Another two patients, a couple in their 50s and 60s, have recently returned from travel to Iran, and the final new patient is a resident of Seattle who is visiting family in the Fraser Health region, the report said.British Columbia now has 21 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, including four patients who have recovered, according to the BC Centre for Disease Control.The province shares a border with Washington State, where authorities have documented 70 cases of coronavirus. Topics : Canada’s British Columbia province has identified eight more presumptive cases of a new coronavirus including one involving a woman who has no recent travel history, CBC News reported on Thursday.The woman, who is in her 50s and lives in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, has not had contact with other coronavirus patients or people returning from disease hot spots, the report said.Four of the new cases were identified in the same household as another patient in the Fraser Health region who was identified last week, according to the report.
A building inspector said the sewage system appeared to have triggered the disaster, but a full technical investigation would be carried out.”The death toll in the building collapse rose (from 11 on Thursday) to 16, after five more bodies were pulled out of the rubble today,” Salma Kauser, a senior health official in Karachi, told AFP.An official at the Abbasi Shaheed hospital confirmed the toll.Rehan Hashmi, a senior municipal official, said the army had been deployed to help with the rescue and recovery mission. “Seven people are still missing, but it is premature to say whether they were trapped under the debris or not,” Hashmi said.Narrow alleyways have restricted the access of heavy machinery to the disaster site, meaning much of the rubble is being cleared manually.Authorities have sealed off the area, with soldiers standing guard and blocking curious onlookers in the city’s central district.Roof and building collapses are common across Pakistan mainly because of poor safety standards and shoddy construction materials in the South Asian country of 200 million. Topics : Pakistani rescuers using their bare hands searched Friday for seven people missing after an apartment building collapsed, as more bodies were pulled from the rubble, taking the death toll to 16. Soldiers have been deployed to help in the search efforts after a five-story building and two adjoining houses collapsed in the port city of Karachi on Thursday. The residential building had been constructed as a four-story complex, but another floor was added about a year ago, in violation of construction rules, officials said earlier.
It goes without saying that Indonesia is not immune to the novel coronavirus that has infected more than 100,000 people in more than 60 countries around the world.After weeks of claiming to have zero cases of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), a claim that befuddled many and led to suspicion that the country is either unable to detect cases or covering them up, the country finally announced that citizens within its borders had also contracted the virus.Below is what you need to know about the outbreak in the country. Confirmed cases The country has recorded at least 27 COVID-19 cases within its borders as of Wednesday. A Flourish survey visualizationCase 1 and Case 2 are a 31-year-old woman and her 64-year-old mother from Depok, West Java. The daughter is believed to have contracted the virus after visiting a Jakarta restaurant where she took part in a dance event that was also attended by an infected Japanese woman. The Japanese national, who was diagnosed with COVID-19 in Malaysia, traveled to Indonesia in January and February. The country announced two more cases linked to the first two patients on Friday. Details about these new patients are still sketchy. The government has been extra cautious in providing information on the cases. One of the first two confirmed patients claimed to have suffered mentally after her private information had been disclosed by the authorities and later exposed by the mainstream media and Internet users. Two more patients tested positive for the virus on Sunday. One, Case 5, is a 55-year-old man who is linked to Case 1, the Health Ministry said, while the other, Case 6, is a 36-year-old man who was among the Indonesian crew members of the virus-stricken Diamond Princess cruise ship that was docked in Yokohama, Japan. The ministry announced 13 cases on Monday. It said two of the 13 new cases were foreign nationals, but did not specify which countries they were from.Seven of the cases were also identified as imported cases, which means that the patients likely contracted the virus outside of Indonesia.The government reported the first possible community transmission in the country on Tuesday, after a citizen with no link to certain confirmed cases or travel history to affected countries tested positive for the virus.The 33-year-old man was Indonesia’s 27th confirmed COVID-19 patient, it said, adding that the patient did not have a clear link to the other confirmed COVID-19 patients in the country. Case 27 did not contract the virus abroad and his exposure to coronavirus was still vague.At least 12 Indonesian nationals have been infected with SAR-Cov-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, overseas. One in Singapore and another in Taiwan have recovered from the disease. Nine others were infected while onboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship. Four of the nine crewmen have recovered, the ministry said.Suspected patients The Health Ministry defines suspected patients as those showing COVID-19 symptoms and having a travel history to countries affected by the outbreak. All suspected patients must take a throat swab test to confirm whether or not they have the virus.Only recently did the government decide to test those having had contact with infected people even though they did not show symptoms.The ministry said on March 5 that it had tested samples from 388 suspected patients, including 188 from the World Dream cruise ship. It is unclear, however, how many suspected patients are currently being treated in hospitals across the country. As of now, five suspected COVID-19 patients have died, but the health authorities have said that they had been found to be negative of coronavirus. The five patients were treated in Semarang, Batam, Cianjur, Yogyakarta and Jakarta. Who leads the fight against coronavirus in Indonesia?Indonesia does not have an independent centers for disease control and prevention. The Health Ministry is now leading the management of the health crisis, with its secretary, Achmad Yurianto, being recently appointed as its sole spokesman. Some experts, including those leading the fight against the bird flu outbreak between 2006 and 2010, have called for the creation of a special committee similar to the now-defunct National Commission for Avian Influenza to lead the battle against the virus. The ministry, however, insisted that such an agency was not needed. The country once had a national committee for zoonosis tasked with handling virus outbreaks. It was disbanded by President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo in 2016. Indonesia has appointed secretary Achmad Yurianto (center) of the Health Ministry’s disease control and prevention directorate general as the spokesperson for coronavirus-related matters following the country’s first confirmed cases of COVID-19. (Tribunnews.com/Fransiskus Adhiyuda)How does Indonesia test suspected patients? The government claimed to have used a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and a gene sequencing analysis to test specimens from suspected patients as per WHO standards. The Health Ministry’s Balitbangkes was once the sole agency tasked with conducting tests. The ministry then decided to assign its laboratories in 10 regions to perform the PCR testing too after reporting the first two cases.The cities are Batam, Medan, Palembang, Makassar, Manado, Ambon, Jakarta, Yogyakarta, Surabaya and Banjarmasin.Denpasar, the capital of Bali, is not on the list despite being a major tourism hotspot and one that had direct flights to and from Wuhan, the epicenter of the virus outbreak.Why has Indonesia only recorded few cases? Some scientists believe that the government might have under-reported cases, saying that, given the large number of visitors not only from China but also from other affected countries, it is hard to believe that Indonesia only had four cases. They have called on the government to be more transparent in the handling of the outbreak by involving more scientists in its work. Critics, including foreign governments, have questioned why Indonesia, which has a population of more than 250 million, has only conducted a small number of tests. South Korea, by comparison, has tested more than 100,000 samples. The Indonesian government, however, argued it followed WHO recommendations.The number of confirmed cases rose to 19 on Monday after health officials had begun tracing and testing those with no travel history to China and other affected countries but having had contact with infected people in Indonesia.Some scientists have argued that the tropical climate has made the virus less virulent and slowed down its spread, but that has not been proven yet. It is true, though, that the transmission of influenza is dependent on humidity and temperature. Other Southeast Asian countries have reported far more cases than Indonesia, but the numbers are still lower than those reported in South Korea, Iran and Italy. As of Sunday, Singapore has had 138 cases (90 have recovered), Malaysia 93 (25 have recovered) and Vietnam 18 (16 have recovered) and the Philippines 6. What has the government done to contain the virus?The government has imposed a travel ban on people from mainland China and people from coronavirus-hit regions of Iran, South Korea and Italy.It has finally released its official protocols for dealing with the COVID-19 coronavirus. Members of the public are expected to follow the protocols if they find they are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. “If you are experiencing one of the COVID-19 symptoms, such as a 38-degree Celsius fever, please rest. Drink a lot of water,” Health Ministry secretary-general Oscar Primadi said on Friday.According to Oscar, the protocols are meant to guide the actions of people when they gather in public places. The protocols deal with educational areas, public areas, public transportation, health access, first aid and identifying the infection.The government will also build a special hospital for COVID-19 patients at a former Vietnamese refugee camp in Galang, Riau Islands. Hospital staff and visitors wear masks at the Sulianti Saroso Infectious Diseases Hospital’s isolation building in Jakarta on March 2. (JP/Seto Wardhana)Does Indonesia have adequate healthcare infrastructure to handle mass contagion?President Jokowi said the government was well-prepared to handle COVID-19. “We have prepared more than 100 hospitals with isolation rooms with good isolation standards. We also have equipment that meets international standards,” he said.A WHO official also claimed on jan. 29 that Indonesia was well prepared to anticipate a coronavirus outbreak. Authorities have implemented preventative measures to defend against the epidemic at 135 points of entry to the archipelago, including at airports, seaports and border areas, such as installing thermal scanners and medical check-up posts to examine suspected carriers of the virus, a representative of the Geneva-based United Nations agency acknowledged.“Indonesia has a functioning early warning system and 100 hospitals in various locations that serve as referral [centers] and can handle cases with proper measures as well as effective infection prevention, ” WHO representative for Indonesia, Navaratnasamy Paranietharan, said as quoted by Antara.Indonesia has prepared eight hospitals to treat coronavirus-positive patients: Sulianti Saroso Infectious Diseases Hospital (RSPI) in North Jakarta, Persahabatan Hospital in East Jakarta, Gatot Subroto Army Hospital (RSPAD) in Central Jakarta, Pasar Minggu General Hospital (RSUD) in South Jakarta, Cengkareng General Hospital (RSUD) in West Jakarta, Mintohardjo Navy Hospital in Central Jakarta, Bhayangkara Police Hospital in East Jakarta and Fatmawati Hospital in South Jakarta.Regional administrations have also prepared for the outbreak. Editor’s note: The article was updated on Wednesday, March 11, 2020, at 12:45 a.m. Topics :
Read also: COVID-19: No road closures in Jakarta during large-scale social restrictions, police sayPublic transportation services have been instructed to operate at 50 percent of their regular passenger load factor with hours of operation limited to between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. Private vehicles must also limit the number of passengers in each vehicle.“For example, a private car with a capacity of six people must only be filled with three people. Two people are allowed to ride private motorbikes as long as they live in the same house. All passengers must wear masks,” Yusri said.Any vehicles that do not comply with the regulation will be “sanctioned” and required to turn around, with later entry permitted only if the number of passengers is reduced, he added. The Jakarta Police have scaled up security patrols on the roads and in supermarkets to ensure that the public follow large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) that were imposed by the Jakarta administration on Friday to slow the spread of COVID-19.With passenger number caps now in place for public transportation and private vehicles, the police are carrying out patrols in at least 33 areas in the city. The patrol checkpoints include bus and train stations, toll roads and border areas such as Kalideres in West Jakarta, Kalimalang in East Jakarta and Ciputat in South Tangerang, Banten.“We will stop vehicles and check whether or not they are adhering to physical distancing measures, which limit passenger numbers and [require that everyone] wear masks,” Jakarta Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Yusri Yunus told The Jakarta Post on Friday. The Jakarta Traffic Police’s Twitter account @TMCPoldaMetro posted a video showing the police stopping a bus to make sure it was carrying only 50 percent of its passenger load factor and that all passengers wear wearing face masks. Every two-seat section of the bus was occupied by only a single passenger, as required.09:35 #Polri PJR Ditlantas PMJ memberikan himbauan terhadap penumpang Bus agar menjaga Jaga Jarak & menggunakan Masker antisipasi penyebaran Virus Corona ( Covid-19). pic.twitter.com/91384eO7fg— TMC Polda Metro Jaya (@TMCPoldaMetro) April 10, 2020Yusri further said the police also gave out free masks to drivers and passengers who were not wearing masks on Friday.The Jakarta administration issued Gubernatorial Decree No. 33/2020, which follows up on the technical details of Health Ministry Regulation No. 9/2020 on the guidelines for the PSBB. The regulation prohibits ojek (motorcycle taxi) from picking up passengers. Ojek drivers are only permitted to transport goods.Read also: Uneasy calm descends on empty Jakarta as capital makes it through first day of social restrictionsHowever, some drivers seemed to be unaware of the new regulations. At Palmerah Station in Central Jakarta on Friday, a police officer stopped an ojek driver for riding with a passenger. The officer instructed the passenger to immediately get off the motorbike, @TMCPoldaMetro reported.“A Jakarta Traffic Police officer informed an app-based ojek driver about the implementation of the PSBB [and told him] not to pick up passengers around Palmerah Station,” @TMCPoldaMetro tweeted.09:56 Polri Patwal Ditlantas PMJ menghimbau Ojol terkait pemberlakuan PSBB agar tidak mengangkut penumpang di Stasiun Palmerah . pic.twitter.com/p9aY63wkSF— TMC Polda Metro Jaya (@TMCPoldaMetro) April 10, 2020In addition to enforcing the restrictions on the streets, a joint team comprising Jakarta Police, Indonesian Military and Jakarta Public Order Agency personnel will also patrol supermarkets and minimarkets, which are allowed to operate during the partial lockdown period to supply daily needs.“Our personnel will make sure supermarket and minimarket visitors maintain a safe distance from each other,” Yusri said.Under the PSBB, which will last for at least two weeks until April 23, residents are required to stay at home as schools, offices and public spaces will remain closed during this period. Gatherings of more than five people in public spaces will be not allowed. These measures have been in place for the past few weeks in Jakarta, but violators will now face sanctions as Jakarta ramps up its fight against COVID-19.Topics :
“The ages of the other 69 cases are still being verified,” Yurianto said.Indonesia’s death toll continues to be the highest in Southeast Asia, followed by the Philippines with 530 deaths and Malaysia with 100 deaths. The country’s COVID-19 mortality rate of around 8.13 percent is also among the highest in the world.Concerns have been raised that Indonesia’s limited testing capacity has led to an underreported death toll. According to the Jakarta provincial administration, 1,666 people have been buried using COVID-19 protocols in the capital alone. Those include suspected patients who died before being tested for COVID-19 or before their test results came back, Governor Anies Baswedan said.According to the official government count, Indonesia has recorded a total of 9,511 confirmed COVID-19 cases across 297 cities and regencies in all 34 provinces as of Tuesday.Topics : Adults aged 30 to 59 make up the largest proportion of COVID-19 deaths in Indonesia, the Health Ministry announced on Tuesday.The ministry’s disease control and prevention director general, Achmad Yurianto, said in a press conference that eight more people had died of the disease on Tuesday, bringing the total official death toll to 773.Of the 773 deaths, five were under the age of 15: two aged 0 to 4 years old and three aged 5 to 14 years old. Meanwhile, 19 of the people who died were aged 15 to 29 years old, 351 were 30 to 59 years old, 302 were 60 to 79 years old and 27 people were aged 80 or more.
The British government had a contingency plan for Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s death as his condition deteriorated while he battled COVID-19 last month in intensive care, Johnson said in an interview with The Sun newspaper.Johnson returned to work on Monday, a month after testing positive for COVID-19. Johnson, 55, spent 10 days in isolation in Downing Street from late March, but was then was taken to London’s St Thomas’ Hospital where he received oxygen treatment and spent three nights in intensive care.”They had a strategy to deal with a ‘death of Stalin’-type scenario,” Johnson, 55, was quoted as saying by The Sun. “It was a tough old moment, I won’t deny it.” After Johnson was discharged, St Thomas’ said it was glad to have cared for the prime minister, but the hospital has given no details about the gravity of his illness beyond stating that he was treated in intensive care.Read also: Boris Johnson leaves hospitalJohnson and his fiancée, Carrie Symonds, on Saturday announced the name of their newly born son as Wilfred Lawrie Nicholas, partly as a tribute to two of the intensive care doctors who they said had saved Johnson’s life.”The doctors had all sorts of arrangements for what to do if things went badly wrong,” Johnson said of his COVID-19 battle. “The bloody indicators kept going in the wrong direction.”He said doctors discussed invasive ventilation.”The bad moment came when it was 50-50 whether they were going to have to put a tube down my windpipe,” he said. “That was when it got a bit . . . they were starting to think about how to handle it presentationally.” Topics :
Allan Pacey, a professor of andrology at Britain’s Sheffield University, said the studies should not be seen as conclusive, since there were some technical difficulties in testing semen for viruses. He said the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in sperm did not show whether it is active and capable of causing infection.”However, we should not be surprised if the virus which causes COVID-19 is found in the semen of some men, since this has been shown with many other viruses such as Ebola and Zika,” he said.Sheena Lewis, a professor of reproductive medicine at Queen’s University Belfast, stressed that this was a “very small study” and said its findings were in keeping with other small studies showing low or no SARS-CoV-2 in tests of semen samples.”However, the long-term effects of SARS-CoV-2 on male reproduction are not yet known,” she said. Chinese researchers who tested sperm of men infected with COVID-19 found that a minority of them had the new coronavirus in their semen, opening up a small chance the disease could be transmitted sexually, scientists said on Thursday.A study by doctors at China’s Shangqiu Municipal Hospital of 38 men hospitalized with the disease found that six of them, or 16%, tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 in their semen.The researchers said that while the findings were preliminary and based on only a small number of infected men, more research is needed to see whether sexual transmission might play a role in the spreading COVID-19 pandemic. Topics : “Further studies are required with respect to the detailed information about virus shedding, survival time and concentration in semen,” the team wrote in a study published in JAMA Network Open.”If it could be proved that SARS-CoV-2 can be transmitted sexually … [that] might be a critical part of the prevention,” they said, “especially considering the fact that SARS-CoV-2 was detected in the semen of recovering patients.”Independent experts said the findings were interesting but should be viewed with caution and in the context of other small studies that have not found the new coronavirus in sperm.A previous small study of 12 COVID-19 patients in China in February and March found that all of them tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 in semen samples.
Beijing reported its second consecutive day of record new numbers of COVID-19 cases on Monday, adding urgency to efforts to rein in a sudden resurgence of the coronavirus in the Chinese capital.The recent outbreak has been traced to Xinfadi, a sprawling wholesale food market that is the biggest in Asia and accounts for 80% of Beijing’s farm produce supply sourced both domestically and from overseas.The market has been shut, tens of thousands of nearby residents are being tested for the virus, and a city-wide campaign launched to identify people who have recently visited the market or been in contact with people who have. Some schools have started to suspend classes. “The risk of the epidemic spreading is very high, so we should take resolute and decisive measures,” Xu Hejiang, spokesman at the Beijing city government, said at a press conference on Monday.Xinfadi, a complex of warehouses and trading halls spanning an area the size of nearly 160 soccer pitches, is more than 20 times larger than the seafood market in Wuhan where the coronavirus originated. Thousands of tons of vegetables, fruits and meats are traded at Xinfadi each day.Beijing officials on Monday confirmed 36 new COVID-19 cases for June 14, the same as a day earlier, which was the city’s highest daily infection count since late March. Officials have now reported 79 cases over just four days, the biggest concentration of infections since February.A number of neighborhoods in the west and southwest of Beijing have been upgraded to medium-risk, including Financial Street where banks and financial firms converge, which calls for measures such as strict control of people and vehicle movements, disinfections and temperature checks. One neighborhood in the same district as the food market was raised to high-risk, denoting the most severe level of infection and warning people not to go there. Beijing started testing en masse on Sunday, conducting 76,499 tests. Fifty-nine individuals tested positive, Gao Xiaojun, a spokesperson for the Beijing public health commission, said at Monday’s briefing.Samples of 8,950 people who were recently at Xinfadi had been collected as of early Monday, said Gao, adding that results from the 6,075 tested so far were negative.InvestigationThe new Beijing cluster prompted governments in some cities and provinces to warn their residents against non-essential travel to the capital, and to implement isolation protocols and testing for some incoming visitors from the capital.The northeastern province of Liaoning and northern Hebei province have reported a combined handful of cases connected to the Beijing infections. Sichuan in the southwest reported one suspected case on Monday.The World Health Organization said on Sunday it was informed of the outbreak by Chinese officials who were investigating its source and extent. WHO reinforced the need for thorough investigations.”Genetic sequencing from humans and environmental samples is ongoing, and WHO encourages the release of these sequences as soon as possible,” WHO said in its statement. “WHO understands that genetic sequences will be released as soon as possible once further laboratory analyses are completed.”An epidemiologist with the Beijing government said on Sunday that a DNA sequencing of the virus showed the Xinfadi outbreak could have come from Europe.”Our preliminary assessment is the virus came from overseas. We still can’t determine how it got here. It might’ve been on contaminated seafood or meat, or spread from the feces of people inside the market,” state media quoted Yang Peng as saying.Topics :
The Trump administration aims to narrow its financial support to about seven experimental coronavirus vaccines from the 14 it has been working with so far, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said on Tuesday.US government officials also said that they expect many Americans to get an approved vaccine to prevent COVID-19 at no charge once it begins distribution, potentially in January.“For any American who is vulnerable, who cannot afford the vaccines, and desires the vaccine, we will provide it for free,” a US government official said during a call with reporters, requesting anonymity. Topics : The Trump Administration previously announced it has put more than $2 billion behind three vaccines in development, one being tested by AstraZeneca Plc along with the University of Oxford, a Moderna Inc candidate and one from Johnson & Johnson. It has also given more than $30 million each to Merck & Co and Sanofi SA for their separate vaccine efforts.A government official said it was still deliberating which companies would ultimately be among those it will support, based on the success of closely watched trials and manufacturing capability.The New York Times reported earlier this month that the White House had selected five companies: Moderna, AstraZeneca, Pfizer Inc, J&J and Merck. The official also said that based on conversations with commercial health insurers, it expects a vaccine to be covered with no out-of-pocket costs, similar to coverage policies insurers have put in place for COVID-19 related medical services.”We will be working with insurers,” the official said.The Trump Administration last month launched “Operation Warp Speed” – a joint HHS and Department of Defense program – to accelerate development of coronavirus vaccines, treatments and diagnostics.The effort has “maximized the possibility” of having a vaccine before year end, the government official said.
Earlier on Wednesday, China opened its new national security office, turning a hotel near a city-center park that has been one of the most popular venues for pro-democracy protests into its new headquarters.Both Hong Kong and Chinese government officials have said the new law is vital to plug gaping holes in national security defenses exposed by the anti-government and anti-China protests that rocked the city in the past year.They have argued the city failed to pass such laws by itself as required under its mini-constitution, known as the Basic Law.Critics of the law see it as a tool to crush dissent, while supporters say it will bring stability to the city.In a statement last month, China’s Hong Kong Liaison Office, Beijing’s top representative office in the city, blamed political groups “with ulterior motives” for “shocking chaos in Hong Kong education. Authorities also banned protest slogans as the new laws came into force last week.The sweeping legislation that Beijing imposed on the former British colony punishes what China defines as secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces, with up to life in prison.Secretary for Education Kevin Yeung, responding to a question from a lawmaker, said students should not participate in class boycotts, chant slogans, form human chains or sing songs that contain political messages.”The song ‘Glory to Hong Kong’, originated from the social incidents since June last year, contains strong political messages and is closely related to the social and political incidents, violence and illegal incidents that have lasted for months,” Yeung said. “Schools must not allow students to play, sing or broadcast it in schools.” Hong Kong authorities on Wednesday banned school students from singing of “Glory to Hong Kong”, the unofficial anthem of the pro-democracy protest movement, just hours after Beijing set up its new national security bureau in the Chinese-ruled city.New security legislation imposed on Hong Kong by Beijing requires the Asian financial hub to “promote national security education in schools and universities and through social organizations, the media, the internet”.The school anthem ban will further stoked concerns that new security laws will crush freedoms in China’s freest city, days after public libraries removed books by some prominent pro-democracy figures from their shelves. Topics :