Coronavirus, first case in Africa: there is an infection in Egypt. The 17-year-old from Grado returns to Italy


First case of contagion from the new coronavirus pneumonia In Africa: Egyptian authorities have announced that they have registered the first Covid-19 patient. The patient is not Egyptian and the Cairo authorities have not specified his nationality. The patient, who had no symptoms, he was transferred to the hospital and placed in quarantine.

The World Health Organization has been informed of the incident. Meanwhile, while Niccolò, the young man from Grado stuck in China, is flying to Italy, and the Holy See expressed appreciation for the “efforts” of the Asian giant and “solidarity with the affected population”, Beijing has decided to impose the 14-day quarantine on anyone returning to the megacity. It is the umpteenth measure decided by the Chinese authorities to curb the infection of thethe new pneumonia that has already made about 63 thousand people sick and caused nearly 1400 victims.

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In the weekend the work of the mission of theWHO, the World Health Organization, which will try to understand how the virus is spreading, with what severity and how it could have happened that more than 1,700 health workers have also fallen ill.

The WHO also looks on with concern to the case in Egypt. For days, the health services of African countries have been on high alert in the face of the risk, now materialized, of importing the coronavirus into the continent, a close commercial partner of China. So far there has been no African country that has registered or detected cases. The UN organization is worried because – as Michel Yao, head of emergency operations in Africa, pointed out in recent days – on the African continent “most hospitals would not be able to cope with a large number of patients in need of intensive care». According to Yao, “it is the lack of reagents to test the virus that is delaying the ability of African countries to confirm cases: for this reason we work tirelessly to ensure that they receive them and to provide training courses”.

IS only a few laboratories, 7 for an entire continent, are able to perform the tests: among these, the Pasteur Institute in Senegal and the National Institute for Communicable Diseases in South Africa, which received samples to be examined by countries without competent clinical centers while in some cases they were sent directly to Paris. For WHO – which in recent days has sent other kits to 29 African laboratories – the countries most at risk of contagion, due to close relations with Beijing, are Algeria, Angola, Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, Tanzania and Zambia.

In recent weeks, Inserm, the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research, which works on behalf of the Paris government, had also drawn up a study to evaluate Africas preparedness to deal with a possible epidemic from Covid- 19. IS the study identified Egypt as the country with the highest risk of importing the virusHowever, a country with a high capacity and preparation to respond to a possible emergency from a health point of view. As Vittoria Colizza, Italian researcher who worked on that study, says among African countries, Egypt is «the one with the greatest capacity to respond to a possible emergency. Now it is important to understand what will happen, that is, the ability to stop the infection ».

Research continues
In the search for useful therapies against the new coronavirus, meanwhile, China announces “convalescence plasma” from the blood of healed patients intended for the treatment of people with Covid-19. The China National Biotec Group reports. The company said it had collected plasma from some patients healed to prepare therapeutic products including convalescence plasma and immunoglobulins.

After “stringent blood biosecurity tests”, and tests on virus inactivation and antiviral activity, the researchers successfully developed convalescence plasma for clinical treatment and used it to treat critically ill patients. The company has set up an ad hoc team to use special equipment designed to collect plasma from patients cured in Wuhan starting January 20. Three critically ill patients in a hospital in Jianghania district of Wuhan received convalescence plasma treatment on February 8. Currently, more than 10 critically ill patients have received treatment, the company said.

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According to clinical results, 12 to 24 hours after patients received treatment, they showed improvement of clinical symptoms, with the main inflammatory indices decreased significantly and some key indices such as oxygen saturation in the blood in total recovery. Experts said that based on the clinical pathological process, most treated patients will produce specific antibodies to the virus, which can help kill it.

The therapeutic product derived from the convalescence plasma consists of the blood donated by healed patients, after the inactivation of the virus and the detection of multiple pathogenic microorganisms. Plasma therapy can be an effective strategy for reducing the mortality rate of critically ill patients, according to experts. The company and the Wuhan Blood Center presented a dossier, inviting the recovered patients to donate plasma to help other patients still in danger.

The “coronatubers” circumvent the censorship and tell about the contagion that has brought China to its knees

Meantime, however, the White House complains about Chinas lack of transparency regarding the virus’s data. “We are a little disappointed that we have not been invited and we are a little disappointed by the lack of transparency on the part of the Chinese,” Larry Kudlow, director of the Economic Council of President Donald Trump, told reporters. Trump has repeatedly praised his Chinese counterpart for the Beijing government’s response to the crisis, but Kudlow said that unanswered questions are on the rise and that there is no sign of the promised cooperation.

Cambodia passengers on the cruise ship Mv Westerdam which had been rejected by several ports in Asia for fear of being able to carry the new coronavirus they finally started landing in Sihanoukville. Premier Hun Sen welcomed around 100 tourists who received flowers as they came ashore after two uncertain weeks at sea. Westerdam was expected to take her 2,257 passengers and crew on a 14-day cruise to East Asia, starting in Hong Kong on February 1 and ending Saturday in Yokohama, Japan. But the ship was rejected by Japan, Guam, the Philippines, Taiwan and Thailand for fear of carrying someone with Covid-19.

Coronavirus, life on board the Diamond Princess quarantine cruise ship in Yokohama

The strains of the virus survived in the feces of some policemen
Some strains of the new coronavirus survive in the intestine and have been found in China in stool samples from patients infected with COVID-19 syndrome. Two different groups of researchers have isolated the virus in the laboratory, some scholars involved from various institutes, including prof. Zhao Jincun of the State Key Laboratory of Respiratory Disease of Guangzhou Medical University.

“We have made some discoveries in the laboratory, which still need further confirmation from epidemiologists,” said the deputy director of the state key laboratory for diagnosis and treatment of infectious diseases, Wu Nanping. “Further research on the virus’s infectivity levels will also be needed and to understand if the presence of the latter in the stool is the consequence of oral ingestion or from the proliferation in intestinal cells “.

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One of the samples, said the professor and member of the research team of the Chinese pulmonologist Zhong Nanshan, was created by the Fifth Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-Sen University. At the same time, deputy director Wu reports, another group of researchers led by the well-known epidemiologist and director of the Chinese laboratory Li Lanjuan has isolated three strains of the new coronavirus from five different stool samples from infected patients.

According to Professor Zhao, these findings confirm for now only that the patients’ feces contain the circulating virus, although there is still insufficient evidence to demonstrate a fecal-oral transmission.

in the meantime checks on flights arriving from abroad continue throughout Italy and Minister of Health Roberto Speranza claims the choice of the blockade imposed on planes arriving from China: “A fair measure – he underlines – because we think it has allowed our country to be safer”. Italy had 25 direct flights from China to Malpensa and 35 to Fiumicino, “each flight had about 200 passengers on board – says the minister – so we are talking about 12 thousand people arriving with significant risks”.

So the 56 Italians returned from China will have to live in quarantine for the coronavirus

To date, I am three cases of coronavirus infection in Italy: they are admitted to the Spallanzani hospital in Rome the two Chinese tourists tourists, in intensive care, and the 29 year old Italian whose conditions are good. After 20 weeks under observation, the 20 Chinese citizens who were part of the group of the two sick people were discharged: «They are in excellent health and spirit – underline the doctors -. These people were primary contacts of the positive Chinese couple and they left here without being infected: this must be clear ». Healthcare workers try to lower the level of widespread fear that, in some cases, has turned into episodes of pure racism. And the Chinese embassy intervenes on this point, which, through the mouth of an official, highlights: «The panic that is spreading in the community is not for the epidemic, but for security. In recent days there have been attacks on the Chinese in Italy, not tourists but the Chinese community “. Hence the appeal, “to avoid prejudices, aggressions, insults, threats that are not tolerable”.

Coronavirus, the Chinese embassy: “Avoid discrimination and aggression: they are not tolerable”

Thursday, the home health surveillance prepared by the ASL of Rome on the three employees of the hotel in via Cavour where the infected couple had stayed also ended. “They have always been in perfect health and have not needed any specific intervention,” says the Lazio Region Councilor for Health, Alessio D’Amato.

While checks continue at airports throughout Italy with over 800 civil protection doctors and volunteers engaged in the health checks of arriving passengers, the tests for the treatment of Wuhan virus are continuing on the medical front and Spallanzani comes with the good news of the ‘recruitment of the researcher who first managed to isolate in the laboratory’ 2019-nCov ‘: after years of precarious work, Francesca Colavita finally has a permanent job.

The hiring procedure, clarified by the hospital, started long before the coronavirus affair, or on 8 November last, with the request for clearance to the Molise Region, where the biologist had won the competition. Last week the ok arrived from Molise and the Roman hospital was able to proceed with the hiring.

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Icao: airlines lose $ 5 billion

The new coronavirus epidemic could cost a $ 4-5 billion reduction in airline revenues worldwide. This was announced by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). The United Nations agency reported that 70 airlines have canceled all international flights into and out of China and another 50 have reduced their routes. Preliminary estimates show that this has resulted in a reduction of nearly 20 million passengers compared to forecasts for the first quarter of 2020. The figure equates to potential lost revenue of up to $ 5 billion, the agency said.

“Prior to the outbreak of the virus, airlines planned to increase capacity by 9% on international routes to and from China in the first quarter of 2020 compared to 2019,” said the ICAO in a statement. In fact, there has been an 80% reduction in the capacity of travelers.

Japan is currently the hardest hit country with a tourist revenue loss estimated at $ 1.29 billion. Thailand follows with a potential drop of $ 1.15 billion.

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China: Airbnb suspends reservations in Beijing until May
Airbnb has announced that it will extend the suspension of reservations in Beijing until May to deal with the spread of the coronavirus in China. The company said that customers who booked accommodation in Beijing between February 7th and April 30th will be eligible for a refund. Three days ago Airbnb announced that it would suspend reservations in the Chinese capital between February 7 and 29. Reservations in Wuhan, the epicenter of the epidemic, are instead suspended until March 31st. Two days ago, the Wall Street Journal wrote that Airbnb reported a loss of $ 322 million in the nine months of September, against a profit of $ 200 million in the same period of the previous year. Considering also the coronavirus epidemic and the fears for its possible effects, the San Francisco-based company should postpone its stock exchange listing for the financial newspaper. Last year Airbnb said it wanted to be listed “in 2020”.

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