JULY 30th 2020, 12H00 Paris time – Dr M. Kalina, EA Group Medical Director, F. Tits, RN, EA Group Sr Project Manager, C. Jannuzzi and J. Heywood, EA Group communication team
Sources: international sources such as WHO, Chinese CDC, CDC, international media, medical journals,... and government websites.
Current key news, facts and data
The pandemic is still extremely active, especially in the Americas, which account for over 50 % of the overall cases. Three countries, the USA, Brazil and India total account for over half the worldwide cases. Africa is still under threat with 726 105 cases. More than 10 000 health care workers have been affected in 40 countries, a very worrying signal. In the countries were deconfinement has started, especially in Europe, some raises in the infection rate have been noticed especially among the younger age group and regional actions and limitations to border crossings have been enacted again.
The total worldwide cases as of 3 PM Beijing time yesterday, 29th July, was 16 903 005, with 663 569 deaths.
The main country figures in the countries where Europ Assistance has offices are as follows:
|USA||4 498 343||152 320|
|Brazil||2 484 649||88 634|
|India||1 535 355||34 252|
|Russia||823 515||13 504|
|South Africa||459 761||7 257|
|Spain||327 690||28 436|
|Argentina||173 355||3 179|
|France||183 804||30 223|
|Belgium||66 662||9 833|
|Chile||349 800||9 240|
|Portugal||50 410||1 722|
|Italy||246 488||35 123|
|Turkey||227 982||5 645|
|China||87 457||4 655|
|Poland||43 904||1 682|
|Germany||207 951||9 207|
|Czech Republic||15 789||374|
|Portugal||50 410||1 722|
|Switzerland||34 390||1 700|
There are no breakthroughs in terms of treatment modalities, as aside from hydrocortisone in the intensive care phase of the disease, no drug has proven effective in reducing the impact of the disease or the transmission of the virus.
The news are in a way more encouraging regarding the development of a vaccine. At this stage at least three groups out of the 24 listed by the WHO have reached a third stage. Huge contracts, between several hundred millions and 2.2 billion are signed between governments and industrial partnerships, and hopefully the first vaccine could be available very late 2020 or early 2021. The production capacity required to cover the whole world will be extremely high.
Key recommended actions items
At the current stage, social distancing remains the most important tool. Avoiding close personal contacts except with non-fragile members of one’s own household is the key. Therefore work environments must be adapted as must shops, public facilities and transport systems. The avoidance of any public or private event producing a crowd or close physical contacts is part of this action item.
A necessary addition to this component of the strategy is the obligation from anyone with the symptoms or close contacts with detected case to isolate him/herself, seek medical attention and get tested if indicated.
To this the active use of regular cleaning with either soap and water or hydroalcoholic gel must be added. The use of masks is a must in all closed and or crowded environments.
Travel is acceptable in as much as the above are respected, and temperature control can be added as a means of detecting part of the potential carriers.
Maximising access to testing is important not only to increase the systematic testing around clusters but also testing prior to some trips and of course any test required by a physician.
SPECIAL NOTE : COVID CASE AIR AMBULANCE TRANSPORTATION
Quite a few patients with COVID, especially those in countries where it is difficult to provide high end care to critical cases, but not only, repatriations have taken place. This requires a fairly challenging authorization process both in the country of origin and at the country of destination (by far the best is to send people to their home country. Several providers in Europe, Africa and the Americas provide this service).