With inputs from Dr Monica Vasudev
1019: North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un has placed Kaesong City, near the country’s border with the South, under lockdown. A national emergency has been declared after acknowledging that the country might have its first case of the coronavirus. North’s official Korean Central News Agency has stated that a North Korean who had defected to South Korea three years back, had secretly crossed back into Kaesong City last week and was suspected to have been infected with the virus. Until now, North Korea has stated that it has no cases of COVID-19, claims that have been questioned by outside experts.
1020: Vietnam had no case of locally transmitted coronavirus for 100 days. However, on Saturday, a 57-year-old man in the city of Danang tested positive for the virus.
Vietnam is going to evacuate thousands of tourists from Danang after four residents there tested positive this weekend.
1021: President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil has stated that he no longer has the coronavirus. He had experienced only mild symptoms. Over 86,000 people in Brazil have died from the virus.
1022: Australia reported its highest one-day death toll on Sunday — 10 people – all in the state of Victoria.
1023: France will do COVID-19 testing free for all.
1024: Biocon suffered a setback on Sunday as the Union health ministry announced that the firm’s itolizumab drug is not a part of the national treatment protocol for COVID-19 patients. Less than two weeks ago, the Drug Controller General of India had given permission for the drug’s use on moderate to severe coronavirus patients.
1025: Hong Kong is closing all dine-in restaurant services and restricting public gatherings to two people after more than 100 new cases were recorded for the sixth consecutive day.
1026: President Trump’s national security adviser, Robert O’Brien, has tested positive for the coronavirus. He is the most senior White House official known to have contracted the virus.
1027: Japan takes masks to a new level: In Japan, the use of masks was widespread even before the pandemic. But now, there has been a big push to innovate. Inventors have devised masks with motorized air purifiers, Bluetooth speakers and even sanitizers that kill germs. In South Korea, LG has created a mask powered with fans, thus making it easier to breathe. Another company is trying to build a mask with a translator. Masks were first used in epidemics in the early 20th century, when Wu Lien-teh, a doctor of Chinese descent, started promoting simple gauze masks to fight pneumonic plague outbreak. During the 1918 flu, the practice was embraced globally.
1028: Perinatal transmission of COVID-19 unlikely if precautions taken: Mothers positive for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) at delivery will not likely transmit the infection to their infants during the perinatal period if proper precautions are undertaken, suggests a study in The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health. This is the largest cohort of neonates born to mothers positive for SARS-CoV-2 at the time of delivery, with prospective follow-up up to 1 month of life, noted investigators.
Dr KK Aggarwal
President CMAAO, HCFI and Past National President IMA