Death toll has risen to 53 in Samoa as the pacific island battles a measles outbreak that has called for a state of emergency as schools were and the island is restricting travel ahead of the Christmas holiday season.
A significant drop in immunization over the last few years has made Samoa highly vulnerable to outbreaks of disease, with the World Health Organization (WHO) saying vaccine coverage is about 31 percent on the island. The Samoan government said the official death toll has jumped more than 10-fold to 53 on Monday.
Schools have been closed and a mass vaccination effort launched in the country, the government says 50,068 people have been vaccinated.
Samoa Prime Minister’s Office press secretary, Nanai Laveitiga Tuiletufuga told Al Jazeera “five children died overnight,” adding that among the 53 persons who died “50 were children under the age of 15 while 23 were babies aged less than one year old … In the last 24 hours a further 198 cases have also been confirmed by the Ministry of Health.”
More countries have flown medical staff and supplies to Samoa to battle a measles outbreak that prompted the Pacific island to declare a state of emergency this month.
The United Kingdom said a group of British doctors and nurses left on Friday to help Samoa’s efforts to rein in the outbreak while neighbouring New Zealand said it was sending more supplies and personnel, including emergency medical assistance teams.
The health ministry confirmed 3,728 cases of measles have been reported in the outbreak.
Measles is caused by a highly contagious virus that spreads easily through coughing and sneezing.
Coronavirus Could Impede Africa’s Malaria Fight – WHO
The World Health Organization (WHO) says it is concerned coronavirus might impact negatively on Africa’s fight against malaria.
WHO team leader for malaria Dr Akpaka Kalu said some patients are afraid of seeking treatment during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic yet fever is also a symptom for malaria. He is appealing to anyone exhibiting fever to seek medical care.
Kalu said malaria is a very dangerous disease, it is so common but it kills.
He said it is individual responsibility to ensure they don’t become part of the statistics, part of the dead from malaria.
Global Coronavirus Cases Exceed 4.8 Million
The latest tally from the Johns Hopkins University in the U.S. has confirmed covid-19 cases have now reached nearly five million globally, with more than 318,000 fatalities and nearly two million recoveries.
The U.S. leads the world with one and a half million covid-19 infections and more than ninety thousand deaths. Director of the U.S. Center for Disease Control, Robert Redfield says the number of deaths is projected to exceed 100,000 by June the first.
U.S. President Donald Trump says he is taking hydroxychloroquine as preventative measure, despite experts’ warning the drug, normally taken for malaria, is not effective in fighting the coronavirus.
Russia’s covid-19 cases are now close to three hundred thousand, the second highest number of coronavirus infections in the world after the united states.
Brazil is the world’s third worst-hit nation with more than 250,000 cases.
The Chinese mainland has 82,960 covid-19 cases, of which 1,707 were imported. Also, 389 asymptomatic patients are under medical observation. China’s covid-19 death toll stands at forty-six hundred forty-five.
Coronavirus Could Kill 190,000 In Africa, WHO Warns
The World Health Organization (WHO) has raised an alarm that coronavirus could kill up to 190,000 persons in Africa and overwhelm the available medical capacity on the continent in the first year if control measures fail to work.
The world health body said on Thursday, the novel coronavirus could kill between 83,000 and 190,000 Africans and infect between 29 million and 44 million in the first year if it is not contained. It has proposed a strengthening of health care systems on the continent.
W.H.O. Africa regional director, Matshidiso Moeti says transmission of the virus in Africa has been slower but could result to a longer outbreak.
Moeti told reporters in a teleconference, the new projections are contained in a latest W.H.O. Africa study based on assumptions that no containment measures are put in place, which has fortunately not been the case.
There are 54,083 confirmed cases with 2,073 deaths. 18,412 patients have recovered. 53 African countries have recorded infections while one country, Lesotho, is the only virus-free nation on the continent.
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