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News, May 2020
348,256 Deaths, 5,607,726 Corona Virus Infections, Mostly in the US, UK, Italy, France, Spain, and Brazil
May 26, 2020
World 5,607,726 infection cases, and 348,256 deaths.
As of May 26, 2020, 10:21 GMT
A list of countries with the highest Coronavirus (Covid-19) deaths:
USA 1,706,226 infection cases, 99,805 deaths.
UK 261,184 infection cases, and 36,914 deaths.
Italy 230,158 infection cases, and 32,877 deaths.
France 182,942 infection cases, and 28,432 deaths.
Spain 282,480 infection cases, and 26,837 deaths.
Brazil 376,669 infection cases, and 23,522 deaths.
WHO Director-General's opening remarks at the media briefing on COVID-19 - 25 May 2020
WHO, 25 May 2020
Good morning, good afternoon and good evening.
Today is Africa Day – an opportunity to celebrate Africa’s vitality and diversity, and to promote African unity.
Africa Day celebrates the birthday of the Organisation of African Unity, which was established on May 25th, 1963 – 57 years ago - and its successor organization is the African Union, which was established in 2002.
Today, on Africa Day 2020, we mark the successes and progress made throughout the African continent.
This year, celebrations are more muted because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
So far, although around half of the countries in the region have community transmission, concentrated mainly in major cities, Africa is the least-affected region globally in terms of the number of cases and deaths reported to WHO.
Africa has just 1.5 percent of the world’s reported cases of COVID-19, and less than 0.1 percent of the world’s deaths.
Of course, these numbers don’t paint the full picture.
Testing capacity in Africa is still being ramped up and there is a likelihood that some cases may be missed.
But even so, Africa appears to have so far been spared the scale of outbreaks we have seen in other regions.
The early set-up of a leaders coalition led by the African Union, under the chairmanship of President Ramaphosa of South Africa were key to rapidly accelerating preparedness efforts and issuing comprehensive control measures.
Countries across Africa have garnered a great deal of experience from tackling infectious diseases like polio, measles, Ebola, yellow fever, influenza and many more.
Africa’s knowledge and experience of suppressing infectious diseases has been critical to rapidly scaling up an agile response to COVID-19.
There has been solidarity across the continent. Labs in Senegal and South Africa were some of the first in the world to implement COVID-19 diagnostic testing.
And beyond that they worked together with Africa CDC and WHO to extend training for laboratory technicians for detection of COVID-19 and to build up the national capacity across the region.
Furthermore, health clinicians, scientists, researchers and academics from across Africa are collectively contributing to the worldwide understanding of COVID-19 disease.
For many years and from the outset of this pandemic, WHO has been working through our country offices to support nations in health emergency preparedness and developing comprehensive national action plans to prevent, detect and respond to the virus.
With WHO support, many African countries have made good progress in preparedness.
All countries in Africa now have a preparedness and response plan in place, compared with less than a dozen in the first few weeks of the pandemic.
48 countries in the region have a community engagement plan in place, compared with only 25 countries 10 weeks ago.
And 51 have lab-testing capacity for COVID-19, compared with 40 countries 10 weeks ago.
WHO continues to support Africa with other life-saving supplies.
As of last week, we have shipping millions of personal protective equipment and lab tests to 52 African countries.
In the coming weeks we plan further shipments of PPE, oxygen concentrators and lab tests.
However, we still see gaps and vulnerabilities. Only 19% of countries in the region have an infection prevention and control programme and standards for water, sanitation and hygiene in health facilities.
And disruption to essential health services, such as vaccination campaigns and care for malaria, HIV and other diseases pose a huge risk.
I now want to introduce my sister, Dr. Moeti, who is the Regional-Director of the AFRO region. Dr. Moeti, you have the floor.
Thank you Dr. Moeti, I now want to introduce Professor Samba Sow, Director-General of the Center for Vaccine Development in Mali, former Minister of Health of Mali and a WHO Special Envoy with a particular focus on supporting West African communities and countries.
Thank you Professor Samba, I will now continue my remarks.
As part of our continued response to the pandemic globally, WHO continues to work aggressively on research and development.
As you know, more than two months ago we initiated the Solidarity Trial, to evaluate the safety and efficacy of four drugs and drug combinations against COVID-19.
Over 400 hospitals in 35 countries are actively recruiting patients and nearly 3500 patients have been enrolled from 17 countries.
On Friday, the Lancet published an observational study on hydroxycholoroquine and chloroquine and its effects on COVID-19 patients that have been hospitalised.
The authors reported that among patients receiving the drug, when used alone or with a macrolide, they estimated a higher mortality rate. The Executive Group of the Solidarity Trial, representing 10 of the participating countries, met on Saturday and has agreed to review a comprehensive analysis and critical appraisal of all evidence available globally.
The review will consider data collected so far in the Solidarity Trial and in particular robust randomised available data, to adequately evaluate the potential benefits and harms from this drug.
The Executive Group has implemented a temporary pause of the hydroxychloroquine arm within the Solidarity Trial while the safety data is reviewed by the Data Safety Monitoring Board.
The other arms of the trial are continuing.
This concern relates to the use of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine in COVID-19.
I wish to reiterate that these drugs are accepted as generally safe for use in patients with autoimmune diseases or malaria.
WHO will provide further updates as we know more.
And we will continue to work night and day for solutions, science and solidarity.
I thank you.
Missouri health officials call for self-quarantine of partiers at Lake of the Ozarks
NBC, May 25, 2020
Images of a jampacked pool party at Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri over the Memorial Day weekend prompted St. Louis County to issue a travel advisory and the Kansas City health director to call for self-quarantine of the revelers.
The advisory by the St. Louis County Public Health Department cited news reports of large crowds at Lake of the Ozarks, where hundreds of people were recorded squeezed closely together amid the coronavirus epidemic.
"This reckless behavior endangers countless people and risks setting us back substantially from the progress we have made in slowing the spread of COVID-19," Dr. Sam Page, the county executive, said in a statement.
The health department expressed concern in its travel advisory that people from the St. Louis area were at Lake of the Ozarks over the weekend. "Any person who has travelled and engaged in this behavior should self-quarantine for 14 days or until they receive a negative test result for COVID-19," the advisory said.
It also says that employers are already being asked to screen workers for health risks and that they should also ask workers about their recent travel. The Lake of the Ozarks region is about 150 miles west of downtown St. Louis.
"Anyone who didn't practice CDC, DHSS, and KCMO Health Department social distancing guidance should self quarantine for 14 days if they have any compassion for others," Archer wrote alongside a video of partying at Lake of the Ozarks.
DHSS is the state Department of Health and Senior Services, whose director, Dr. Randall Williams, said in a Memorial Day warning that the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 can be spread by those who show no symptoms but that when others get it, the virus can have tragic consequences.
The owner of the bar where the pool party occurred had told NBC affiliate KSHB of Kansas City that it would try not to let large groups gather and would try to enforce social distancing, but "we don't know who's in groups, who's in families. We expect them to do that on their own."
Jodi Akins, who attended the bash Saturday, told the station that guests' temperatures were checked and that sanitizer was on hand.
"If you're worried about getting sick, obviously, or you want to distance yourself, it's pretty much to each their own," Akins said.
Akins was identified as being from Blue Springs, Missouri, near Kansas City.
Camden County Sheriff Tony Helms said in a statement Monday that it was a "record weekend" at Lake of the Ozarks but that a lack of social distancing is not a crime and that his department had no authority to enforce it. Public health violations are up to health authorities, he said.
"We expect residents and visitors alike to exhibit personal responsibility at the lake," Helms said in a statement.
The coronavirus can be spread in crowds, and health experts have stressed that people should keep their distance from others to slow its spread.
As of Monday, there had been more than 12,100 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Missouri, with 685 deaths attributed to the disease, according to the state health department's website.
Kansas City, Missouri, had 962 confirmed cases and 22 deaths due to COVID-19, according to the city's website.
St. Louis County and the city of the same name are at the top of lists when it comes to total cases and deaths in the state. There have been 4,455 cases of COVID-19 with 386 deaths in St. Louis County, and 1,739 cases with 107 deaths in the city.
St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson tweeted that many people enjoyed the Memorial Day weekend responsibly, but "too many did not," and she noted that the virus can be spread by those who do not show any symptoms. She asked that anyone who did not socially distance or wear masks to stay home for 14 days.
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