Countries including the United States and Japan have on Wednesday began evacuating their citizens from the Chinese city at the epicenter of a new virus outbreak that has killed 132 persons and infected more than 6,000.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has said it is confident in China’s ability to contain the coronavirus, but concern is mounting as health authorities reported the number of confirmed cases had jumped by 1,459 to 5,974.
A plane carrying Americans who had been in Wuhan left for Anchorage, Alaska, where they will be rescreened for the virus. U.S. hospitals are prepared to treat or quarantine people who may be infected. After departing Alaska, the plane is to fly to Ontario, California.
Also, a Japanese flight carrying evacuees home included four people with coughs and fevers. The three men and one woman were taken to a Tokyo hospital on separate ambulances for treatment and further medical checks.
It wasn’t immediately known whether they were infected with the new type of coronavirus that appeared in the central city of Wuhan in December. Its symptoms, including cough and fever and in severe cases pneumonia, are similar to many other illnesses.
As a step up measures taken to prevent the spread of the virus, airlines passengers on some flights to China will have to make do without hot meals or blankets and newspapers.
HRW Accuses Burundi Of Blocking Aid To Covid-19 Quarantine Sites
The Human Rights Watch (HRW) has accused Burundi authorities of blocking humanitarian aid to persons in covid-19 quarantine sites across the country.
HRW’s central Africa director, Lewis Mudge, warned against what he calls, the country’s usual denial and deflection approach to crisis management.
He said, the government needs to be transparent and work with international partners, to prevent the spread of coronavirus, and to give full access to humanitarian groups to help combat the pandemic.
HRW said, the government had only revealed one quarantine site to the world health organization, alleging that many others, with unsanitary conditions, were holding travelers who had recently arrived in the country.
Meanwhile, the united nations food agency has negotiated a humanitarian corridor to keep food aid flowing in southern Africa after many countries shut their borders to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
World Food Programme director for southern Africa Lola Castro, said South Africa had agreed to let vessels carrying food aid land on its shores and move it to countries like Zimbabwe, Malawi, Botswana and Namibia, which face food shortages.
Africa has registered at least sixty-seven hundred cases of coronavirus and more than two hundred forty deaths.
UN Warns Thousands Of DRC Children In Danger Of Dying From Epidemics
The United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, says children in the Democratic Republic of the Congo are susceptible to dying from epidemics other than coronavirus. The fund says the situation would likely worsen because of diversion of prevention resources to the fight against covid-19.
UNICEF says many preventable killer diseases have threatened DRC children. Nearly eighteen thousand children, younger than five, are reported to have died from the world’s worst measles outbreak and malaria. Thousands of children are also reported to have been sickened by cholera.
The report’s author, Simon Ingram, also says more than three million children in the D.R.C. are exposed to epidemics because they are not getting the health care they need. He also says nine million children in the country need humanitarian assistance.
The report calls on the government to allocate more funding for children’s health care services to benefit newborn and young children.
D.R. Congo has reported 98 coronavirus cases and eight deaths.
Global Coronavirus Cases Top One Million, Deaths Surpass 50,000
The number of coronavirus infections reached more than one million globally on Thursday as death toll topped 50,000 around the world.
As the pandemic spreads further in the United States and the death toll climbed in Spain and Italy, according to the latest figures from Johns Hopkins University, nearly 53,000 persons have died and more than 210,000 have recovered worldwide.
The US reported the highest daily death toll of any country so far at nearly 1,200. It now has more than 6,000 fatalities while Spain reported a record one-day number of deaths, 950, bringing its overall toll to 10,003 from 9,053 as the number of infections rose to 110,238, up from 102,136 a day earlier.
Meanwhile, Italy on Thursday recorded 760 more deaths for a total of 13,900 fatalities as the contagion spreads.
Coronavirus was first recorded in China late last year, since then the pandemic has spread to many countries around the world, prompting governments to close businesses, ground airlines and order hundreds of millions of people to stay at home to try and combat the spread of the virus.
More than 1,013,000 persons have been diagnosed with COVID-19 globally with Spain the second-worst hit in terms fatalities.
Spain has lost nearly 900,000 jobs and the US is also feeling the economy impact as the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefit has surged to 6.65m in the week ending March 28, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics figure released on Thursday.
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