Corona Virus Covid 19

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Did WHO Delay Sounding Alarm on Coronavirus for Fear of Offending China? Agency in Hot Seat Again

A consensus appears to be emerging on the need to close down public spaces to limit the spread but the WHO has given little guidance on these measures.

[https://images]

Medical staff with protective clothing are seen inside a ward specialised in receiving any person who may have been infected with coronavirus, at the Rajiv Ghandhi Government General hospital in Chennai. (Reuters)

AFP

LAST UPDATED: MARCH 26, 2020, 11:31 AM IST

Geneva, Switzerland: The UN's health agency has faced criticism in the past for overreacting and for moving too slowly in fighting epidemics, but it has rarely faced as much scrutiny as with the coronavirus pandemic.

The World Health Organization was deemed too alarmist when it faced the H1N1 epidemic in 2009 but five years later, it was accused of dragging its feet in declaring an emergency over the Ebola outbreak in west Africa, which would go on to kill more than 11,000 people.

After that debacle, the WHO reformed and created a rapid response unit that has since helped to tackle two Ebola outbreaks in Democratic Republic of Congo.

And yet, the organisation is once again under fire, with critics saying it did not react quickly or strongly enough to the new coronavirus, which emerged in Wuhan, China, late last year.

The agency has been accused of delaying sounding the alarm for fear of offending Beijing, for waiting too long to declare the COVID-19 outbreak a global pandemic and for failing to coordinate a coherent international response.

Also, a consensus appears to be emerging on the need to close down public spaces to limit the spread but the WHO has given little guidance on these measures.

"WHO remains surprisingly silent and absent in all of these pragmatic questions," Antoine Flahault, head of the Institute of Global Health at the University of Geneva, wrote in The Lancet medical review, asking: "Is there any orchestra conductor?"

'Enemy of humanity'

However, other commentators have praised WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and his team for giving sound guidance, instead criticising countries for failing to heed the advice.

Devi Sridhar, a professor of global public health at the University of Edinburgh, said the WHO's reaction was "hard to fault", adding that countries like South Korea that followed the advice to test, trace and contain have done better than others.

One of the central planks of criticism is that the WHO waited until March 11, when nearly 120,000 cases had already been registered, to declare the outbreak a pandemic -- a move that truly hit the accelerator on global efforts to rein in the virus.

By that time, the virus, dubbed an "enemy of humanity" by Tedros, had already taken hold in Europe, which soon overtook Asia as the epicentre of the outbreak.

With a dearth of tests, shortages of protective gear for health workers and vital medical equipment like ventilators, health systems even in wealthy nations have been pushed to the breaking point.

In a bid to halt the spread of a pandemic that has already claimed more than 21,000 lives, more than 3 billion people worldwide are now largely confined to their homes and economies have largely ground to a halt, threatening a global recession.

China conundrum

Despite the chaos, and evidence that Chinese officials hid the crisis for weeks and stifled doctors trying to sound the alarm, the WHO has praised Beijing for its early response.

Joseph Amon, a professor of global health at Drexel University in the United States, told AFP it was a "clear mistake and set an early tone by WHO that the epidemic was perhaps not as severe and that the initial response was adequate".

China told the WHO about an unknown form of pneumonia circulating in Wuhan on December 31, 2019. Experts say that if the world had learnt of the problem weeks earlier, it could probably have been reined in.

"If we had known about it then, then that could have made a huge difference," Roland Kao, an epidemiologist at the University of Edinburgh, told AFP.

But while experts agree there was certainly much to criticise in China's initial response, many say the WHO was right to highlight what the country got right, including quickly sharing the genetic sequencing of the virus and taking dramatic lockdown measures to slow the spread.

"To alienate China early in the process by pointing out mistakes would have been a mistake," Ann Lindstrand, in charge of WHO's expanded immunisation programme, told AFP, saying Beijing's cooperation was crucial.

"Tedros did the right thing."

Tedros himself has dismissed claims that he and WHO have bowed to Chinese pressure, stressing the collaborative relationship the agency has with its members.

"I don't consider anything that comes from member states as pressure," he told a news conference this month.

Some say the COVID-19 pandemic has actually revealed the opposite problem -- states need to feel pressure from the WHO but the agency simply does not have the power.

"Dr Tedros and WHO are working hard to conduct the orchestra, but the players are not cooperating," said Suerie Moon, the co-director of the Graduate Institute's Global Health Centre.

 
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China Neither ‘Created’ Nor ‘Intentionally Transmitted’ COVID-19 Into World, Clarifies Official

india.com

Mar 26, 2020 7:32 AM

Ji Rong, spokesperson for the Chinese Embassy in Delhi, said the international community should focus on China's "swift response" to the pandemic rather than "stereotyping the Chinese people".

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New Delhi: China on Wednesday denied rumours and said the neither “created nor intentionally transmitted” the deadly novel coronavirus around the world. It urged the internatinaonal community to not build such theories and use terms like “Chinese virus” or “Wuhan virus”.

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Ji Rong, spokesperson for the Chinese Embassy in Delhi, said the international community should focus on China’s “swift response” to the pandemic rather than “stereotyping the Chinese people”.

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“Those people who are trying to stigmatise China’s efforts have ignored the huge sacrifices the Chinese people made in safeguarding the health and safety of all mankind,” Ji Rong said, highlighting the WHO’s statement on linking China to the virus.

COVID-19: IIT-KGP Students Make Videos on WHO's Guidelines in 12 Languages to Spread Awareness

He noted that although Wuhan city in China first reported the outbreak, there is no evidence that China is the source of the virus that caused COVID-19. “The so-called ‘Chinese virus’ is absolutely wrong,” Ji said, adding the origin of the novel coronavirus is a matter of science that requires professional and scientific assessment.

Earlier this month, China had condemned US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for branding the COVID-19 as “Wuhan virus”, terming his remarks as “despicable behaviour” and an attempt to stigmatise the country. US President Trump had also repeatedly used the term “chinese virus” to describe the contagious infection.

There is a clear consensus by the World Health Organisation (WHO) that any stigmatisation of the virus by linking it to a specific country, region or ethnic group should be rejected.

The concensus came afte several instances were reported in countries including India and the USA where people, especially of Chinese origin or Chinese-looking, have been harassed and have even faced racially-motivated attacks amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Meanwhile, China, on its communication with India, said that both countries have maintained communication and have lent support to each other in coping with the pandemic through difficult times. He noted the Indian side has provided medical supplies to China and supported its fight against the contagion in various ways.

“We express appreciation and thanks for that,” Ji said.

“The Chinese enterprises have started to make donations to India. We stand ready to provide further support and assistance to the best of our capability in light of the needs of the Indian side. We believe that the Indian people will win the battle at an early date,” he said.

“China will continue to fight the epidemic together with India and other countries, enhance cooperation in multilateral platforms such as the G20 and BRICS, contribute our wisdom and strength to better addressing global challenges and promoting the health and well-being of all mankind,” Ji added.

With PTI inputs



 
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Corona reaches in 'third stage' in this city of India

newstracklive.com

Mar 26, 2020 11:07 AM

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Jaipur: The entry of the third stage of the coronavirus has been done first in Bhilwara district in Rajasthan. Due to Coronavirus, Bhilwara is now eyed by the entire world. Bhilwara has now become the most dangerous district in the country, where 13 Corona positive cases have been registered. Reports of more than 150 syndicates are yet to come.

5392 people of the district are in home isolation, along with police guarding their homes so that no one can meet them. 38 suspects are hospitalized. The highest number of coronavirus cases in the country has been reported in Maharashtra. Most of them are from Mumbai. The population of Mumbai is 1.84 crore as of 2011. 74 positive cases have been registered here. As of 2011 the population of Bhilwara city is four lakhs. There are 13 positive cases found here. If the population is estimated according to population, Bhilwara has the most patients in the country.

Out of 24 lakh population of Bhilwara, 10 lakh people have been screened so far. Most worrying is that 12 out of 13 people are doctors and nursing staff who have come in contact with more than five thousand people. If the same situation prevails, then the situation in Bhilwara can be very terrible.

[https://news-in]

 

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PMO's increased concern with WHO statement; Lockdown not enough to stop Corona now!

newscrab.com

Mar 24, 2020 12:00 PM

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After making all the arrangements to prevent corona worldwide, the WHO, the World Health Organization, issued a statement adding new headaches. According to news agency Reuters, WHO's Mike Ryan said in a statement that lockdown alone is not enough to stop the corona, which is needed at the moment to find and monitor those who are ill and suffering from it. If kept, only then it can be stopped.

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He said clearly, the biggest problem with the lockdown is that when it ends, people will suddenly come out in large numbers and then the danger will increase.

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If we look at the things of WHOs from one angle, it is true to some extent, because neither the government nor the people in the house know whether they are away from the disease or not. If people are not tested quickly So it will not take long to spread with time.



 

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Big break of 'Corona' surfaced, scientists too shocked

newstracklive.com

Mar 25, 2020 4:11 PM

[https://res]

New Delhi: When the whole world is waiting for vaccines and medicines to fight the coronavirus epidemic. A method of rescue is becoming the most popular. Doctors and scientists from all over the world have started to believe that there is nothing more effective than hot water and soap to deal with the coronavirus infection. Scientists say that hot water and soap jugulation are most effective in killing the virus.

Dr. Mohsin Wali, former head of the Medicine Department of the Rammanohar Lohia Hospital, says that the coronavirus is killed in temperatures above 30 degrees. This is the reason why now scientists and doctors from all over the world are using hot water and soap to protect themselves from infection with this virus. This combination can also be used to remove the virus from your body.

Dr. John Williams, head of the Department of Infant Infection at Pittsburgh Hospital in the United States, has told that soap in hot water creates more foam. Any kind of virus dissolves in hot water and gets out or destroyed. Most scientists these days are giving priority to washing hands with warm water instead of cold water.






 

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Bengal man who was out to buy milk dies after being beaten up by police

indiatoday.in

Mar 26, 2020 11:05 AM

The 32-year-old man had stepped out of his house to buy milk during the lockdown. He was beaten up by the police. A local hospital declared him brought dead.

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A 32-year-old man in West Bengal’s Howrah went out to buy milk during the lockdown on Wednesday when he was beaten up by the police. He later passed away after the thrashing. His family has alleged he died of the injuries.

The man has been identified as Lal Swami, a resident of Howrah, who stepped out of his residence to buy milk. His wife has alleged he faced police lathicharge when the personnel were clearing a gathering on the streets, reported ABP Ananda.

Although the victim was rushed to a local hospital, he was declared brought dead.

However, police have alleged he died after suffering from a cardiac arrest and that he was already suffering from heart ailments.

West Bengal has so far recorded 10 coronavirus cases and 1 death.

A 66-year-man has tested positive for the coronavirus in West Bengal, which is the 10th case in the state. The man from Nayabad in Kolkata had no history of travelling abroad or outside the state.

He had recently attended a wedding in Midnapore and might have come in contact with a person infected with the novel coronavirus.

He is undergoing treatment in the isolation ward of a private hospital and his family kept in home isolation under police protection, sources said.

CM Mamata Banerjee had announced complete lockdown of the state since Monday till March 31.

[https://news-in]https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/bengal-man-who-was-out-to-buy-milk-dies-after-being-beaten-up-by-police-1659842-2020-03-26?utm_source=AT_Desktop_Home
 

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Documents you will need if out on road during lockdown

timesofindia.com

Mar 26, 2020 10:11 AM

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NEW DELHI: As curbs under CrPC section 144, which bars assembly of four or more people, remained in place amid a nationwide lockdown, here is a list of documents you need to have in order to be out on road.

Government personnel in the exempted category require identity card issued by the government

Those who do not need any movement passes

Individuals going to nearby stores to buy essential food items and medicines or going for emergency health consultation. Not more than two persons can be together


*

Individuals engaged in ongoing agricultural, animal husbandry and fisheries activities

Those who require ID cards by their employers only

*

Medical personnel, nurses, para-medical staff and other personnel of all healthcare establishments

Workers of electricity, water, conservancy services, banks and other public utilities, including those dealing with petroleum, LPG, CNG


*

Employees of print and electronic media as well as those associated with delivery of newspapers

*

Railway/port/airport personnel and vehicles in connection with the movement of essential commodities and cargo

Those who require authorization letters by employers, endorsed by police/local SDO

*

Personnel associated with distribution of essential commodities under PDS, hyper marts, super stores, e-commerce platforms, home delivery of food


 

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Coronavirus: Government to give one more blow after lockdown

newstracklive.com

Mar 25, 2020 11:30 AM

[https://res]

The coronavirus is spreading havoc all over the world. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, taking unprecedented steps to curb this global epidemic, announced a complete lockdown of 21 days across the country from 12 pm on Tuesday night, following the move by the administration against those who do not comply with the appeal of social distancing. It will show the strictness, this will be the curfew situation after the lockdown, the government tightened the rules to ensure 100% of the lockdown.

The curfew is intended to prevent people from gathering in groups by implementing Section 144 of the CrPC, according to IG Law and Order Jyoti Narayan, usually to prevent five or more people from gathering under it. Orders are made, under special circumstances more than two people can be banned from gathering.

Regarding the matter, another senior official said that after the implementation of Section-144, the government exempts people according to the circumstances, lockdown is allowed to leave the house under special circumstances, people also take time to get the necessary items. While you are able to leave the house at the same time, according to the circumstances, when the rule cuts these facilities and people are completely banned from leaving the house. Programmed it considered curfew category.


 

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‘End Of Coronavirus Pandemic Is Near’: Nobel Laureate Michael Levitt Says It Will Disappear From China By March End

swarajyamag.com

Mar 23, 2020 12:24 PM

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Acclaimed biophysicist Michael Levitt who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2013 has predicted that the end of the coronavirus pandemic is near and has cited the falling numbers in China to support his hypothesis, The Jerusalem Post has reported.

Levitt says that while initially the infection rate in China’s Hubei province increased by 30 per cent each day, by 7 February the number of cases started to drop linearly, and the same happened in case of casualty figures.

As per Levitt, this “dramatic change in the curve marked the median point”. It thus allowed him to predict that the situation in China will improve within a fortnight. Now the cases in China (officially) have dramatically dropped with all the new 39 cases on Sunday (23 March) being foreign travellers.

“When discussing diseases, it frightens people a lot because they keep hearing about new cases every day. But the fact that the infection rate is slowing down means the end of the pandemic is near”, Levitt was quoted as saying.

Levitt has also gone ahead to make a bold claim that the virus is likely to disappear from China by the end of March.

Levitt also claims that most individuals are naturally immune to Covid-19 by pointing out that despite the virus getting ideal operating conditions in the cruise ship Diamond Princess, via centralised air-conditioning and communal dining rooms, only 20 per cent were affected.

With regards to other countries Levitt says that South Korea is already past the median point and Italy’s higher death rate is the result of a higher percentage of ageing population.

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Covid-19: China urges India not to use the term ‘Chinese virus’

scroll.in

Mar 25, 2020 3:24 PM

China’s foreign minister said the term was not acceptable and was detrimental to international cooperation.

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File photo of Union Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar. | Lehtikuva/Martti Kainulainen via Reuters

China on Tuesday asked India not to use the country’s name while referring to the coronavirus, and said that it could stigmatise the country and harm international relations. Beijing has strongly objected to the terms “China virus” or “Wuhan Virus”, and had engaged in a diplomatic spat with the United States over the origin of COVID-19 earlier this month.

“[China’s Foreign Minister] Wang Yi said it’s not acceptable and detrimental to international cooperation to label the virus and stigmatise China, hope India oppose such narrow mindset,” tweeted China’s envoy’s Sun Weidong. “[India’s Foreign Minister] Dr Jaishankar agreed not to label the virus and the international community should send strong signal of solidarity.” The ambassador was referring to a phone conversation between the two foreign ministers.

[https://pbs]

Sun Weidong

@China_Amb_India

Wang Yi said it’s not acceptable and detrimental to international cooperation to label the virus and stigmatise China, hope India oppose such narrow mindset. Dr. Jaishankar agreed not to label the virus and the international community should send strong signal of solidarity.

1,880

7:23 PM - Mar 24, 2020

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S Jaishankar, meanwhile, said that he and his Chinese counterpart discussed ways to fight the coronavirus pandemic together. “Discussed with state councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi of China our working together in combating COVID-19,” he tweeted. “Agreed to build further on our bilateral efforts in this domain.”

[https://pbs]

Dr. S. Jaishankar

@DrSJaishankar

Discussed with State Councilor and FM Wang Yi of #China our working together in combating #COVID19. Agreed to build further on our bilateral efforts in this domain. Exchanged views on the forthcoming #G20 Summit.
Global challenges require global cooperation.

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4:37 PM - Mar 24, 2020

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United States President Donald Trump, who has been criticised for calling coronavirus “Chinese virus”, has said he would stop using the term. He also said that Asian-Americans have to be protected amid increasing instances of racist attacks against them.

China and the US had engaged in a war of words over the origin of the novel coronavirus. On March 12, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian had alleged that the US Army may have brought the deadly coronavirus to his country. Zhao’s tweet was accompanied by a video of a US health official saying that some of the people thought to have died of influenza were posthumously diagnosed as having had coronavirus or COVID-19.

India has reported 562 cases of coronavirus and nine people have died so far, according to the health ministry. On Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a 21-day nationwide lockdown to slow down the fast-spreading disease.

The coronavirus is said to have originated in a seafood market in China’s Wuhan city. Over 3,000 people have died in the country and more than 81,000 have been infected. Covid-19, has spread to 168 countries, infecting more than 4 lakh people and killing nearly 19,000. Italy has reported the most number of deaths – 6,820 – due to the virus.

[https://news-in]https://scroll.in/latest/957203/covid-19-china-urges-india-not-to-use-the-term-chinese-virus
 
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