Coronavirus (COVID-19): Your Daily Update

Updated as of April 4 at 9am

There is currently an explosion of information, comments and opinions on the new coronavirus on the internet and social media. We believe that on serious topics in general, and on public health matters in particular, it is essential that you rely on facts and seek credible, expert information. Our mission at AD MediLink remains to bring you the best possible information and advice, so you can make the best choices for you and your family. 

 


 

COVID-19 has killed over 59,000 people (52,000 yesterday) and infected 1,097,909 (1,000,000 yesterday) in over 170 countries.

Over 92% of all cases are now outside China as new cases keep coming from Europe and the US. 

As of April 4 at 9am (HK), COVID-19 has caused 59,131 deaths and 1,097,909 confirmed cases (82,511 in China).

225,942 people have recovered so far.

 

Latest COVID-19 update (as of April 4)

Total number of cases (worldwide): 1,097,909.

Number of cases in Mainland China: 82,511.

Number of deaths: 59,131 (6% i.e. 3,326 in mainland China).

Number of people who have recovered: 225,942.

Number of cases outside Mainland China (source Johns Hopkins):

– Asia: South Korea: 10,062, Malaysia: 3,333, Philippines: 3,018, Pakistan: 2,686, India: 2,543, Japan: 2,495,Thailand: 1,875, Indonesia: 1,790, Singapore: 1,049Hong Kong: 845, Diamond Princess ship: 712, Taiwan: 348, Afghanistan: 273, Sri Lanka: 151, Vietnam: 233, Brunei: 133, Cambodia: 110, Macau: 41.

– Europe: Italy: 119,827, Spain: 119,199, Germany: 91,159, France: 65,202UK: 38,690Switzerland: 18,827Turkey: 18,135, Belgium: 15,348, Netherlands: 14,788, Austria: 11,129, Portugal: 9,034Sweden: 5,568, Norway: 5,147, Czech Republic: 3,858, Ireland: 3,849, Denmark: 3,573, Russia: 3,548, Poland: 2,946, Romania: 2,738, Luxembourg: 2,487, Greece: 1,544, Finland: 1,446, Iceland: 1,319, Croatia: 1,011, Slovenia: 756, Estonia: 715, Ukraine: 548, Armenia: 482, Serbia: 457, Lithuania: 299, Hungary: 261, Latvia: 244, Bulgaria: 242, Andorra: 224, Slovakia: 226, Macedonia: 201, Albania: 223, Malta: 156, North Belarus: 152, Georgia: 103, Liechtenstein: 68, Monaco: 55.

– North America: USA: 276,995, Canada: 12,439, Mexico: 1,510.

 South America: Brazil: 9,194, Chile: 3,737, Ecuador: 3,163, Peru: 1,414, Dominican Republic1,380Panama: 1,317, Colombia: 1,161, Argentina: 1,133, Costa Rica: 396, Venezuela: 146, Bolivia: 123, Paraguay: 77.

– Australia: 5,330, New Zealand: 868.

– Africa: South Africa: 1,505, Algeria: 1,171Egypt: 985, Morocco: 708, Tunisia: 455, Burkina Faso: 288, Senegal: 195, Nigeria: 184, DRC: 156, Ethiopia: 29.

– Middle East: Iran: 53,183, Israel: 7,428, Saudi Arabia: 1,885, UAE: 1,024, Qatar: 949, Iraq: 728, Bahrain: 569, Lebanon: 446, Azerbaijan: 273, Jordan: 268, Kuwait: 266, Oman: 179.

 

Latest global news about COVID-19

– Singapore to close schools and most work places from Monday onwards.

– The number of confirmed cases worldwide is now over 1 million.

– New York City’s death toll accounts for almost a third of all deaths in the United States.

– The United States have the most cases in the world by far with over 270,000 cases.

– Tokyo has delayed the Olympics until 2021.

– The United Kingdom has been placed on lockdown for 3 weeks in order to slow the spread of the virus. Boris Johnson, UK Prime Minister, has tested positive for COVID-19.

– Italy accounts for almost one quarter of global COVID-19 deaths: 14,000 of the 60,000 deaths globally.

– Australia and New Zealand have banned non-residents from entry, in an unprecedented move.

– In the US, social distancing measure are extended until April 30th.

Canada has barred entry to travellers who are not citizens, permanent residents or US citizens. Only exceptions are diplomats, crew and immediate family members of citizens.

– The WHO has declared COVID-19 a pandemic. According to its Director General, “we have never before seen a pandemic sparked by a coronavirus. And we have never before seen a pandemic that can be controlled at the same time”.

France and many other European countries including Switzerland, Germany, Ireland or Denmark have closed all schools and imposed confinement on all citizens.

 

Latest measures taken in Hong Kong

– The government orders a two-week shutdown of all bars and pubs.

 

– In an attempt to control the outbreak the government has decided to close all clubs, beauty parlours and karaoke bars, amongst other social places, for two weeks.

 

– In an effort to enforce social distancing more strictly, restaurants are not allowed to have tables of over 4 people, with each table at 1.5 metres distance. Many facilities like cinemas, fitness centres and others are shut.

 

–  For two weeks and starting Tuesday March 24, non-residents are not allowed into Hong Kong.

 

IB exams in Hong Kong and around the world have been cancelled.

 

– Government employees are back to working from home and all schools are to remain closed “until further notice”.

 

Closing of more border points with China: Carrie Lam announced on February 3 that from 00:00 hrs on February 4 only two land boundary control points will handle passengers: Shenzhen Bay and HK-Zuhai-Macao Bridge. The Lo Wu, Lok Ma Chau and Macao Ferry Terminal control points will close. Hong Kong International Airport will operate as normal. Kai Tak Cruise Terminal will operate as normal. This means that out of 14 boundary control points between HK and mainland China, 10 will be closed and only 4 will remain open for now.

 

Drastic new measures to limit cross-border travel: in a new press conference on January 28, Carrie Lam announced  new measures to drastically reduce cross-border travel including the shutdown of the two railways, cross-border ferries and denying entry to individual mainland travellers. Flights from and to the mainland will also be cut by half and cross-border tour buses will be reduced. Beijing has also agreed to stop issuing individual travel visas for mainlanders. These measures will be effective at midnight on Thursday 30 January.

 

Civil servants working from home: most of Hong Kong’s 176,000 civil servants have been asked to work from home for the rest of the week (from January 29 until February 2) to limit the spreading of the novel coronavirus. This measure will not apply to civil servants who provide urgent and necessary public services. This was announced on January 28 and the full release is here.

 

– Sports and cultural facilities closed: Hong Kong’s Leisure and Cultural Services Department has announced the shutting down of all sports centres, public swimming pools, museums, and libraries from Tuesday January 28 until further notice. The full press release is here.

 

Reminder: what is COVID-19?

A coronavirus is a kind of common virus that causes an infection in your nose, sinuses, or upper throat. This large family of viruses causes several well-known mild to moderate respiratory illnesses such as the common cold, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Coronaviruses spread through coughing, sneezing, or touching an infected person.

While most coronaviruses are not dangerous and most people actually get a coronavirus infection at least once in their life, most likely as a young child, with mild symptoms. In some rarer instances, people have been infected by a more serious type of coronavirus, such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) or Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV).

Coronaviruses are zoonotic, meaning they are transmitted between animals and people. Indeed, SARS was transmitted from civet cats to humans, and MERS from dromedary camels to humans, as reminded by World Health Organization (WHO).

A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has NOT been previously identified in humans. The new coronavirus was first named “2019-nCoV”. On February 11, WHO renamed it COVID-19.

 

Where does COVID-19 come from?

On 31 December 2019, China alerted the WHO of several cases of pneumonia in the city of Wuhan. Wuhan has 11 million people and is located in the central Hubei Province, which itself has 60 million people. Several of those infected by the virus worked at or visited a a large seafood and animal market, suggesting a possible zoonotic origin to the outbreak. Wuhan’s Huanan Seafood Market was shut on January 1.

On January 5, Chinese officials and experts ruled out the possibility that this was a recurrence of the SARS. Tests showed that cases were due to a new coronavirus, which was named “2019-nCoV.” (it has since been renamed COVID-19 by WHO).

On January 11, China announced its first death: a 61-year-old man who had visited the seafood market. He was admitted to hospital and died on the evening of January 9 when his heart failed.

Since then, the COVID-19 has spread around the world.

 

If you are looking for a doctor or hospital in Hong Kong, note that new guidelines are in place. Learn all about it here.

 

What are the symptoms?

For confirmed COVID-19 infections, reported illnesses have ranged from people with mild symptoms to to people being severely ill and dying. As reported by CDC, symptoms can include:

– Fever

– Cough

– Difficulty breathing

– Pneumonia as shown on chest X-ray

People of older age and/or with existing health issues are deemed at higher risk of developing severe symptoms from the new coronavirus.

 

Read our Exclusive Interview with SARS Veteran, Dr. Sarah Borwein.

 

Recommendations to follow to stay safe

The Center for Health Protection in Hong Kong as well as the WHO and the CDC in the US have published advice for the general public. These are generally consistent with health recommendations to contain common viruses, such as influenza.

Recommendations include hand and respiratory hygiene, and safe food practices.

– Frequently clean your hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.

– Wash hands with liquid soap, water and rub for at least 20 seconds. Dry with a disposable paper towel.

– If water and soap is not available, use 70 to 80% alcohol-based hand-rub.

– Avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose.

– When coughing and sneezing cover your mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue – throw tissue immediately and wash hands.

– Avoid close contact with anyone who has fever and cough.

– If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing seek medical care early and share previous travel history with your health care provider.

 

When to seek medical help?

You must wear a surgical mask and seek medical advice immediately if you:

– have any respiratory symptoms,

– have fever and especially

– if you have been travelling.

 

Even if you are unsure about whether you are sick and what it may be, you must see a doctor. In the current context and while we should avoid unnecessary anxiety, it’s best to be safe!

 

 

Looking for health insurance? For expert advicecontact AD MediLink now at hello@admedilink.hk or +852 2606 2668 to receive a free quote. An advisor uniquely trained on the Hong Kong healthcare system will be in touch to answer all your questions about health insurance and healthcare.

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This article was independently written by AD MediLink and is not sponsored. It is informative only and not intended to be a substitute for professional advice and should never be relied upon for specific advice.