Health

Health

Why few Singapore health workers have caught the coronavirus
Uncooperative patients, long hours and a lack of protective equipment are hampering health care workers across the world as they take the fight to the coronavirus. Many health workers have fallen sick themselves, and a fair number have died. In Malaysia, a pregnant woman who did not disclose that her father was infected tested positive after giving birth, leading to the shutdown of the entire hospital for cleaning. In the Philippines, nine doctors have died, two of whom had dealt with a patient who lied about her travel history. In Spain, where more than 5,400 health care workers have been infected, accounting for about 14% of the country’s patients, there are no longer enough workers to ca
Not wearing masks a ‘big mistake’ in US and Europe, Chinese scientist says
People in the United States and Europe are wrong not to wear face masks in public during the Covid-19 pandemic, said the head of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention. “The big mistake in the US and Europe, in my opinion, is that people aren’t wearing masks,” Gao Fu, the agency’s director-general, said in an interview with the journal Science. “This virus is transmitted by droplets and close contact,” he said. “Droplets play a very important role – you’ve got to wear a mask, because when you speak, there are always droplets coming out of your mouth.” Gao joined a chorus of researchers urging global health authorities to reconsider not recommending wider use of the face mask b
China blocks foreigners as coronavirus center shifts to US and Europe
China will ban most foreigners from entering the country starting at midnight on Friday in an effort to block the spread of the coronavirus through imported cases. Entry visas issued to foreigners will be suspended as an “interim measure,” according to a statement late Thursday by the country’s foreign ministry. “In view of the rapid spread of the new coronavirus epidemic worldwide, China has decided to temporarily suspend entry of foreigners with currently valid visas and residence permits in China,” the ministry said. “The Chinese side will adjust the above measures according to the epidemic situation through separate announcements.” While the global pandemic originated in China months ago
Czechs dust off the sewing machine as government orders mandatory face coverings
The Czech Republic has become the first nation in Europe to implement a national emergency measure that makes it mandatory for all citizens to cover their face with some sort of protective gear when in public to contain the spread of the coronavirus. Effective on March 19, all people in Czechia are required to cover their nose and mouth when outside, health authorities said. Those who fail to comply are subject to fines up to $815. By mandating the use of face coverings, the central European country of 10 million people has adopted a strategy more commonly seen in Asian countries, but less popular in the rest of Europe and in the United States. “The obligation to wear mouth and nose protecti
China’s coronavirus plight is now replaying in America
An explosion in the number of coronavirus infections has put the United States at the center of the global pandemic. By the end of Thursday, more than 85,991 cases of the Covid-19 disease were recorded in the US, surpassing the case numbers in China and Italy — the second and third most affected areas respectively.  The figure represents a snapshot of the number of infections the American authorities were able to detect so far, which is subject to testing capacity, reporting criteria and many other factors. China and Italy, which each reported about 80,000 coronavirus cases, do not count people who test positive for the virus but show no symptoms. The US Centers for Disease Control and Preve
Coronavirus response inadvertently cut two-thirds of flu deaths in Hong Kong
Health experts have said social distancing and increased awareness resulting from the coronavirus pandemic helped end Hong Kong’s winter influenza season nine weeks earlier than last year. The number of flu-related deaths in the city fell from 356 in 2019 to 113 people this year, while intensive care unit admissions dropped from 601 to 182. Epidemiologists said the city had been able to avoid the double whammy of influenza and the coronavirus outbreak largely because of social distancing measures and heightened vigilance caused by the pandemic. By Thursday afternoon, the city reported 453 Covid-19 cases, including four fatalities.  The Centre for Health Protection said Hong Kong’s annual flu
Trump wants the US ‘open’ by Easter despite health experts’ warnings
President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that he aims to end strict social distancing measures intended to halt the spread of the coronavirus by Easter to avoid prolonged economic damage. “We’re opening up this incredible country — because we have to do that,” said Trump in a Fox News interview in the White House Rose Garden. “I’d love to have it open by Easter.” Easter is April 12 this year. “More people are going to die” unless businesses are allowed to reopen, the president said. “Our country has to get back to work, otherwise it’s going to be very hard to start it up again.” Trump has become increasingly vocal in the past two days about the need to end stay-at-home orders imposed on nearl
At least 59% of coronavirus cases went unreported in Wuhan, study says
Around 60% of people who contracted the coronavirus in the central Chinese city of Wuhan were asymptomatic or very mild cases not reported to the authorities, according to a study led by a group of Chinese researchers. The paper suggests that by February 18 the total number of infections in Wuhan, the first epicenter of the coronavirus, could have exceeded 125,000, more than three times the number of confirmed cases, 38,020, reported at the time. The estimate adds to a body of research seeking to estimate the true extent of the spread of coronavirus beyond counting patients with clear symptoms of Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. The study, conducted by researchers from Huazh
Coronavirus may have started spreading earlier than thought, Italian professor says
The coronavirus that causes Covid-19 may have spread beyond China before the health authorities had even discovered the disease, according to the Italian professor who recently said there had been “very strange pneumonias” in Europe as early as November last year. The comments by Giuseppe Remuzzi, director of the Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research in Milan, during an interview with US National Public Radio last week, were quickly seized upon in the increasingly acrimonious blame game between Washington and Beijing. Remuzzi’s comments attracted much attention in China, where the authorities have been working hard to steer the international narrative about the pandemic, and sto
The coronavirus pandemic could change the way we look at masks
While mask-wearing has become a part of life in East Asia since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, it has remained rare in the United States and Europe. In some cases, mask wearers of Asian descent have been frowned upon or even assaulted. We look at the history of surgical mask use during disease outbreaks and how they have become shunned in the place where the practice originated: America.