Coronavirus: Switzerland, Austria, Italian Cases Skyrocket

Here is more from the WHO press conference earlier, courtesy of Reuters.

In Geneva, Dr. Bruce Aylward, head of the joint WHO-Chinese mission on the coronavirus outbreak, said countries need to shift their mindset to preparing for an outbreak of the novel coronavirus and be ready to respond rapidly when it arrives.

He told his reporters on his return to Switzerland that China’s “extraordinary mobilisation” to handle the virus outbreak showed how aggressive policy steps could curb the disease’s spread.

Authorities should prepare hospital beds, isolation zones and respirators for severe cases, Aylward said, adding: “China knows how to keep people alive.”

He also said that the number of virus infections of Chinese health care workers is coming down, with supplies now largely in place for them after most of them were infected in the community.

Bruce Aylward, team Lead WHO-China joint mission on covid-19, speaks to the media.

Trinity Catholic College in Middlesbrough has announced it will close for the rest of the week after some pupils and staff “began showing flu-like symptoms” following a school skiing trip to northern Italy last week.

The school had earlier said that the 36 pupils who went on the trip would be sent home but in an afternoon update sent to parents it announced the decision to close the school for deep cleaning.

A statement from the Nicholas Postgate Catholic Academy Trust, which runs the school, told parents:

Following a ski trip by pupils and staff from Trinity Catholic College to northern Italy over the half-term, a small number of pupils and staff began showing mild flu-like symptoms today.

As a trust we are advising the school to ensure that the pupils and staff who visited Italy last week self-isolate, regardless of whether they are showing symptoms of being unwell. All pupils who attended the trip have been asked by the school to inform NHS 111 and insist on being tested for the coronavirus, even if displaying very mild symptoms.

Regardless of the current Department for Education and Public Health England advice that the school should remain open to all other pupils, the headteacher has decided, in discussion with the senior leadership team and the CEO of the [Nicholas Postgate Catholic Academy Trust] to completely minimise possible spread of infection amongst families and close the school for the remainder of the week.

During this time, the school will be able to conduct a precautionary deep clean of the school buildings.

We appreciate that there will be many views on this action amongst parents, and hope that everyone understands the ongoing fluidity of the situation. There are a number of pupils and staff who have vulnerable family members and it is the school’s duty of care to put in place the most secure of measures to minimise any possible infection.

Elsewhere, Penair School in Cornwall was thrown into confusion at 9.30am today when the headmaster, James Davidson, sent home a group of children and teachers who had been on a half-term school trip to the Lombardy region where the coronavirus has hit Italy hardest.

Davidson said that on the advice of Public Health England they should remain at home “to self-quarantine for 14 days”, but just hours later he reversed the order saying that updated PHE advice meant they could return. In any event they had been at school for the whole of Monday. The party had returned from Ponte di Legno at the weekend.

In a statement the school said:

[PHE] “have stated if students or staff develop any symptoms relating to the coronavirus they should isolate immediately and call 111.

If they have no symptoms they do not need not isolate and can return to school. Once again we apologise for any disruption caused, however students well-being is always our first priority.

Pompeo addresses a news briefing at the State Department in Washington. Photograph: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

Expelling “our journalists” exposes once again the government’s issue that led to Sars and now the coronavirus, namely censorship, Pompeo said of China.

Had China permitted its own and foreign journalists and medical personnel to speak and investigate freely, Chinese officials and other nations would have been far better prepared to address the challenge, he claimed.

On Iran, which now has the second highest number of infections after China and where the head of the country’s counter-coronavirus task force has tested positive for the virus, Pompeo said the US is “deeply concerned” that the government may have suppressed vital details about the outbreak.

“All nations, including Iran, should tell the truth about the coronavirus and cooperate with international aid organisations,” he said.

Original Article:

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