COVID-19 digest

In Beijing, more than 100 new cases have been reported in the latest virus flare-up. One local news source, which publishes real-time updates on the outbreak stemming from one of Beijing’s markets, said that school-based classes have now been suspended and travel restrictions imposed across designated risk areas of the city. Read more

Meanwhile, in India, the drain on health resources resulting from the annual monsoon season is being compounded by the waves of COVID-19 cases in cities such as Mumbai. The state of Maharashtra has recorded around one-third of the 343,000 confirmed coronavirus cases across the country to date.  

Taken from the June 12 Johns Hopkins newsletter, the Eastern Mediterranean region has five of the top 11 countries with the highest per capita daily incidence – ‘ Qatar (#1), Bahrain (#2), Oman (#4), Kuwait (#7), and Saudi Arabia (#11)’. However it’s the Americas that make up almost one half of all cases across the globe – 3.8 million of 8 million – ‘and the epidemic is still accelerating in the region’: PAHO Director, June 16.  

In the June 11 ECDC risk assessment, the agency noted that Sweden and Poland are the only two countries in the region where infections had not as yet peaked.

More detailed information on COVID-19 for other regions can be found in the WHO dashboards for the African and Western Pacific zones, plus the June 16 global WHO sitrep.  

A study by Imperial College, London suggests that the epidemic is still at a relatively early stage and the decline in cases in parts of the European, Asian and North America are ‘a result of lockdowns, behavioural shifts, social distancing and other interventions’.

In other news:

In the US, the FDA this week cancelled the Emergency Use Authorization of hydroxychloroquine (and chloroquine) as new evidence does not support their effective use in treating COVID-19.

Statnews: Major study finds common steroid reduces deaths among patients with severe Covid-19

As some countries start to open their borders to international travel, on June 14 the WHO’s director of emergencies, Dr Michael Ryan, said that in order to make travel as safe as possible, ‘in a few days a series of guidelines will be published in collaboration with the International Civil Aircraft Organization and the International Air Transport Association’. Read more

ReliefWeb has published a detailed list of Airport Restrictions Information for the Pacific region (updated June 15)

Before you travel, call Travelvax Australia’s telephone advisory service on 1300 360 164 (toll-free from landlines) for country-specific advice and information. You can also make an appointment at your nearest Travelvax clinic to obtain vaccinations, medication to prevent or treat illness, and accessories for your journey.