Health March 23, 2020
ROUNDUP: Covid-19 pandemic is accelerating, says WHO

By Fabian Sutch-Daggett - World Healthcare Journal

The coronavirus pandemic continues to worsen day-by-day, with more than 366,000 cases now reported globally. The rapid rise in cases has led to widespread shortages of vital medical equipment around the globe and the death toll has now surpassed 16,000. Here is a roundup of everything that happened today: 

  • Cases have continued to surge in Spain, with a further 4,500 cases reported today - a cumulative increase of 15 per cent. At the time of publication, confirmed cases in the country stand at 33,089 - making it the second worst-hit country in Europe after Italy. However, Spanish authorities are expecting to reach the “peak” of the virus this week - where new cases still occur, but at a lower percentage increase than previous days.

  • WHO has warned the coronavirus pandemic is accelerating. According to WHO’s Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, it took 67 days from the first reported case of coronavirus to reach the first 100,000 cases, 11 days for the second 100,000 cases and just 4 days for the third 100,000 cases. Dr Tedros urged countries to “attack the coronavirus with aggressive and targeted tactics. ” 

  • The US is scrambling to deal with the Covid-19 outbreak as cases in the country soared over the weekend, making the US now the third-worst affected nation in the world, following Italy and China.

  • New York is the epicenter of the outbreak in America, with the Mayor of New York City warning today that medical supplies for hospitals will likely only last for the remainder of this week. The US Surgeon General Dr Jerome Adams also warned citizens that the worst of the outbreak is still yet to come: “This week, it’s going to get bad. We really need to come together as a nation,” he said.

  • The Tokyo 2020 Olympics are to be postponed to 2021, says a member of the International Olympics Committee. This comes after Australia and Canada both announced they would not be sending a team to the Olympics, and the IOC stated it had set a deadline of one month to decide if the games would go ahead this year.

  • Daily reported deaths in Italy have dropped for the second day in a row after the death toll reached its current apex on Saturday. Cases in the country now stand at more than 63,000, and over 6,000 people have now died from the virus.

  • Germany has tightened restrictions on social interaction in the country, announcing yesterday that all gatherings are now limited to two people. The measure came as the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, went into quarantine after it was discovered that a doctor who had administered a vaccination to her on Friday tested positive for Covid-19.

  • Citizens in the UK who ignored advice to stay at home and broke social distancing rules have been branded “selfish” by the UK Health Minister, Matt Hancock. This came as many images appeared online over the weekend of large groups of people gathering in community areas, markets, beaches, and national parks, disregarding advice from public health officials. The government has now warned that “nothing is off the table” as the government examines new restrictions to keep people at home. At time of publication, Prime Minister Boris Johnson was holding a Cobra meeting. Further measures are expected at the press briefing to be held at 8:30pm.

To stay up to date on the latest coronavirus developments, please look at our dedicated news sections on Covid-19: 

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