The Chinese government has rolled out new emergency measures to tackle the spread of coronavirus. The Chinese Lunar New Year public holiday has been extended by three days. China’s second-highest-ranking official has visited Wuhan, the city at the heart of the outbreak that has killed 106 persons.
Nearly three thousand persons, mostly in China, have been infected by the coronavirus, but cases have been reported in more than ten countries, including across parts of Asia, the U.S. and France.
With the Lunar New Year holiday extended, trading on the Shanghai stock exchange has been suspended until Monday, while some businesses in Shanghai have been ordered by the local government to suspend operations until February the tenth.
China’s government also banned tour groups from leaving China in a move to limit travel, and the spread of coronavirus, during what is the peak season for tourism within China and internationally.
Major lunar new year events were cancelled in Beijing and Shanghai, dampening a holiday period that traditionally sees millions of people travel across the country to spend time with their families.
WHO Warns Against Use Of Masks During Exercise
The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned against wearing masks while exercising, it says masks may reduce the ability to breathe comfortably.
WHO gave the warning on Wednesday in an update of its coronavirus disease (covid-19) advice. The health agency says sweat could make the mask become wet more quickly which make it difficult to breathe and would promote the growth of microorganisms.
WHO says the best preventive measure during exercise is maintaining physical distancing of at least one metre.
Meanwhile, Akwa Ibom residents are about to face tougher enforcement of the use of face mask in public. The state’s police command says it will begin prosecuting violators of the order that mandates the use of face masks in public places in the state.
State commissioner of police, Imohimi Edgal, said in a statement on Tuesday all members of the enforcement committee have been mandated to arrest and prosecute offenders.
Edgal says the quarantine and restriction of movement regulations provide for a ten thousand naira first offender fine or seven days community service. If a first offender learned no lesson and runs foul of the requirement again, a fine of 20,000 naira or fourteen days community service would apply.
CDC Head Warns Pregnant Women With Covid-19 Face Greater Risks
United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have warned that pregnant women have increased risk of severe Covid-19 compared to women who are not pregnant.
Robert Redfield, the head of the health agency told reporters that pregnant women are more likely to be admitted to the intensive care unit and to be put on mechanical ventilators than non-pregnant women
Amid rising coronavirus cases in the country Redfield said the states need to take action, that more infections among young people could partly be attributed to an increase in diagnosing illness among that group, whose members are less likely to be hospitalized than older people.
According to Johns Hopkins University figures, global coronavirus cases now exceed 10 million and more than half a million have died from the respiratory disease,. The United States accounts for about a quarter of all deaths with more than 125,000.
A recent surge in infections and hospitalizations has prompted the states of Texas, Florida and Arizona to pause reopening plans.
Vaccine Not Certain, Maybe In A Year – WHO
The World Health Organization has said it is not certain that scientists will be able to create an effective vaccine against the coronavirus that has caused the COVID-19 pandemic, but it could take a year before one were to be invented.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus speaking via video conference to deputies from the European Parliament’s health committee, said if such a vaccine became a reality, it should become a public good available to all.
Ghebreyesus said the WHO had already more than 100 candidates for a vaccine of which one was at an advanced stage of development.
He added “hoping that there will be a vaccine, the estimate is we may have a vaccine within one year. If accelerated, it could be even less than that, but by a couple of months. That’s what scientists are saying.”
On Monday, the UN’s health agency warned that the novel coronavirus pandemic is still accelerating and its effects will be felt for decades.
According to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, at least 9.6 million persons have been confirmed to have the coronavirus globally and at least 4.8 million have recovered, while more than 489,000 persons have died.
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