The death toll in China from the new coronavirus has risen to 170 as countries began isolating hundreds of citizens evacuated from the Chinese city of Wuhan in an effort to stop the spread of the virus.
Earlier, more countries announced plans to evacuate their citizens from Wuhan, the Chinese city at the centre of the outbreak.
On Thursday, in Philippine, Health Secretary Francisco Duque at a news conference confirmed the first case of the coronavirus in the country after a 38-year-old Chinese woman, who arrived in the country from Wuhan on January 21 tested positive for the novel coronavirus,
Duque said the patient, confined in a government hospital, is currently asymptomatic.
Also in India a government statement confirmed the first case of the coronavirus in the southern state of Kerala.
The statement added, that the patient has tested positive for the virus and is stable and in isolation at a hospital.
Some 7,711 persons in China are now confirmed to have the infection, which has spread from Wuhan’s Hubei province to every one of China’s 31 provinces.
On Wednesday, the World Health Organization (WHO) urged governments around the world to “take action” over coronavirus, cases of which have been confirmed in almost 20 countries.
The World Health Organization’s Emergency Committee is due to reconvene on Thursday to decide whether the virus constitutes a global emergency.
Evacuees regardless of whether they show symptoms for at least two weeks in Indonesia, Australia, South Korea, Singapore and New Zealand will quarantine, while the United States and Japan plan voluntary isolation for shorter periods.
Madagascar Takes Last Stand On COVID-19 Vaccine, Refuses Immunization
Madagascar has affirmed its decision not to participate in the global coronavirus vaccine initiative- COVAX for the access to COVID-19 vaccine once they have been approved and licensed.
The government spokesperson confirmed the island will instead resort to its traditional herbal mixture that its own scientists discovered earlier this year to stem the virus. The World Health Organization has not approved the mixture.
Vaccines in Madagascar have never been popular among the general population. The island in 2018 was among the last four countries in the world registering polio cases from its stance on vaccines.
Meanwhile, the government spokesperson said they were waiting to see the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine first in the countries that will first use it.
The World Health Organization has urged on Friday countries in Africa to prepare for the arrival of a vaccine as soon as possible. W.H.O warned that African countries are far from ready to roll out a COVID-19 vaccine, whenever one becomes available.
The Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention AfricaCDC has also said vaccinating people will be a big challenge in Africa where more than 2.1 million coronavirus cases have been confirmed –that’s less than 4% of the global total cases.
People on the Africa continent have been urged to rely on the public health measures that have been put in place to prevent further spread of COVID-19.
General: COVID-19 Vaccines Will Be Ready For Delivery 24 Hours After FDA Authorization
Four-Star general Gustave Perna who is leading the U.S. government’s operation warp speed, the crash program to develop, produce, and distribute enough COVID-19 vaccine doses to inoculate 300 million Americans, says he is confident vaccines will be “on the streets 24 hours after being authorized by the food and drug administration.
The operation is stockpiling anticipated vaccines made by six different drug makers.
While the first two vaccines to be distributed will likely be from Pfizer and Moderna, the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Affairs, Alex Azar, described the news from Astra zeneca’s clinical trials as “very promising” and noted that the company’s vaccine is already being produced in the country so it too can be ready for distribution once authorized by the FDA.
Azar confirmed the drugmaker is already producing mass quantities of the vaccine in the U.S.
Last week, Pfizer applied for authorization from the FDA and a hearing date was set for mid-December.
Kenya Nurses Issue Strike Warning
Kenyan nurses have issued a 14-day strike action warning to the government. The medical workers sign the notice, citing lack of a safe working environment and protective gears- PPE`s. They are demanding that the government declare COVID-19 an occupational hazard. They are also asking to be provided with comprehensive medical cover.
The nurses’ union secretary general Seth Panyako alleged, eighteen nurses have died from COVID-19 after treating patients with the virus. He added that once the strike notice lapses, the healthcare workers will not return to work unless their issues are addressed.
The notice comes a week after doctors issued a strike notice over the same issues.
More than 78,500 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in Kenya including 1,409 deaths being reported.
More than 30 healthcare workers are reported to have died after contracting the virus since the country confirmed its first case in March.