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  1. Another interesting article. Can you catch the coronavirus twice? We don’t know yet We don’t have enough evidence yet to know if recovering from covid-19 induces immunity, or whether any immunity would give long-lasting protection against the coronavirus Excerpts from the article above. SAY you have caught covid-19 and recovered – are you now immune for life, or could you catch it again? We just don’t know yet. In February, reports emerged of a woman in Japan who had been given the all-clear after having covid-19 but then tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus a second time. There have also been reports of a man in Japan testing positive after being given the all-clear, and anecdotal cases of second positives have emerged from China, too. This has raised fears that people may not develop immunity to the virus. This would mean that, until we have an effective vaccine, we could all experience repeated rounds of infection. But the science is still uncertain. “There is some anecdotal evidence of reinfections, but we really don’t know,” says Ira Longini at the University of Florida. It may be that the tests used were unreliable, which is a problem with tests for other respiratory viruses, says Jeffrey Shaman at Columbia University in New York.
  2. Another interesting article online. Coronavirus: How well prepared are countries for a covid-19 pandemic? No country is fully prepared for a coronavirus pandemic, according to a public health expert. But some countries will be better placed to handle an outbreak than others Excerpts from the long article above. So is the rest of the world ready for the coronavirus? The short answer is no. “I am utterly convinced that no country is fully prepared,” says Jennifer Nuzzo at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Maryland. As long as the number of cases spreading beyond China remains a trickle, rich countries are well placed to do this. But many poorer countries don’t yet have the capacity to test for the virus.
  3. Interesting news online. Indonesia's health workers brace for COVID-19 onslaught Indonesia has one of the world's highest COVID-19 mortality rates, and is changing the way it deals with the dead. Excerpts from the long article above. Among the dead have been some of those on the front lines, including two hospital directors and 12 doctors, according to the Indonesian Medical Association (IDI). One of those doctors was Ucok Martin from Medan, a friend and colleague of Sormin's. Questions have been raised about how to keep front-line workers safe in Indonesia, where there is a chronic lack of personal protective equipment (PPE), with reports that some doctors and other medical staff are having to improvise with things like plastic raincoats and bin bags. "Indonesia isn't serious about taking transparent and effective steps to handle this pandemic," said Usman Hamid, who heads Amnesty Indonesia. "If this is allowed to continue, the number of deaths of patients and medical staff will continue to rise. This could be a humanitarian crisis, especially for the healthcare sector." It is similar elsewhere in the country, including in the capital, Jakarta, where governor Anies Basewdan told the media on March 30 that 283 people had been buried according to coronavirus stipulations, even as the BNPB put the death toll for the entire country at 170 on April 2.
  4. Well this is what the ranking online says. To be honest with you I find it difficult to agree with the ranking given either.
  5. It really got me laughing aloud when it says that US and UK appeared to be the 2 most prepared countries to face the pandemic. I was like what? Is this for real?
  6. Countries who are the most prepared to face the pandemic according to ranking. Rank / Country #1 United States #2 United Kingdom #3 Netherlands #4 Australia #5 Canada #6 Thailand #7 Sweden #8 Denmark #9 South Korea #10 Finland #11 France #12 Slovenia #13 Switzerland #14 Germany #15 Spain #16 Norway #17 Latvia #18 Malaysia #19 Belgium #20 Portugal
  7. New Zealand is winning the war on coronavirus. Here’s why. Excerpts from the article above. The SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus pandemic in the U.S. keeps getting worse. China is just starting to reopen its society. South Korea, Taiwan and Singapore are managing their outbreaks with the help of massive contact tracing detetcive work. But New Zealand, which saw its first confirmed case on Feb. 28, is on track to stop its outbreak before it ever had a chance to begin. That's likely thanks to early and decisive nationwide action by its government. The small country of nearly 4.8 million people was able to quickly contain the virus and appears to have a real chance of wiping it out entirely, The Washington Post reported. As of April 7, according to the New Zealand Ministry of Health, the country has logged 1,160 confirmed and suspected cases in the country and just one death. More people recovered in the last 24 hours (65) than were found to have been infected (54), suggesting that the local outbreak is declining. Moreover, as of April 7, just one person is known to have died of the disease, according to Worldometer, which tracks COVID-19 cases around the globe. The key to success has been a straightforward, two-pronged strategy led by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
  8. COVID-19: Inadequate medical supplies take toll on lives of Indonesian medical workers Excerpts from the article above. A hospital crisis looms as reports indicate that the combined capacity of the 132 referral hospitals designated to treat COVID-19 patients is far from adequate. Protective gear for medical workers is in short supply in both referral and regular hospitals across the country. While the system is inadequate, the government still maintains a lack of transparency over releasing information about patients and its preparedness, a policy that it has maintained since the emergence of the pandemic in January. This often leaves medical workers in the dark about whether they are treating a COVID-19 patient and it puts their lives at risk. The frustration of medical workers is emerging in many provinces as medical supplies become depleted. Adam Malik Hospital in Medan, North Sumatra, has experienced difficulties meeting the needs for medical coveralls, goggles and hand sanitizer by its staff members, according to hospital spokesperson Rosario Dorothy. “Frankly, I don’t think we are equipped enough as it is to deal with further escalation. There are only 1,200 lung specialists across the country who are proficient in examining respiratory illnesses caused by the virus. The mitigation should be viewed as a collective endeavor with active participation from the public,” he told the Post. Yani Muchtar, a radiologist at Harapan Kita Hospital, urged the government to devise a system that enables seamless cooperation between hospitals should any of them fail to function because of short supplies of resources at the height of the public health crisis. Disease surveillance and biostatistics researcher Iqbal Ridzi Fahdri Elyazar and his team at the Eijkman-Oxford Clinical Research Unit have used the geometric sequence method to determine “how much time it would take for the number of cases to double in Indonesia”. Based on their calculations, Indonesia could be grappling with up to 71,000 COVID-19 cases by the end of April.
  9. News about lack of PPE. Indonesia announces biggest daily rise in coronavirus cases, 24 doctors now dead JAKARTA (Reuters) - Indonesia announced its biggest daily increase in novel coronavirus cases on Monday and a medical association said 24 doctors had now died after contracting the virus. Medical workers wearing disposable raincoats as their protective suits to serve patients are pictured amid the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak at a local health center in Aceh, Indonesia, April 6, 2020 in this photo taken by Antara Foto. Picture taken April 6, 2020. Antara Foto/Irwansyah Putra/ via The rise in the death toll among doctors, which has doubled since last week, followed criticism of a lack of protective equipment in Indonesia. The 218 new coronavirus cases took the number overall in Indonesia to 2,491. The 209 confirmed deaths among people who have contracted the virus is the highest number of fatalities in Asia outside China. “The trend of (doctors dying) is heading for the sky,” said Halik Malik, a spokesman for the Indonesian Doctors Association which confirmed the doctors’ deaths from COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new coronavirus. “The risk of medical workers getting infected is always there... but the point is medical workers need to be protected in any way,” said Malik. A number of rights groups, including Amnesty International, have expressed concern at the high proportion of deaths among medical workers. “The death of medical workers is not just a number, but an alarm for the country to fix their health system in an emergency situation,” a coalition of the groups said in a statement on Saturday. Health experts have pointed to the high percentage of deaths among the number of confirmed cases as a sign the outbreak is much larger than official data suggests in the world’s fourth most-populous nation. Indonesia’s own intelligence agency last week revealed that it expected coronavirus cases to peak in the next three months, surpassing 100,000 cases by July. President Joko Widodo told a cabinet meeting on Monday that personal protective equipment (PPE) had been distributed across Indonesia, though he said regional officials must monitor the arrival of the equipment in hospitals. Indonesian healthcare workers have at time faced a lack of protective gear, with some doctors forced to wear raincoats and bring their own masks to protect themselves from the virus. A deficit in hospital beds, medical staff and intensive care facilities has raised concern the coronavirus crisis could push Indonesia’s health system to the brink. At least 10 Indonesian provinces, including the eastern provinces of Maluku and Papua, lack COVID-19 facilities, Doni Monardo, the head of Indonesia’s coronavirus taskforce, told parliament on Monday. In recent weeks, Indonesia has converted a former Vietnam war era refugee camp on an uninhabited island off Sumatra, and a former athletes’ village into coronavirus treatment facilities.
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