Breaking news. We all suspected it but now we have confirmation that there are government suspicions of the COVID-19 origins.
World Health Organization officials said Friday they are increasing the risk assessment of the coronavirus, which has spread to at least 49 countries in a matter of weeks, to “very high” at a global level.
“We are on the highest level of alert or highest level of risk assessment in terms of spread and in terms of impact,” said Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of WHO’s health emergencies program. The group isn’t trying to alarm or scare people, he said. “This is a reality check for every government on the planet: Wake up! Get ready! This virus may be on its way and you need to be ready. You have a duty to your citizens, you have a duty to the world to be ready.”
The world can still avoid “the worst of it,” but the increased risk assessment means the WHO’s “level of concern is at its highest,” he said at a press conference at WHO headquarters in Geneva.
World leaders still have a chance to contain the virus within their borders, Ryan said. “To wait, to be complacent to be caught unawares at this point, it’s really not much of an excuse.”
Outside China as of Friday morning, 4,351 cases across at least 48 countries have been confirmed, including 67 deaths, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said. About two dozen countries have reported only one case.
He said most cases of COVID-19 can still be traced to known contacts or clusters of cases and there isn’t any “evidence as yet that the virus is spreading freely in communities.” That’s one reason why WHO hasn’t declared the outbreak a pandemic, Tedros said.
Denmark, Estonia, Lithuania, Netherlands and Nigeria all reported their first cases on Thursday, Tedros said. All these cases have links to Italy, he added.
Tedros reiterated that the virus could still turn into a pandemic. He urged against fear and panic, adding, “our greatest enemy right now is not the virus itself. It’s fear, rumors and stigma.”
On Wednesday, WHO officials said the number of new COVID-19 cases outside China exceeded those inside the country for the first time. Tedros said Thursday that countries must act “swiftly” and “aggressively” to contain the virus.
“With the right measures, it can be contained,” he said at the time, adding countries should begin thinking about whether they have proper isolation units, medical supplies and other vital equipment.
Austria’s interior ministry says a train travelling from Venice to Munich has been stopped at the country’s border on suspicion that two people on board might be infected with COVID-19.
With positive cases of COVID 19 Coronavirus in major countries around the world this weekend revealed what felt like a tipping point in the gravitas of the situation. Sunday 23/02/19 figures:
- South Korea announced more than 600 confirmed infections and 5 deaths.
- Iran confirmed 43 cases of the COVID 19 corona Virus with 8 deaths.
- Italy confirmed 152 cases of the COVID 19 virus cases and 2 deaths.
This explosion of cases in a short period of time comes as Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, head of the World Health Organization, has expressed concerned over the ‘narrowing window of opportunity’ to tackle Covid-19, and has urged the international community not to squander it.
If further outbreaks of this type continue then the WHO will most likely be forced to announce a pandemic – we feel that the situation is already pandemic not yet to be recognised for fear of economic collapse.
Italian officials have cut short the Venice Carnival as they try to control what is now the worst outbreak of the COVID 19 Coronavirus in Europe.
Authorities in the Veneto region said the event would end later on Sunday, two days earlier than scheduled.
Italy has by far the highest number of COVID 19 coronavirus cases in Europe, with 152. Three people have died.
Italy has imposed strict quarantine restrictions in two northern “hotspot” regions close to Milan and Venice.
About 50,000 people cannot enter or leave several towns in Veneto and Lombardy for the next two weeks without special permission. Even outside the zone, many businesses and schools have suspended activities, and sporting events have been cancelled including several top-flight football matches.
At an emergency meeting in Beijing held last Friday, Chinese leader Xi Jinping spoke about the need to contain the coronavirus and set up a system to prevent similar epidemics in the future.
A national system to control biosecurity risks must be put in place “to protect the people’s health,” Xi said, because lab safety is a “national security” issue.
Xi didn’t actually admit that the coronavirus now devastating large swathes of China had escaped from one of the country’s bioresearch labs. But the very next day, evidence emerged suggesting that this is exactly what happened, as the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology released a new directive entitled: “Instructions on strengthening biosecurity management in microbiology labs that handle advanced viruses like the novel coronavirus.”
Read that again. It sure sounds like China has a problem keeping dangerous pathogens in test tubes where they belong, doesn’t it? And just how many “microbiology labs” are there in China that handle “advanced viruses like the novel coronavirus”?
It turns out that in all of China there is only one. And this one is located in the Chinese city of Wuhan that just happens to be . . . the epicenter of the epidemic.
That’s right. China’s only Level 4 microbiology lab that is equipped to handle deadly coronaviruses, called the National Biosafety Laboratory, is part of the Wuhan Institute of Virology
BBC News – Coronavirus: South Korean sect identified as hotbed
A woman admitted today on national television that she and he husband falsified their #covid-19 results in order to be repatriated back to the USA.
Her husband is now showing symptoms of the covid-19 corinavirus.
During the evacuation process, after passengers had disembarked the ship and initiated transport to the airport, US officials received notice that 14 passengers, who had been tested 2-3 days earlier, had tested positive for COVID-19. These individuals were moved in the most expeditious and safe manner to a specialized containment area on the evacuation aircraft to isolate them in accordance with standard protocols.
After consultation with HHS officials, including experts from the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, the State Department made the decision to allow the 14 individuals, who were in isolation, separated from other passengers, and continued to be asymptomatic, to remain on the aircraft to complete the evacuation process.
During the flights, these individuals will continue to be isolated from the other passengers. These flights departed Japan at approximately 4:30 PM Eastern time on February 16 and will arrive in the United States later this morning.
All passengers are being closely monitored by medical professionals throughout the flight, and any who become symptomatic will be moved to the specialized containment area, where they will be treated.