New Coronavirus threat


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There were reports the outbreak was slowing but this link seems to end the optimism. Lung scanning has provided a means to quickly diagnose new infections and the increased numbers are alarming to say the least.
Due to the incubation period which could be 2 or 3 days or up to 14 makes it hard to track... The symptoms are similar to the common flu... Another possibility to throw in the mix is that there could (not saying there is) be a few people that are naturally immune don't show any of the signs or symptoms but are just carriers and spread it... it would only take one or two people for it to roar its ugly head again after it slows...

John Fedup

The Bunker Group
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SARS, another coronavirus, had a couple of documented super carriers so yes, this new virus may have them as well.


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New Clusters in China and Korea, plus ASEAN special meeting on Coronavirus Disease

1. More than 76,000 people have been infected with the coronavirus worldwide, and at least 2,200 people have died. Hundreds of new coronavirus cases in China on 21 Feb 2020 (Fri) was traced back to four prisons on the mainland, including two in Hubei, the center of the outbreak.
  • In Hubei, the Wuhan Women’s prison has 230 cases.
  • The Shayang Hanjin prison reported 41.
  • Shandong province also reported that 207 cases was reported in Rencheng prison.
  • A jail in Zhejiang province has also reported a total of 34 infections.
All of them were inmates, according to Chinese media. The governor of the women's prison had been dismissed for failing to control the spread of the virus, according to the Hubei Daily newspaper. Authorities also sacked the chief of the provincial justice department in Shandong after the extent of the outbreak in Rencheng prison in Jining city was detected. The outbreak revealed that some departments had "poorly implemented their responsibilities, their work was not solid and epidemic prevention measures are inaccurate", said Yu Chenghe, deputy secretary-general of Shandong provincial government. The director and Communist Party chief of the Shilifeng prison in Zhejiang were sacked and an investigation into the outbreak has been launched, the provincial government said on its social media site.
SARS, another coronavirus, had a couple of documented super carriers so yes, this new virus may have them as well.
2. A 61-year-old woman ‘superspreader’ has infected at least 37 people at her church in Daegu, South Korea with the new coronavirus, and dozens of additional worshippers are also showing symptoms of the disease, called COVID-19, according to news reports. The woman, called "Patient 31" by Korea's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, developed a fever on Feb. 10 and attended 4 church services before being diagnosed. Authorities described the outbreak as a "super-spreading event," as the lone woman transmitted the infection to an unusually high number of people. Angry netizens are calling her "crazy ajumma" for the way she refused twice to test for the coronavirus, and how she roamed freely even though she was warded for 10 days in a hospital after a car accident. The woman also left the hospital to have lunch with friends at a buffet restaurant and spent time at a jimjilbang (Korea spa with large resting areas) in the neighbouring city of Cheongdo, where infections are multiplying. She even argued with a health official for an hour before finally agreeing to take the coronavirus test. Another 15 were infected at the local hospital, and one has died, according to a briefing from Korea’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Current estimates suggest that a single person with the novel coronavirus spreads the infection to about 2.2 additional people, on average.

3. With 53 new cases reported on 20 Feb 2020, South Korea has a total of 204 cases making it the largest cluster outside mainland China and the cruise ship docked off Japan. Japan's health minister said the last cruise ship passengers who tested negative for a new virus will leave the Diamond Princess after a much-criticized quarantine of the vessel ended. The ship docked at Yokohama has the most COVID-19 cases outside of China, with 634 cases from the ship confirmed.

4. The southern cities of Daegu and Cheongdo in Korea have been declared "special care zones". The streets of Daegu are now largely abandoned. All military bases are in lockdown after three soldiers tested positive. About 9,000 members of the church in South Korea were told to self quarantine. The Shincheonji Church of Jesus — whose leader claims he is an angel of Jesus — has become the biggest cluster of viral infections in South Korea, where a surge in new cases has raised fears that the outbreak is getting out of control. The authorities suspect the current outbreak in South Korea originated in Cheongdo, pointing out that a large number of sect followers attended a funeral of the founder's brother from 31 Jan to 2 Feb 2020.

5. During the ADMM Retreat on 19 Feb 2020, the ASEAN Defence Ministers expressed support for Vietnam's ADMM and ADMM-Plus Chairmanship. They also discussed the ADMM's progress since its establishment and exchanged views on the regional and global security environment. The Defence Ministers discussed the impact of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (2019-nCoV) on the region and emphasised the need for ASEAN Member States to work closely together.
  • Singapore’s Defence Minister, Dr Ng Eng Hen and the other ASEAN Defence Ministers also adopted a Joint Statement on Defence Cooperation Against Disease Outbreaks, which Singapore co-sponsored with Vietnam, which reaffirms the ADMM's commitment to promote defence cooperation, including military medicine cooperation, in light of the current outbreak of 2019-nCoV. The Joint Statement also calls on defence establishments to do their part for public health and social cohesion by supporting the efforts of national health authorities, including leveraging the ASEAN network of Chemical, Biological and Radiological defence experts.
  • Dr Ng also spoke about the ASEAN Defence Ministers' views regarding 2019-nCoV. He said, "It was important that we expressed that all defence establishments are committed to remain together as one ASEAN, that we would not be divided. Even though ASEAN defence establishments are not directly in the frontline against 2019-nCoV, the ASEAN Defence Ministers affirmed that the fight is against the virus, which must not allow to divide our people internally or ASEAN.”
  • Singapore pledged to utilise the recently stood up network of Chemical, Biological and Radiological experts to share information, and to protect our militaries and citizens — Singapore’s DSO National Laboratories coordinates this network and will leverage on it to the benefit of all. The shortage of test kits in China and in many countries, like Cambodia, is delaying diagnoses. As tens of thousands have flocked to Chinese hospitals for testing, the authorities have declared developing more test kits a priority. A made-in-Singapore diagnostic test kit that detects 2019-nCoV was rolled out at select Singapore hospitals on 9 Feb 2020 — these kits deployed are enough to do 5,000 tests. On 7 Feb 2020, Singapore has also sent to China test kits that can conduct 10,000 tests and three polymerase chain reaction (PCR) machines to screen people for 2019-nCoV. MiRXES Pte Ltd, a Singapore headquartered biotechnology company will scale up production said the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star), whose scientists developed the pre-packed reagents.
6. During a meeting with Singaporean Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said he hopes the Special ASEAN-China Foreign Ministers' Meeting on Coronavirus Disease, held on 20 Feb 2020, will not only explore on ways to cope with the epidemic, but also push forward the cooperation on public health.
  • Wang Yi thanked the support Singapore has provided to China in fighting the disease which once again embodies the excellent tradition between the two countries of always supporting and helping each other in difficult times.
  • Sharing of information by Singapore will prevent a repeat of the 13 Feb 2020 mistake (where 1,455 passengers and 802 crew were allowed to disembark from Westerdam) by Cambodia from happening again. Efforts are now being made to track down those who have left Westerdam, a cruise ship owned by Holland America Line (which was declined entry in Thailand, Japan, Taiwan, Guam and the Philippines). One passenger - an 83-year-old US woman - took a plane to Malaysia along with 144 other passengers. She recorded a high temperature on landing in Kuala Lumpur and tested positive for the virus. Dr Asok Karup from the Infectious Diseases Care clinic in Singapore described the process of self-certifying on a form that the cruise ship passengers were symptom-free as "completely inappropriate." Further, spending 2 weeks aboard did not count as a proper quarantine because passengers could have come into contact with an infected person at any point during that period, he added.
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WHO, legal framework and Singapore specific updates

1. The strength of Singapore’s risk communication was reflected in the strength of their response more broadly, World Health Organization (WHO) spokeswoman Olivia Lawe-Davies said in an email. “Before the detection of the first case in Singapore, preparedness activities were already under way for the rapid detection and response to 2019-nCoV, including enhanced surveillance and communication with the public and healthcare workers.” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he had spoken on Monday to Singapore’s Health Minister Gan Kim Yong. "We are very impressed with the efforts they are making to find every case, follow up with contacts and stop transmission," said Dr Tedros. "Singapore is leaving no stone unturned, testing every case of influenza-like illness and pneumonia, and so far they have not found evidence of community transmission." See: As Asia panics over coronavirus, Singapore wins praise for its approach | The Japan Times and WHO praises Singapore’s efforts in tackling coronavirus outbreak.

2. Singapore’s Infectious Disease Act, unlike in South Korea or Japan which has no such law, “allows the health and public security authorities, firstly to compel testing if there is suspicion of a serious or highly infectious disease, and secondly to enforce quarantine,” whether in the form of a Leave Of Absence, a stricter Stay Home Notice, or to go a designated quarantine location. The lack of effective and enforceable laws, rules and regulations in South Korea and Japan hinder their efforts to stop the spread of the virus. The comprehensive existing legal framework, in the form of laws, rules and regulations, is one example of how Singapore has been preparing for a potential pandemic outbreak since SARS.

3. UK had to quickly pass a tighter version of similar regulations, for quarantine enforcement, after one quarantine case decided to walk out of a quarantine just because he did not like to stay in that quarantine.

4. In the US, quarantine is the most extreme use of government power over people who have committed no crime. As a legal matter, the US Supreme Court recognized a seemingly unlimited local power to quarantine as early as 1824, in the case Gibbons v. Ogden. It reaffirmed this power in 1900, noting that “from an early day the power of the States to enact and enforce quarantine laws for the safety and the protection of the health of their inhabitants … is beyond question.”

  • But the average American may be surprised to learn who holds the authority to order such public-health measures. Except at the nation’s borders, the federal government, with the expertise of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is not in charge.
  • America’s defense against epidemics is divided among 2,684 state, local, and tribal public-health departments. Each one is responsible for monitoring people within its jurisdiction, imposing isolation or quarantine as needed.
  • The Department of Homeland Security has implemented a travel ban on noncitizens who have been anywhere in China recently. U.S. citizens, by contrast, cannot be turned away at the border, but they can be ordered into quarantine to be monitored, at present for up to two weeks. The secretary of health and human services announced quarantine measures for returning citizens not long after the CDC issued its first federal quarantine order in more than 50 years—for the first planeload of people evacuated from Wuhan by the U.S. State Department.
Another possibility to throw in the mix is that there could (not saying there is) be a few people that are naturally immune don't show any of the signs or symptoms but are just carriers and spread it... it would only take one or two people for it to roar its ugly head again after it slows...
5. Of the 86 infected, some of the patients in Singapore have mild symptoms, some more serious. The Health Ministry (MOH) said on Friday (21 Feb 2020), that of the total cases, 47 - more than half - have fully recovered and been discharged from hospital. Most of the 39 confirmed cases who are still hospitalised are stable or improving. Five are in critical condition in the intensive care unit, one more than the day before. With only 1 new case announced on 21 Feb 2020, there are now more discharged patients in Singapore than new cases, for the last week.

6. Doctors had given a seriously ill patient (case number 33 in Singapore from The Life Church and Missions cluster of 6 infections), medication typically used to treat HIV patients. The medical team then attempted to lift her out of the medically-induced paralysis by cutting down her sedation. But doctors told the family members that once they did that, she “became very agitated and started to wrestle a little unconsciously”, due to the discomfort of having breathing tubes in her. Because the family couldn’t be by her side to comfort her, they recorded audio messages of encouragement instead. After the hospitalisation, case number 33 was given a clean bill of health and discharged.

7. MOH announced on 8 Feb 2020 that cases 8, 9 and 33 had links to the church, following further epidemiological investigations and contact tracing. They include the married couple – both 56-year-old Chinese nationals from Wuhan – who arrived in Singapore together on 19 Jan 2020. The call to family members of case number 33 came on 7 Feb 2020. “I was very stunned because I thought the likelihood was low, but they were pretty sure,” said her sister. What ensued was “madness”, said the sibling. Government officers from the Ministry of Health and Singapore Police Force started calling her to help with contact tracing. “I was receiving calls till my battery went flat,” she said. Ambulances were also sent to take all the family members – including a one-month old child – to different hospitals for screening. They were eventually cleared, and sent home to serve out quarantine orders. See: 'Running a marathon on the bed': COVID-19 survivors describe their struggles with the coronavirus
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I am somewhat distrustful of PRC claims about their restricting the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus and controlling it. Chinese ambassador hits out at New Zealand travel ban in response to novel coronavirus outbreak. After all they did their best to hide it at the start. Having them lecture us on our biosecurity status is somewhat hypocritical at the least, since they inflicted this on the world. It's a wonder that they haven't claimed that Xi Jinping has personally heroically worked day and night without rest or sustanence, discovering and engineering a miracle cure that rids the patient of COVID-19 corona virus, and immunises them at the same time.

John Fedup

The Bunker Group
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@ngatimozart ...very good FP review article. Having seen the Chernobyl TV series earlier this year which showed the former Soviet regime’s horrible initial response to the disaster, the similarities to this virus outbreak is remarkable. The outcome from Chernobyl was fatal to the Russian communist government but major damage was confined to within Russia. The CCP may survive this but damage confined to China is unlikely wrt this virus and China’s image will be stained for years. This is also proof as to why Chinese currency will never replace the US dollar as the world’s reserve currency as long as the CCP is running China, zero trust.


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Updates on South Korea’s Crisis Response

1. The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in South Korea are at 763 as of 24 Feb 2020 and the alert level has been raised to Red (level 4). “The COVID-19 situation is facing the grave turning point. The next days are very crucial,” President Moon Jae-in said at a pan-national meeting on responding to the virus outbreak. Imported cases from Japan and China have been identified, in addition to infection through local transmission. Majority of the infected currently are Koreans, however. Blue indicates Level 1 alert in Korea’s National Crisis Management System, while Yellow indicates a more serious Level 2 among the four levels. The alert level was further raised to Orange (Level 3) on 28 Jan 2020. Furthermore, 29 national designated hospitals were announced to isolate the confirmed and suspected cases.

2. Calling for citizens' concerted efforts, Health Minister Park Neung-hoo said that the next seven or 10 days will be the most crucial juncture in fighting the virus. Rapid diagnostic tests for coronavirus in Korea have been made available at Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC), along with 17 environmental research institutes. The country has tested a total of 26,179 suspected cases, with 17,520 testing negative. Some 8,057 people were awaiting test results as of Sunday afternoon. The health minister said the government will secure 609 beds in Daegu to accommodate the virus-infected patients, with around 1,000 more to be made available across the country. South Korea said it will be capable of acquiring 10,000 beds nationwide. Seoul will also designate some 43 hospitals throughout the country to treat patients with lighter symptoms. The KCDC said South Korea is carrying out around 5,000 to 6,000 tests per day. It also ruled out rumors that the country is short of medical supplies to treat COVID-19, including the anti-HIV medication Kaletra. South Korea will maintain efforts to keep a stable supply of such pharmaceutical goods, it added. The country's health authorities earlier advised local hospitals to use Kaletra or Chloroquine -- used to treat malaria -- for patients of the new coronavirus.

3. 11 Korean service members have been confirmed to have the new coronavirus, and around 7,700 troops are quarantined as part of efforts to stop the virus from spreading further into barracks, the defense ministry said. Meanwhile, the Military Manpower Administration said that it would suspend its examinations of potential conscripts to determine whether they are fit for mandatory military service for the next two weeks as part of efforts to help contain the spread of the virus.

4. To better cope with the spread, South Korea said it will open a central headquarters in charge of the COVID-19 outbreak, which will be led by Prime Minister Chung Sye-kun. It marked the first time for a prime minister to take such a position. 329, or about 55%, of Korea’s confirmed cases of the highly contagious virus have been linked to members of the the Shincheonji Church of Jesus. Health authorities have secured some 9,300 names of people affiliated with the Daegu church. As of Saturday afternoon, some 1,276 people on the list said they had some symptoms, while some 7,390 said they did not. Daegu Mayor Kwon Young-jin said at a briefing that the search would continue for those who were still out of touch and that authorities were regularly monitoring those who attended Sunday services.

5. The Daegu Metropolitan Police Agency mobilized some 600 officers to locate those followers who are still unaccounted for. A petition demanding that the government forcibly disband the Shincheonji Church of Jesus was posted on the presidential office’s website on Friday, and has so far attracted more than 300,000 signatures. There is widespread anger over the sect’s secretiveness and their apparent unwillingness to cooperate with health officials. According to the authorities, more than 600 members of the Daegu branch are not answering calls or texts and cannot be accounted for. Simon Kim, a spokesman for the Shincheonji Church of Jesus, said it was cooperating fully with authorities. He said a membership list the church had given the authorities had been leaked, provoking hate speech and members being pressured to leave their jobs.

6. Initially, all those in the country who have tested positive for the new virus have their travels and whereabouts logged by government officials. Using mobile phone data, credit card records, CCTV footage and public transport cards, authorities pinpoint the activities of patients. These travel logs are then uploaded onto the Ministry of Health and Welfare website so other citizens know if they could have come in to contact with an infected person. Subscribing to the service from the Korean Ministry of Health and Welfare, will provide message tell you where a nearby confirmed coronavirus patient has been and at what time. They're incredibly detailed. It has times, dates, exact locations. For instance, one patient was in a Korean pool hall until 1.30am. With over 763 infected in Korea, this will soon no longer workable as the data would be too dense for the general public to understand, without a huge public education effort. IMHO, the Koreans made a mistake in failing to compel testing early enough and resulted in a super-spreader event that makes the outbreak that much hard to contain.

7. Though most of those infected with the virus, 494 people, have been from Daegu or North Gyeongsang Province, cases of the coronavirus were confirmed in nearly every part of the country over the weekend, including Busan, Ulsan, Jeju Island and Gangwon Province. The Korean Ministry of Education said the start of the new semester for kindergartens, elementary, middle and high schools as well as special schools will be delayed by one week to 9 Mar 2020.
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Updates on the spread of the Coronavirus in 10 countries with Italy in the spotlight
Foreign Policy article on China's response How China’s Incompetence Endangered the World. It's worth the read and I think it covers most points. Most of all the most important point it makes, is that the it is all about trust and the PRC is losing that both domestically and internationally. IMHO it's lost that trust already.
1. If you look at the Korea Government’s transition from a slow start to full blow crisis mode with at least 763 cases, it is understandable that some early mistakes were made — the test is whether the Koreans can slow the transmission rate, in the next ten days. Even if the transmission rate is slowed, it is a matter of time before the number of infected rise beyond 2,000 in Korea. Despite the surge in case numbers, South Korea's well-regarded national health system has a solid track record of containing epidemics, including SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) in 2003, H1N1 in 2009 and MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome) in 2015. One reason case numbers appear to have grown rapidly is because of the country's ability to test large numbers of people quickly. As of Monday afternoon, the health authorities had tested 31,923 people, with 20,292 tests coming back negative and 11,631 results still pending. At that stage, there will be some regional medical capacity issues, which may result in the need to transfer of patients from different hospitals to deal with the outbreak.

2. This is similar to the slow start in China to full blown pandemic crisis mode — in the next 2 months, we will get to see the crisis response of the next ten countries being tested — not just that of China (with more than 64,000 cases), Japan (at least 99 cases; plus 639 cruise ship cases), or Korea (at least 763 cases), all of which have powerful central governments (with advanced health care facilities). The coronavirus crisis has starkly highlighted China’s strengths and weaknesses. Which other country has the political will and capability to quarantine a province of 60 million? Which other country could build a new hospital in 10 days? But it also has to be asked: why were such drastic measures and Herculean efforts necessary in the first place?

3. A University of Queensland team say they have brewed the first test dose of a vaccine (a process done in part to trial the factory's systems) — The test vaccine was developed in just six weeks by University of Queensland researchers using world-first molecular clamp technology invented in Australia. Nevertheless, it shows the incredible progress made by the researchers – less than two months after the first recorded coronavirus death, a test vaccine is in production. Next ten countries to have their health care and pandemic crisis system tested, would likely be:
  • Italy (at least 152 cases)
  • Iran (at least 43 cases)
  • Thailand (at least 35 cases)
  • United States (at least 35 cases)
  • Taiwan (at least 26 cases)
  • Malaysia (at least 22 cases)
  • Australia (at least 21 cases)
  • Vietnam (at least 16 cases)
  • Germany (at least 16 cases)
  • France (at least 12 cases)
4. The spike to 152 cases in Italy, from fewer than 5 known cases before Thursday — has quickly made the country the biggest test of whether the virus can be successfully contained in an open European society. “Unfortunately, the person who was considered to be ‘patient zero’ was not,” said Attilio Fontana, the president of Lombardy. “We need to look elsewhere. We are following two hypotheses, and we will try to understand if one of the two is correct.” About 50,000 people cannot enter or leave several towns in Veneto and Lombardy, in Italy for the next two weeks without special permission. Police are patrolling 11 towns – mostly in the Lombardy region, where the first locally transmitted case emerged.
  • “Unfortunately, we haven’t managed to limit the spread of the virus,” said Roberto Burioni, a professor of microbiology and virology at the Vita-Salute San Raffaele University in Milan, which has also closed. “And we need to face the fact that it is spreading quickly. At first, we thought that the virus was only abroad, but now it is also in Italy. People should try not to panic but limiting the spread is, in part, down to our behaviour. Those who have been in contact with someone infected must isolate themselves. Crowded places should also be avoided; sacrifices need to be made to try to overcome the virus.”
  • Schools and universities will also be closed for at least a week in Lombardy, Veneto, Emilia-Romagna and Piedmont, while similar measures have been taken in Liguria and Alto Adige. Austria suspended train services over the Alps to Italy for about four hours late on Sunday before restarting them after two travellers tested negative for coronavirus. A train carrying about 300 passengers from Venice, Italy, to Munich in Germany was halted on the Italian side of the Brenner Pass before being allowed to continue its journey after the two tested negative, authorities said.
5. Iran’s health minister told state TV that the virus came from China to the holy city of Qom in central Iran. He said that one the Iranian dead from the virus was a merchant who regularly shuttled between the two countries using indirect flights in recent weeks, after Iran stopped direct passenger flights to China. Kuwait has been evacuating some 750 citizens from Iran and testing them as they enter the country after saying that Iran had barred its medical workers from testing travellers at an exit terminal in Iran, despite an agreement to do so. Travellers from Iran infected with the virus have also been confirmed in Canada, Lebanon, the UAE and Bahrain.
  • Four immediate neighbours of Iran—Turkey, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Armenia—said on Sunday they would close land borders, while three imposed restrictions on air traffic, amid growing regional concerns about the spread of the virus. Iraqi and Kuwaiti authorities have already banned travel to and from Iran.
  • On 22 Feb 2020, Iran ordered the closure of schools and universities in two cities hit by a coronavirus outbreak. More shockingly, based on official figures released by Iran, nearly 10% of those infected with the new coronavirus in Iran have died, compared with little more than 3% in China. Iran’s fatality is massively out of line with other nations. But the most likely explanation is Iran has a much larger pool of people infected with coronavirus.
6. In Singapore, there are no new cases of the coronavirus disease, said the Health Ministry on Sunday (23 Feb 2020), meaning that the total number stays at 89. The next 14 days will be crucial for Singapore.
  • Singapore dispatched a second round of humanitarian aid, including medical supplies, to China on 19 Feb 2020. Singapore’s ambassador to China Lui Tuck Yew handed over the country's humanitarian assistance to People's Liberation Army General Hospital Medical Service Department deputy head Zhang Fu in Beijing. The assistance was to help communities severely affected by the coronavirus outbreak in China, and help efforts to contain the virus, said Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  • In addition, the Singapore Red Cross said it sent on 19 Feb 2020, S$2.26 million worth of aid to China as part of the first phase of its relief efforts to contain the coronavirus outbreak in the country. The amount will go to, among other things, buying and distributing supplies like masks, medical equipment and hygiene items. This comes from more than S$6 million in donations it raised towards these efforts in Singapore. The charity launched its public appeal for funds to aid those in China affected by the outbreak on 4 Feb 2020, with the Singapore Government on the same day contributing S$1 million to kick-start fund-raising efforts. Organisations such as OCBC bank and Business China have donated to the cause.
7. Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party decided to deduct 5,000 yen (US$ 45.43) from the March salary of every parliamentarian of the party and donate the money to support China's fight against the epidemic, a sum totaling 2 million yen (US$ 18,170). Many Japanese prefectures and cities have offered donations to China, including Oita Prefecture, a sister prefecture of the central Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicenter of the epidemic, as well as the cities of Mito, Okayama, and Maizuru, among others. South Korea also offered large amounts of medical and anti-epidemic materials to China, including 2 million face masks, 1 million medical masks, 100,000 hazmat suits and 100,000 pairs of goggles. The U.S. private sector has donated a batch of medical supplies to China, including 2 million masks, the U.S.-China Business Council (USCBC) announced. "This is the time to demonstrate our shared humanity and dedication to the common good," said USCBC President Craig Allen.
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Hope the crew of HMNZS Aotearoa stay safe in South Korea (with their outbreak) and don't bring it back to NZ.... just saying :confused: :eek: :(

I don't think NZ is ready especially since it is coming into flu season ... cough cough
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At lakes

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Why did the WHO delay issuing a global emergency? Has Chinese money influenced the WHO and it's Director General Tedros Adhanom? And what about poor Taiwan?



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1. South Korea reported 505 additional COVID-19 infections (new cases take total infections to 1,766 cases) in its largest daily increase on 27 Feb 2020, as the United States issued a new warning against travel to the Asian nation. The US military reported its first case on Wednesday, a 23-year-old soldier based in Camp Carroll, about 20km from Daegu. The camp is also near a disability centre that has had its own outbreak of the virus. See: South Korea reports 505 new COVID-19 cases, raising total to 1,766

2. Italy (with 12 dead and 400 infections) and Iran (with 19 dead and 139 infections) are emerging as new epicentres of the rapidly spreading illness, besides South Korea and China. Iran's (i) vice president of Iran for Women and Family Affairs, Masoumeh Ebtekar; (ii) deputy health minister, Iraj Harirchi; and (iii) Tehran’s reformist MP, Mahmoud Sadeghi, have tested positive for the new coronavirus, as it struggles to contain an outbreak (see: Doctors Inside Iran Believe Coronavirus Is More Serious Than Reported, and Getting Worse). It’s an awkward predicament for the deputy health minister, where he was seen repeatedly mopping his brow and occasionally coughing at a press conference where Iranian authorities downplayed the scale of the coronavirus outbreak in the country. There is no reason for the widespread outbreak in Iran other than regime incompetence and venality. As with the Chinese government, the Iranian regime’s first approach was to deny and cover-up. Despite the virus' spread, President Hassan Rouhani said on that authorities won't quarantine any Iranian cities. He also warned about the virus becoming "a weapon at the hands of our enemies," as part of "propaganda" against the country.

3. For the first time in the outbreak, the number of new cases reported outside of China in a single day was larger than those reported inside the country, said the World Health Organization. On 26 Feb 2020, China reported 412 newly confirmed cases, while 459 additional cases were reported outside of China, according to the WHO’s daily report. 20 countries have confirmed their first coronavirus cases in the past week:
  • Lebanon
  • Oman
  • Israel
  • Afghanistan
  • Greece
  • Denmark
  • Austria
  • Estonia
  • Romania
  • North Macedonia
  • Georgia
  • Pakistan
  • Norway
  • Spain
  • Brazil
  • Algeria
  • Switzerland
  • Croatia
  • Bahrain
  • Kuwait
4. US Vice President Mike Pence will be the White House point person quarterbacking the administration's response to COVID-19. Speaking alongside Pence; Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar; National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases head Dr. Anthony Fauci; and principal deputy director of the Centers for Disease Control Dr. Anne Schuchat, the President stressed that the U.S. government was “very, very ready” to respond to the disease. The White House is asking Congress for US$2.5 billion to support efforts to stop the spread of the virus in the U.S. while Senate Democrats led by Chuck Schumer have put an US$8.5 billion price tag on the coronavirus fight. See: Vice President Mike Pence will lead the US response to the COVID-19 outbreak – TechCrunch
  • Secretary Azar outlined five areas where the government would look to spend money including: monitor the spread of the virus, cooperate with local governments, develop therapeutics, develop vaccines, and manufacture and purchase personal protective equipment.
  • Diagnosing the illness has been a particular problem for the U.S. According to multiple reports, the CDC isn’t prepared to test for a potentially rapidly expanding number of cases in the U.S. Only 12 of the 100 public health labs in the U.S. are able to diagnose the coronavirus because of problems with a test developed by the CDC. The US has 60 confirmed coronavirus cases, health officials said, a number that is expected to grow. President Donald Trump wants America to know he's doing a great job in keeping out the novel coronavirus, in a victory lap that could look premature if his own experts are correct in their more somber forecasts. The President spoke at a news conference about the worldwide health emergency that has seen the virus sweep into South Korea, Italy and every continent but Antarctica, sounding as if the danger had already passed rather than was yet to arrive.
  • A resident of Solano County, California, who has novel coronavirus might be the first example in the country of "community spread," a situation in which the patient did not have "relevant travel history or exposure to another known patient," the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.
  • Moderna’s vaccine against COVID-19 was developed in record time because it’s based on a relatively new genetic method that does not require growing huge amounts of virus. Instead, the vaccine is packed with mRNA, the genetic material that comes from DNA and makes proteins. The first vials were sent to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, MD, which will ready the vaccine for human testing as early as April.
  • NIH scientists also began testing an antiviral drug called remdesivir that had been developed for Ebola, on a patient infected with SARS-CoV-2. The trial is the first to test a drug for treating COVID-19, and will be led by a team at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. The first patient to volunteer for the ground-breaking study is a passenger who was brought back to the US after testing positive for the disease aboard the Diamond Princess (see: COVID-19 Vaccine Shipped, and Drug Trials Start)
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Well-Known Member
The coronavirus hysteria is getting out of hand. The media of course love a good beat up and if spreading a bit of fear sells more newspapers or earns them a few more views they are up for it. When reading any opinion piece it is well worth remembering that the reporter often knows nothing or very little about what they are writing. This week they are writing about the coronavirus, last week they may have been the food critic.

If you just look at the raw numbers though it does tell a different story.

Coronavirus Update (Live): 83,377 Cases and 2,858 Deaths from COVID-19 Wuhan China Virus Outbreak - Worldometer

Facts are that the death rate is dropping as doctors work out better treatments and detection methods. More people are dying of the flu than the Coronavirus.


The Bunker Group

Well our "luck" on evading COVID 19 seems not holding, this two case is the first 'official' count on COVID 19 case in Indonesian soil. The Government also quarantine the Indonesian crews of two cruise liners in small island at Jakarta waters.
There's always question on Indonesian abilities to cover all suspected/potential cases, but the Government maintain that they have been keeping track on all potential cases. This two individuals according to health ministry are part of the potential cases being track, and so far only this two that tested positive for COVID 19.


Super Moderator
Staff member
On 4 Mar 2020, Singapore’s Ambassador in Yangon Vanessa Chan handed over 3,000 COVID-19 diagnostic tests and two polymerase chain reaction (PCR) machines to the Myanmar National Health Laboratory in Yangon.

Singapore is glad to work closely with Myanmar to safeguard the health of our people. International and regional cooperation is crucial to combat the COVID-19 outbreak. Confident that we will overcome this transboundary challenge together.

The cost of each test is about S$260 dollars and the donation to Myanmar is worth about S$750,000 to S$800,000.

As the novel coronavirus starts to gather speed in Europe, the Middle East and the U.S., Singapore has received praise from health experts for implementing measures that have likely helped to contain the virus. In recent weeks, the number of cases in Singapore has slowed while recoveries are on the rise. Of the 112 cases confirmed since January, just 33 were active cases. In a world first, researchers in Singapore have developed a new serological test that can establish links between infected cases, which allows authorities to map out the chain of transmission and therefore try to break it. How governments have handled the outbreak, said Chan Chun Sing Minister for Trade and Industry, will in the end matter when it comes time for companies to decide where to invest.

“When people look at our numbers they are confident that we know what we are doing and that’s important, and that inspires confidence,” Minister Chan said. That is “compared to some other places where there are no headline numbers. Then you really don’t know because there are no” known cases or tests.
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Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
NZ has it's third case of COVID-19 and this person hadn't travelled to an infected area. This time they caught it from a family members who had been to Iran. Coronavirus: What we know about the third confirmed case of coronavirus. He's in self isolation at home with appropriate medical care. Here people have been told not to go to doctors and hospitals, but to ring a dedicated help line where they will be told what to do, their details are taken and a plan of action is formulated for their treatment etc. That way the authorities hope to reduce the probability of infection transmission in medical centres and hospitals.


Well-Known Member
There is a hint that the next Olympics could be postponed as a result of this virus.

Australia and other countries are probably breathing a sigh of relief that they aren't hosting this year's Olympics.