covid-19 update Sunday 2020-03-15

Please note the article to pass on is the earliest of the three in this series all tagged covid-19. It highlights the collapse of intensive care in Italy that makes it essential to mobilize for social distancing immediately without waiting for government advice. The links provide authoritative information:

“covid-19 – Don’t Panic – Do Self Isolate”

https://c21stleft.com/2020/03/13/covid-19-dont-panic-do-self-isolate/

Since that article a national information campaign HAS now begun in Australia:

https://www.health.gov.au/news/launch-of-the-coronavirus-covid-19-campaign

Meanwhile:

Spain goes on lockdown; Italy tops 20,000 cases

Spain’s government today announced a lockdown for the whole country, which begins on Mar 16, affecting 46 million, El Pais reported today. The order, slated to last 15 days, allows people to leave their homes to buy food and medicine, to work, and to care for minors, the elderly, and other vulnerable people.

Behind Italy, which is also on lockdown, Spain has the second most cases in Europe and now has 6,391 cases and 195 deaths, according to RTVE, the country’s public broadcasting network. The country’s main hot spots are Madrid, Catalonia, the Basque country, and Andalusia.

Meanwhile, France, stopping short of a lockdown, announced sweeping new measures today, temporarily shuttering all public places except for food stores, pharmacies, and gas stations, and urging people to stay indoors as much as possible, France 24 reported. The country has now reported nearly 4,500 cases, 91 of them fatal.

Elsewhere, Italy’s health ministry today reported 3,497 more cases and 175 more deaths, raising its respective totals to 21,157 cases, 1,441 of them fatal. Germany now has 3,795 cases and 8 deaths, according to the latest numbers from the Robert Koch Institute.

In the United Kingdom, a group of 229 scientists wrote a letter to the government, urging it to take tougher measures to control the spread of the virus, the BBC reported, noting that UK officials were hesitant to take strong steps too early over worries about public frustrations. The scientists are pressing for more social distancing measures, but some government health officials have said the existing approach factors in some herd immunity benefits. Reuters reported today that the government will ban mass gatherings next week.

The second article in this series at c21st left “Interesting Advice” was just speculative and confuses incubation period with infectious period. Unfortunately people may not notice the main article as later articles are displayed first. Be sure to send direct link as above, not just a link to this blog.

BTW some support for my speculation can be found in this paper, which estimates that 48% or more of the infectious period is before symptoms occurred. However it is just a preliminary unreviewed technical report based on studies at two locations and I am not competent to judge its accuracy or to make speculative remarks based on it.

The proportion of pre-symptomatic transmission was 48% (95%CI 32-67%) for Singapore and 62% (95%CI 50-76%) for Tianjin, China. Estimates of the reproduction number based on the generation interval distribution were slightly higher than those based on the serial interval distribution. Conclusions: Estimating generation and serial interval distributions from outbreak data requires careful investigation of the underlying transmission network. Detailed contact tracing information is essential for correctly estimating these quantities.

https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.03.05.20031815v1

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