysia (4); Nepal (1); Singapore (3); South Korea (3); Taiwan (3); Thailand (8); (The) United States (5); Vietnam (2).

Man in Tacloban City quarantined for novel coronavirus infection

Marje Pelayo   •   January 24, 2020

Philippine Marines rush to shore during an amphibious landing exercise with United States counterparts on a beach on the coast of the Naval Education and Training Command in Zambales Province, northwest of Manila, Philippines, 09 May 2018. The Philippines-US Balikatan (Shoulder to Shoulder) Military Exercise is on its 34th iteration, which is aimed to enhance interoperability between security forces of the two countries. EPA-EFE/ROLEX DELA PENA

MANILA, Philippines – A 36-year-old male patient in Tacloban City is now under observation for potential signs of novel coronavirus, the Department of Health (DOH) revealed Friday (January 24).

The patient, who traveled from Wuhan, China, showed symptoms of nCov upon his arrival in the Philippines on January 17.

Health Undersecretary Eric Domingo, however, clarified that it is still too early to conclude that the man is infected with novel coronavirus.

The DOH is keeping a list of all individuals from China who sought medical tests relative to the outbreak of novel coronavirus.

Among them is a two-year-old toddler from Aklan.

The DOH clarified, however, that the toddler showed symptoms not worse than an ordinary flu.

Meanwhile, the DOH said they are expecting the release of the confirmatory test on the patients’ blood samples by next week.

The samples are now being tested at the Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory in Melbourne, Australia, including that of the 6-year-old Chinese boy in Cebu who was first to be observed for nCoV infection.

At present, the World Health Organization (WHO) is not yet considering the situation a global health emergency.

Also, the Philippines is still technically free of novel coronavirus pending the confirmatory tests from Australia.

Nonetheless, Health offices across the country remain on alert against possible entry of the nCoV given the Philippines’ proximity to China.

Authorities are warning the public to refrain from travelling to China and always wear masks especially airport personnel as they are the first to have contact with arriving passengers from other countries. MNP (with details from Aiko Miguel)

WHO: Coronavirus outbreak has not yet become a global health emergency

UNTV News   •   January 24, 2020

Madrid – The coronavirus outbreak is not yet a global health emergency, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday.

“I am not declaring a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC) today,” Director-General of the World Health Organization Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Twitter.

“For the moment, WHO does not recommend any broader restrictions on travel or trade.

“We recommend exit screening at airports as part of a comprehensive set of containment measures,” he added.

This announcement comes after three Chinese cities with a total population of around 18 million people had been put on lockdown Thursday in a bid to prevent the spread of the deadly coronavirus as hundreds of millions prepare to travel across the country to celebrate the new year.

China’s National Health Commission on Thursday published detailed information about the 17 mortal victims of the disease, which include 13 men and 4 women aged between 48 and 89.

Chinese state TV said there were now over 600 confirmed cases within the country.

Authorities closed down public transport and urged people to stay at home in Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak and the capital of Hubei province with a population of 11 million.

They later implemented similar measures in neighboring cities of Huanggang and Ezhou, which are separated by the Yangtze River and have populations of six and one million respectively.

Airlines in South Korea and Japan, where cases of the virus have also been detected, also halted outbound flights to China’s seventh largest city.

Singapore authorities confirmed a new case — a 66 years-old man with Chinese nationality who arrive in the city from Wuhan on January 20.

The coronavirus outbreak had already sparked even worries within the country, which is just a four-and-a-half hour flight from Wuhan.

The United Arab Emirates announced Thursday that Dubai airport will start screening passengers coming from China.

“Dubai International Airport will conduct thermal screening measures on passengers on direct flights from China,” Dubai Media Office posted to Twitter.

The Dubai airport, one of the world’s busiest, received in 2019 a total of 3.7 million Chinese visitors.

It said is prepared to welcome “the thousands of Chinese passengers anticipated to arrive at the airport during the Chinese New Year (25 January) festivities.”

Two days after the US authorities had confirmed the first case of coronavirus in Washington state, Canada Health Minister Patty Hajdu informed that several people in Canada were under observation for pneumonia signs although the risk remained low in the country.

“At this point, there has not been a positive case in Canada,” Hajdu said.
“The risk is low to Canadians.”

In other countries, the risk remains low, although Mexico and Brazil confirmed several suspected cases.

Health officials reported three new possible cases on Thursday, a woman, a man and a 2-year-old child from Tepatitlan, Jalisco.

The Brazilian government declared the Level 1 health alert due to the possible arrival of the coronavirus to the country since authorities had ruled out five suspected cases of the disease.

An Emergency Operations Center was installed to monitor the risk, according to official sources.

The symptoms of the new coronavirus, originating in Wuhan and provisionally named 2019-nCoV by the World Health Organization (WHO), in many cases seems like a cold, but include fever and fatigue, dry cough and dyspnea (shortness of breath).

The new coronavirus sometimes referred to as Wuhan pneumonia, is similar to the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) that in 2002-2003 killed more than 700 people. EFE-EPA

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