WHO reports one-day record of COVID-19 cases as infections surge

UNTV News   •   July 13, 2020   •   425

The World Health Organization (WHO) reported a record one-day increase for global coronavirus cases on Saturday, with the United States, Brazil, India and South Africa posting the highest increases.

The WHO received reports of 230,370 confirmed COVID-19 infections around the world, marking a new high in infections over a 24-hour period, and bringing the total to 12,552,765 cases, including 561,617 deaths, as of 16:49pm CEST on Sunday.

The United States saw 59,904 new cases and 442 new deaths in 24 hours.

The total confirmed infections in the country reached 3,301,820 and the death toll rose to 135,171 as of 19:34 EST (23:34 GMT) on Sunday, according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University.

The state of Florida reported 15,299 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, shattering not only its own previous single-day records, but also those of any other state as the pandemic continued to rage in the country.

The mind-boggling number brought the total infections to 269,811 in the Sunshine State, with the death toll reaching 4,346, according to the Florida Department of Health.

The recent surge was the result of increased testing and widespread transmission as the state prematurely loosened lockdown measures, as a result of which people were seen gathering in crowds, no longer heeding anti-virus guidelines such as maintaining social distance or wearing face coverings.

Apart from Florida, the infections in states such as Texas, California and Arizona are surging as well, replacing New York state as the new epicenters.

Former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb predicted on Sunday that the southern states will reach the apex in the next two or three weeks and will experience a high number of infections for a while.

Brazil on Sunday said its nationwide COVID-19 death toll reached 72,100, with 631 more patients having succumbed to the novel coronavirus in the previous 24 hours.

The country reported 24,831 new cases in the same period, bringing the total number of infections to 1,864,681, the health ministry said.

Brazil registers a mortality rate of 3.9 percent, and 1,123,204 people have recovered from COVID-19 in the past four months, according to the ministry’s daily updated COVID-19 dashboard.

The most populous state of Sao Paulo is the epicenter of the pandemic, with 371,997 cases of infection and 17,848 deaths.

India reported the highest single day spike in the number of fresh cases in the country, India’s federal health ministry said on Monday morning.

India’s federal health ministry said 500 new deaths due to COVID-19 and 28,701 new positive cases were reported during the past 24 hours across the country, taking the number of deaths to 23,174 and total cases to 878,254.

The number of COVID-19 cases in the country reached 849,553 and the death toll 22,674 on Sunday morning.

According to ministry officials, so far 553,471 people have been discharged from hospitals after showing improvement.

The country has entered its Unlock 2.0 phase, though restrictions remain in full force inside the COVID-19 Containment Zones. Commercial international flights to and from India are suspended until July 31.

Last week, the government of Uttar Pradesh, the country’s biggest state in terms of population, had decided to impose a weekend lockdown from Friday night until Monday morning, to cut the chain of transmission of COVID-19.

The state decided on Monday it would continue with similar lockdowns every weekend.

Russia registered 6,615 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, taking its total to 727,162, the country’s coronavirus response center said in a statement on Sunday.

The country’s death toll has risen by 130 to 11,335, while 501,061 people have recovered, including 3,615 over the last 24 hours, according to the statement.

Data also showed that Russia had conducted over 23 million tests nationwide by Sunday.

The confirmed COVID-19 cases in Japan increased by 407 to 21,991 on Sunday, while the deaths stood at 983, according to the latest figures from Japan’s national broadcasting organization NHK.

The data also showed that Tokyo reported 206 new infections on Sunday, topping the 200 mark for the fourth straight day. So far, Tokyo had a total of 7,927 infections.

Yukio Edano, the leader of Japan’s largest opposition party – the the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan – said that the government should issue a state of emergency again for Tokyo and the surrounding areas.

South Korea reported 62 more cases of COVID-19 as of 00:00 on Monday local time compared to 24 hours ago, raising the total number of infections to 13,479.

The daily caseload rose above 60 in five days amid the continued small cluster infections and imported cases.

Of the new cases, 43 were imported from overseas, lifting the combined figure to 1,872. It continued to increase in the double digits for 18 straight days.

Small cluster infections were found linked to religious gatherings and door-to-door sales businesses.

No more death was confirmed, leaving the death toll at 289, and its total fatality rate stood at 2.14 percent.

South Korea ended its mask ration system on Sunday after a four-month operation, as the supply of face masks stabilized. With the termination of the scheme, citizens are able to buy an unlimited number of masks at market prices.

South Korea will re-apply the ration system if there is a sudden rise in demand. Meanwhile, South Korea will punish mask stockpiling.

Also on Sunday, Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Kang Min-seok said that South Korea will form an inter-agency organization this month for the so-called Korean-version New Deal project aimed at creating jobs and fostering economic growth against the impact of the pandemic. (Reuters)

Gov’t braces for surge in COVID-19 cases as holiday season approaches

Marje Pelayo   •   November 24, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The national government is expecting a possible surge in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases as the holiday season approaches.

Thus, according to Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, they are now preparing some contingency plans to curb the infection should it happen.

Bubuo rin ang DOH ng contingency plan para po handa tao kung sakaling magkaroon po tayo ng post holiday season surge in the number of cases (The Department of Health will draft a contingency plan in the event of post holiday season surge in the number of cases),” Duque said in a meeting with the President on Monday night (November 23).

Habang ang bilang ng kaso ay patuloy na pababa, hindi ito dapat maging dahilan upang tayo ay maging mas maluwag o complacent, (As number of cases continue to decline, it should not be a reason to be lax or complacent),” he added.

Duque said they have been warning the public to wear face masks and face shields and avoid crowded areas after photos of shoppers in Divisoria no longer observing physical distancing made rounds on social media.

Meanwhile, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez assured that the government has enough funds to support the vaccination of 60-million Filipinos to achieve the so-called ‘herd immunity.’

Herd immunity occurs when a significant portion of a population becomes immune to an infectious disease through certain measures like vaccination, that it stops the disease from spreading.

The government expects to spend at least $25 US dollars or P1,200 pesos for each Filipino in the mass vaccination.

Dominguez said the government has sources that could be tapped for the P73 billion fund it needs for the vaccination program.

“So Basically, 60 million is okay and we have the funds for that,” he said, adding that the fund will be sourced through multilaterial agencies, domestic financing institutions and from negotiations with bilateral sources of the vaccines. MNP (with inputs from Rosalie Coz)

No COVID-19 cases recorded among evacuees – DOH

Robie de Guzman   •   November 18, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) on Wednesday said it has not yet recorded a single case of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) among individuals temporarily staying in evacuation centers in areas ravaged by recent typhoons.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the information was based on data of DOH’s Health Emergency Management Bureau.

“As of this moment, sa pakikipag-ugnayan ng ahensya ng DOH, wala pa po sa mga evacuees natin ang nagpositibo sa COVID 19,” Vergeire said.

In the latest situation report of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, a total of 55,921 families are staying in evacuation centers in Regions I, II, III, CALABARZON, MIMAROPA, V, the National Capital Region, and the Cordillera Administrative Region.

The DOH said they have been conducting COVID-19 testing using antigen test kits but those exhibiting symptoms of the viral respiratory disease will be given priority.

Vergeire said this is in accordance of protocols and recommendations issued by the Health Technology Assessment Council and the World Health Organization.

“So ibig sabihin, kung ang isang pasyente ay may sintomas, mas accurate ang magiging resulta niya within the first five days because of that high viral load. So, dito po sa ating mga evacuation centers, ang atin po ipa-prioritize sa paggamit ng antigen test would be those with symptoms,” she said.

“So, kapag na-extract na po sila ng safety officers natin, iti-test sila for this antigen. Sila po ay i-isolate din of course, because they are symptomatic,” she added.

The DOH also reiterated its reminder to local government units to ensure that health safety protocols are strictly observed in evacuation centers, and to put the elderly and other persons vulnerable to COVID-19 in separate quarters.

The agency also deployed teams to evacuation sites to conduct disease surveillance, sanitation, and hygiene promotion.

“Lumapit po kayo sa mga nakatalagang safety and health officers sa evacuation center kung kayo po ay nakakaramdam na ng mga sintomas para mabigyan kayo ng karampatang lunas at gamot,” Vergeire said. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Marvin Calas)

DOH still seeking evidence on animal-to-human COVID-19 transmission

Maris Federez   •   November 8, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) is still looking for evidence that could back up a claim of an animal to human transmission of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

This, following reports that Denmark has imposed strict measures after issuing a warning that a mutation of the virus had jumped from minks to humans and infected 12 people.

The DOH said it doesn’t have sufficient proof in the studies by health experts in other countries if such transmission could occur.

“Lahat po iyan ay sinusuri natin, humahanap po tayo ng sapat na ebidensya, para kung makikita natin na talagang may direct link at makakapagbigay ang mga eksperto natin ng kanilang mga rekomendasyon, atin pong ilalagay sa ating protocol, pero sa ngayon pinag aaralan pa rin po natin iyan,” said DOH spokesperson Usec. Maria Rosario Vergeire.

The World Health Organization (WHO), meanwhile, said that it is possible that the virus could evolve or mutate in animals such as minks.

The WHO added that mink farms must have biosecurity so that humans will not have contact with minks.

“Mammal species like mink are very good hosts in a sense and the virus can evolve in those species, especially if there are large numbers packed closely together,” said Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO Health Emergencies Programme.

“So in that sense we have to look at the viral evolution. We have to create biosecurity around farms like that, so that there’s not that contact back with human populations,” Ryan added.

The DOH also said that although there is still no clear evidence of the said mutation, the public must remain vigilant and responsible until the pandemic has been addressed.

“Iyon pa rin po ang ating iaadvise. Kung sakaling may sapat na ebidensya nga iyang sa hayop mapupunta sa tao, iyon pa rin po yung ating minimum health standards. Palagian pa rin po tayong naka-mask. Lagi pa rin maghuhugas ng kamay.  Iyan naman po ay mga gold standard natin para ma-prevent po natin ang infection,” Vergeire said. —/mbmf


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