Global COVID cases nearing 18.5m

The Aug 3 Johns Hopkins newsletter writes that with India ranking second globally for daily incidence of COVID-19 and appearing ‘to be on a trajectory to potentially surpass the US’, most new cases are now being reported in Asia. In the Philippines, another 2-week lockdown has been put in place for Manila and four adjacent provinces after relaxation of restrictions led to a sharp rise in new cases. The country’s 112,000+ cases are nearing Indonesia’s official total of 115,056 reported as of Aug 4.

In related news:

Travel advice has been updated by the WHO in its Q&A: COVID-19 travel advice for general public and public health considerations for international travel which was summarised in the Aug 3 Johns Hopkins newsletter. It comprises ‘recommended actions for travelers, such as testing prior to travel and enhanced hygiene, physical distancing, and mask use while traveling’. More from the WHO in the Aug 4 Sitrep and the extension of the public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC).

COVID-19 has spread from one infected passenger to 36 crew members and four other passengers of a cruise line sailing expedition ships along the Norwegian coast. Testing is underway on ships in the line and no more planned cruised will proceed while alleged delays in management of the outbreak are investigated. In related news, a month after French Polynesia opened its borders to tourists (with some testing requirements) a case of COVID-19 was confirmed in a passenger on a cruise ship, resulting in quarantine for everyone on board. The latest report from local authorities states that no further cases have been detected among the remainder of passengers and crew, allowing them to disembark and undergo seven days quarantine plus re-testing.

CIDRAP reports that the Americas has roughly half of the global count of COVID-19 cases and more than a quarter of countries in the region ‘have suspended routine vaccinations’ and other essential health services are suffering.

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.