COVID 19 Latest – The Geopolitical effect as virus approaches pandemic status
By: Iain Fraser – Editor-at-Large
Málaga Technology Centre
Since the emergence of COVID-19 the world has witnesses public stigmatisation among specific populations, which has the potential to contribute to more severe health problems, ongoing transmission, and difficulties controlling the virus with the worst-hit countries intensifying their efforts to contain the deadly virus as the number of cases globally passes 80,000 with Italy and Iran struggling to contain new outbreaks.
The Geopolitical Effect
While public health is the most important factor, Covid-19 presents economic policymakers with a a completely different set of problems. Central banks across Asia are easing monetary policies while governments prepare new contingency schedules to limit the economic fallout.
However, Covid-19, is not a conventional Geopolitical threat. Efforts to contain the virus are limiting activity by shutting factories and disrupting supply-chains. Such shocks to supply are harder to manage than panic induced prudence. When people stop spending, growth slows and inflation falls. But when supply is constrained, prices can accelerate even as the economy wobbles.
In Japan shares slumped on Tuesday, reacting to a global plunge on Monday sparked by fear of further outbreaks. Wall Street and London have also suffered big index drops.
The latest from the World Health Organisation [WHO]
More cases of the virus, which causes respiratory disease Covid-19, continue to emerge. The proportion of infected people who die from Covid-19 appears to be between 1% and 2%, although the World Health Organization [WHO] cautions that the mortality rate is not known yet. They also believe that the world should be doing more to prepare for a pandemic – a situation where an infectious disease spreads easily between people in many countries.
The WHO said it was too early to label the outbreak as such, but countries should be “in a phase of preparedness”.
The Situation in Numbers
Globally: 79331 confirmed with 715 new cases
China: 77262 confirmed with 415 new cases and 2595 recorded deaths with 150 new deaths
Outside of China: 2069 confirmed with 300 new cases in 29 countries with 23recorded deaths
China continues to struggle with containment
The Chinese government has announced a ban on the consumption of wild animals and a crackdown on the hunting, transportation and trade of prohibited species, state media say. China also said it would postpone the annual meeting of the National People’s Congress next month, to “continue the efforts” against the coronavirus.
The state-run Global Times reported that scientists had made progress on developing an oral vaccine, with a professor at Tianjin University taking four doses with no side effects.
But experts warn that until full clinical trials have taken place it is unclear how safe or effective
the vaccines will be and it could still be months before they can be made widely available
In South Korea, a ninth person has died after contracting the virus. Nearly 900 people are confirmed to have been infected across the country. Most of them are members of the secretive religious sect known as the Shincheonji Church of Jesus. Americans have been warned against all but essential travel to the nation.
Japan on Tuesday urged companies to introduce staggered working hours and teleconferencing to prevent the spread of the virus, the country’s NHK broadcaster reported. Japan has now confirmed more than 850 infected people, most of them on the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise liner.
NHK also reported a fourth death among the ship’s passengers. Health authorities have now been given the details of a quarter of a million members of the church to check they have no symptoms of the virus
Italy has the largest number of cases in Europe, 229, and announced a series of drastic measures over the weekend to try to contain the outbreak. In the regions of Lombardy and Veneto, a lock-down is in place in several small towns. For the next two weeks, 50,000 residents will not be able to leave without special permission. A number of top-flight football matches will be played in empty stadiums next weekend and the England – Italy Six nations rugby match is in jeopardy as organisers seek a new venue.
Iran has introduced school closures and the daily disinfecting of the Tehran underground system. Local media quoted the head of a university in Saveh as saying two more people had died, raising the nation’s fatalitiesto 14, although this has not been officially confirmed.
Kuwait have also reported new cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours.
The latest from WHO
WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters on Monday that the number of new cases in recent days in Iran, Italy and South Korea was “deeply concerning”. However he added: “For the moment we are not witnessing the unconstrained global spread of this virus and we are not witnessing large scale severe disease or deaths.
When asked if the virus had pandemic potential, he replied “Absolutely, it has” but went on to say that from the WHO´s perspective “it wasn´t yet”
The WHO advises … Stay aware of the latest information on the COVID-19 outbreak, available on the WHO website and through your national and local public health authority. COVID-19 is still affecting mostly people in China with some outbreaks in other countries. Most people who become infected experience mild illness and recover, but it can be more severe for others. Take care of your health and protect others by doing the following:
Stay aware of the latest information on the COVID-19 outbreak, available on the WHO website and through your national and local public health authority. COVID-19 is still affecting mostly people in China with some outbreaks in other countries. Most people who become infected experience mild illness and recover, but it can be more severe for others.
Take care of your health and protect others by doing the following:
When and how to use masks If you are healthy, you only need to wear a mask if you are taking care of a person with suspected 2019-nCoV infection. Wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing. Masks are effective only when used in combination with frequent hand-cleaning with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water. If you wear a mask, then you must know how to use it and dispose of it properly.
While it is thought that the outbreak originated at a market in the city of Wuhan, Hubei province, selling wild animals. It is believed that the source was indeed bats and propagated by a separate species, possibly pangolins foraging for insects and contracting the virus from bat excrement. However, the race is on to find out how the deadly coronavirus jumped from animals to humans. Effectively, the novel virus circulates in wildlife and a human has somehow contracted the disease the passed it on via on to co-workers, thought in this instance to be at a wildlife market. Hey presto – a global outbreak is born.
Scientists are attempting to prove the truth of this scenario as they work to find wild animals harbouring the virus. Finding the sequence of events is “a bit of a detective story”, says Prof Andrew Cunningham of Zoological Society London (ZSL). A range of wild animal species could be the host, he says, in particular bats, which harbour a large number of different coronaviruses.
What is a Pandemic?
A pandemic is “officially” classed as the worldwide spread of a new disease for example the H1N1 (swine flu) outbreak, which killed hundreds of thousands of people, was declared a pandemic by the WHO in 2009. But the WHO no longer formally labels an outbreak of disease as a “pandemic” but says the term may be used “colloquially”
More information …
The latest status of Covid 19 can be accessed via the WHO Global Situation Dashboard
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