Tag Archives: novel virus

COVID19: EU disapproves US travel ban

“The Corona virus is a global crisis, not limited to any continent and it requires cooperation rather than unilateral action.

The European Union disapproves of the fact that the US decision to impose a travel ban was taken unilaterally and without consultation.

The European Union is taking strong action to limit the spread of the virus” said in a joint statement presidents Charles Michel and Ursula von der Leyen with the Croatian Presidency, reacting on US travel ban related to COVID-19.

Russian COVID19 express text

Russian company has developed an express coronavirus test device that provides result in 15 minutes, the National Technical Initiative announced March 11. The new method undergoes final tests and new device might be presented to the public this autumn.
The device uses the isothermal polymerase chain reaction. To perform the analysis, a mucous sample from the nose or the throat, said the company representative, who assisted the Medical Biological Union (MBU) in creation of the test.

In early February, South China Morning Post reported that Chinese doctors began using a portable device, capable of diagnosing the 2019-nCoV (COVID-19), coronavirus in 40 minutes. In early March, Russian scientists reported that they created a device, capable of diagnosing the coronavirus in 1.5 hours.
The Chinese authorities registered an outbreak of the novel coronavirus in the city of Wuhan. Cases of novel virus were confirmed in more than 100 other countries, including in Russia.

The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the COVID-19 outbreak a public health emergency of international concern. Outside of China, most cases of the new coronavirus were reported in South Korea, Iran and Italy.
In China, over 3,100 people died, nearly 60,000 people recovered, and the number of cases reached 80,700.

Over 110,000 coronavirus contaminations and more than 4,000 deaths were confirmed in the world so far.

COVID19: Italy wine fair cancelled

The novel virus outbreak has heavily disrupted daily life in Italy’s most affluent and productive regions, with schools closed and many public events canceled including world famous fashion shows and top-flight football matches.

Vinitaly, one of the world’s largest wine fairs that is held annually in the northern city of Verona, announced on March 3 it was postponing the 2020 edition from April to June.

Industry lobby Confindustria forecast on March 3 that the economy, which was already teetering on the edge of recession before the outbreak, would contract in both the first and second quarters of this year.

National Health Institute chief Silvio Brusaferro urged Italians to wash their hands frequently, remain at least a meter apart, refrain from hugging each other and avoid crowded places.

COVID19: Europarl reduced modus operandi

Today, European Parliament President David Sassoli has announced that the Parliament will take further precautionary measures in response to the Coronavirus COVID-19. (Image: illustration, Europarl Brussels).

For the course of the next three weeks, 130 events at Parliament premises, which were expected to be attended by 6000 to 7000 participants, will be cancelled. In addition, visitors will not be allowed to access the Parliament for this period.

At the same time, Sassoli stressed that parliamentary work will continue, including committee meetings and the plenary session. The current set of measures applies for the next three weeks with the possibility of changes and adaptations, according to the development.

Statement of European Parliament President David Sassoli on the situation regarding COVID-19:

We assess the spread of the Coronavirus on a daily basis, in close cooperation with the European health services as well as national authorities. As a result of this assessment, we have decided to update our set of precautionary measures.

“We will limit the access of visitors to the Parliament. This measure derives from the fact that we are a very open institution by nature with 700.000 visitors per year. Under the current circumstances, it is our responsibility to suspend these visits. In the same spirit, we will cancel 130 events such as exhibitions or external conferences planned for the next weeks on Parliament premises.

“As far as EP administration and staff is concerned, we demand everybody who has visited one of the areas affected or has been in touch with an infected person to work from home and monitor closely their health status. Members of Parliament are advised to apply the same principle of responsibility.

“The Parliament has the duty to maintain its legislative work. Activities such as the next plenary session, committee meetings, the Conference of Presidents as well as the work of President’s office will therefore be upheld.”

COVID19: NATO HQ access limited

NATO Headquaters in Brussels has also limited access to visitors. The book presentation planned for this week was cancelled by precaution of COVID19 outbreak.

We would like to thank you for registering to our event, however, we regret to communicate that, due to the NATO Headquarters’ strict restrictions on visitors’ access to its premises by reason of the recent coronavirus outbreak, we are obliged to indefinitely postpone the book discussion planned for the 12th March at 2.00pm” the message from organisers reads.
Nevertheless, we are looking forward to your participation at the rescheduled event to which we will send out the invitation as soon as we know the date and time”.

Coronavirus: EU activates protection mechanism

As the outbreak of the novel Coronavirus intensifies, the EU Civil Protection Mechanism has been activated following a request for assistance from France to provide consular support to EU citizens in Wuhan, China.

“The EU does not forget its citizens in need, wherever they are in the world. Two aircraft will be mobilised through our EU Civil Protection Mechanism to repatriate EU citizens from the Wuhan area to Europe. Our EU Emergency Response Coordination Centre is working 24/7 and is in constant contact with Member States, the EU Delegations in the region and the Chinese embassy in Brussels. Further EU support can be mobilised if requested” Janez Lenarčič, Commissioner for Crisis Management, said.

“We stand ready to support Member States and ensure a strong and coordinated EU response to the developing situation of the coronavirus, outside and within the Union. We will continue to monitor the situation closely with the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control and remain in close contact with our Member States” Stella Kyriakides, Commissioner responsible for Health and Food Security, said.

The EU will co-finance the transport costs of the aircraft. The first aircraft is scheduled to depart from France tomorrow morning, while the second one will leave later in the week. EU citizens present in the region and who wish to be repatriated can still request it, no matter their nationality.

Initial numbers indicate that around 250 French citizens will be transported in the first aircraft and over 100 EU citizens from other countries will join the second aircraft. This is a first request for assistance and others may follow in the coming days.

At this stage, only healthy or asymptomatic citizens will be authorised to travel. The EU Emergency Response Centre is in constant contact with Member States’ governments in order to coordinate the arrivals and subsequent possible quarantine periods.

The European Commission is in regular contact with Member States, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control and the World Health Organisation on all aspects of the Coronavirus outbreak.

Novel virus: science alerts big cities

A study published on The Lancet estimates 75,815 individuals are affected by coronavirus.

The outbreak is expected to reach major cities in one to two weeks.

The virus is spreading rapidly throughout Asia and has reached some parts of Europe.
The Lancet, one of the most prestigious medical journals globally, released a study estimating the total number of individuals affected by coronavirus. Astonishingly, the journal says more than 75,800 people have been infected in Wuhan, China alone.

Considering the large number of people that left Wuhan to other major cities like Chongqing and Beijing, the researchers predicted that major Chinese population centers could be affected by the coronavirus outbreak within one to two weeks.

Official reports placed the number of individuals that left Wuhan to nearby countries like Thailand, Japan and South Korea at around 40,000.

Given that 2019-nCoV is no longer contained within Wuhan, other major Chinese cities are probably sustaining localised outbreaks. Large cities overseas with close transport links to China could also become outbreak epicentres, unless substantial public health interventions at both the population and personal levels are implemented immediately. – The Lancet journal  writes.

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“Independent self-sustaining outbreaks in major cities globally could become inevitable because of substantial exportation of presymptomatic cases and in the absence of large-scale public health interventions. Preparedness plans and mitigation interventions should be readied for quick deployment globally” – The Lancet article concludes.