Coronavirus pandemic: Global corporate losses may reach $12 trillion

CountercurrentsMarch 20, 2020

The economic damage from the coronavirus pandemic will be unprecedented, according to Ray Dalio, the head of one of the world’s largest hedge funds.

Ray Dalio says global corporate losses from the pandemic will amount to $12 trillion.

Dalio told CNBC: “What is happening has not happened in our lifetime before … What we have is a crisis. There will also be individuals who have very big losses … There is a need for the government to spend more money, a lot more money … A lot more people are going to be broke.”Read More »

Cuba Sends 53 Doctors and Nurses to Fight Covid-19 in Italy

teleSURMarch 20, 2020

At the entrance to the hospital, a sign reads:

At the entrance to the hospital, a sign reads: “You are the real heroes”, Bergamo, Italy, March, 2020. | Photo: Twitter/ @orlandoQva

The Cubans, who traveled to Sierra Leone to fight the Ebola virus in 2014, ​​will arrive in Lombardy.

Cuban health authorities announced on Thursday that the country will send 53 health professionals to Lombardy, Italy, to help contain the new coronavirus pandemic.

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Young Adults Make 38% of COVID-19 Hospitalizations in US: CDC

teleSUR | March 19, 2020

An emergency medical technician wearing a face mask walks out of a Wall Street subway station in New York, the United States, March 17, 2020.

An emergency medical technician wearing a face mask walks out of a Wall Street subway station in New York, the United States, March 17, 2020. | Photo: Xinhua

These preliminary data also demonstrate that severe illness leading to hospitalization, including ICU admission and death, can occur in adults of any age with COVID-19, according to the report.

About 38 percent of COVID-19 patients hospitalized in the United States were younger than 55, according to a new report of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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Cargo Arrives in Venezuela With Medical Aid From China

teleSUR | March 19, 2020

Vice President of Venezuela, Delcy Rodriguez, received the shipment from China

Vice President of Venezuela, Delcy Rodriguez, received the shipment from China | Photo: Twitter/@teleSURtv

Cuban medical specialists also arrived on the airship, belonging to Venezuela’s Conviasa Airlines.

A special medicine and medical supplies shipment arrived in Venezuela from China on Thursday, March 19th, as the Asian nation continues to provide assistance to the Bolivarian Republic. .

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IMF Rejects Venezuela Emergency Fund Appeal

by Ricardo Vaz

Venezuelanalysis | March 18, 2020

The IMF rejected a Venezuela emergency appeal for funds to face the coronavirus healthcare crisis. (IMF)
The IMF rejected a Venezuela emergency appeal for funds to face the coronavirus healthcare crisis. (IMF)

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COVID-19 in Italy: momentous decisions and many uncertainties

by and

The Lancet | March 18, 2020

On March 10, at 00:30 h, the official news was posted on the website of the Italian Ministry of Health: a new decree effective until at least April 3 limits the movement of individuals in the whole Italian national territory unless strictly motivated (in written form) by reasons of work or health. Schools, museums, cinemas, theatres, and any other social, recreational, or cultural centre must stay closed. Any gathering in public spaces is forbidden, including sporting events and funerals. Most shops must stay closed. Those selling essentials, such as supermarkets or pharmacies, need to ensure a distance of at least 1 m between customers.

These measures are without precedent and aim to contain the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) epidemic in Italy after an increase in total deaths of nearly 100% in the 48 h before the decree. They follow a series of restrictions of increasing severity, starting on Feb 23, 2020, with the lockdown of the geographical area, Codogno, where the first COVID-19 cases occurred. The number of positive cases, according to the most recent estimates as of March 16, 18:00 h, is 27 980, which is about 2·8 times higher than 1 week before (10 149 cases recorded on March 10).

Among these, 2339 (8·4%) are health workers, a proportion that has been increasing over time.

With 2158 deaths, the estimated case fatality rate stands at 7·7%, which is about twice the rate reported in the first weeks of the epidemic.

Overall, 11 125 (39·8%) patients have been hospitalised and 1851 (6·6%) admitted to intensive care units (ICUs).

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Can Nigeria contain the COVID-19 outbreak using lessons from recent epidemics?

by and

The Lancet |  March 11, 2020

News broke on Feb 27, 2020, that an Italian citizen was Nigeria’s first case of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The individual had landed at Lagos airport 2 days earlier on a flight from northern Italy, and had subsequently travelled from Lagos to Ogun State, western Nigeria, where he became ill and was promptly isolated. He is currently being treated for mild symptoms of COVID-19 in a hospital in Lagos. Upon identifying the index case, National Emergency Operations Centres were immediately activated to trace his contacts. By March 9, 2020, 27 suspected cases had been identified across five states (Edo, Lagos, Ogun, Federal Capital Territory, and Kano), of which two were confirmed to be positive (ie, the index case and a contact), with no deaths.

216 contacts were linked to the index case, 136 of whom are being followed up.

Similar to COVID-19, the Ebola epidemic of 2014 was imported through Lagos airport. Within weeks, 19 people were diagnosed with Ebola across two states of Nigeria—Lagos and Rivers State—of whom eight died of Ebola.

The dense population of Lagos, its overstrained infrastructure, and the fact that it is a major regional transit hub for air, land, and sea transport created the perfect conditions for the spread of Ebola. Nevertheless, Nigeria’s aggressive and coordinated response successfully controlled the Ebola epidemic.

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Deciphering the power of isolation in controlling COVID-19 outbreaks

The Lancet |  VOLUME 8, ISSUE 4PE452-E453, APRIL 01, 2020

Isolation of cases and contacts has long been a strategy in the fight against infectious diseases; however, its effectiveness has varied. The modelling study by Joel Hellewell and colleagues

qualitatively explored the parameters that determine whether isolation of cases and contacts can successfully contain COVID-19 outbreaks after importation of travel-related cases and initial transmissions.

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