..Coronavirus kills 18 in China, spreads to U.S, Africa
..Lassa fever kills over 20 in Ondo, Enugu, Abia, Delta
..FAAN begins passengers screening at Airports
DEADLY viruses are spreading worldwide with reports of epidemics and deaths trailing.
Already about 18 persons have been reported dead in China and United States with one person under observation in Mexico while fear continues to mount over possible spread to Africa.
Top officials of World Health Organization (WHO) will meet again today to decide whether to declare the Wuhan virus a “public health emergency of international concern” after its emergency committee met yesterday in Geneva but decided more information was needed to declare the status of the outbreak and what recommendations should be made regarding it, including potential cross-border screening, greater surveillance and rolling out treatment programs.
Meanwhile, public transportation will be suspended in Wuhan starting today, according to an announcement from the city’s coronavirus command centre.
All city transportation will halt, including local buses, ferries, long-distance buses and subways. Wuhan’s airport and railway stations will be “temporarily closed” for departing passengers. When these services will re-open remains to be determined but the centre also advised residents not to leave Wuhan unless they have a “special reason” in a bid to keep the virus from spreading, and to ensure public safety and health, according to the announcement.
Similarly, amid mounting international concern for more outbreaks of the deadly Wuhan coronavirus, the United States’ Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP) has received specimens from several people in America who traveled to Wuhan, China, or who’ve had close contact with “someone under investigation,” according to CDCP spokesperson Kristen Nordlund.
Although Nordlund did not say whether these tests have been completed and the results known, she however stated that one death has been recorded, just few hours after the virus killed 17 people and sickened more than 500 in China and other countries such as Thailand, Japan, South Korea.
This is outside five Chinese provinces that reported additional cases of the Wuhan coronavirus yesterday, bringing the total number of people infected in China to 547, taking worldwide cases to 555 with fears of more epidemic forcing International Olympic Committee to cancel the Olympic boxing qualifying tournament for Tokyo 2020 which comes up from July 24 to August 9 and Asian Football Confederation also announcing that the Olympic qualifying for women’s football has been moved from from Wuhan to Nanjing.
Equally, it is now mandatory to wear face masks in public places in Wuhan, the Chinese city where the new coronavirus emerged last month.
Wuhan’s municipal government published a notice yesterday stating that all public places are to require customers to wear masks and owners are to prevent people from entering if they are not.
“People who don’t obey the requirements shall be dealt with by authorities in accordance with their respective duties and laws,” the statement reads.
In Nigeria, at least 16 people have so far died in a fresh outbreak of Lassa Fever in Ondo State, the state government has confirmed, adding that about 84 cases have also been recorded since the beginning of the year at Akoko South West, Akure South, Ondo West, and Owo local government areas.
In Enugu State, the death of a 75-year-old man was also attributed to a Lassa Fever infection.
Similarly, one person has died of Lassa fever in Olokoro community, Umuahia South local government area of Abia State just like a woman has died in Asaba, Delta State following an outbreak of Lassa fever virus in the area.
While Permanent Secretary in Abia State Ministry of Health, Chief Egbulefu Eze, confirmed the Umuahia case, Delta State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Morsi Ononye disclosed this latter case