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Global Responses: China Eases Lockdown; Russia Braces For Outbreak; India Locks Down 1.3 Billion People

 

While China is its loosening two-month long restrictions in Hubei, other countries begin to impose more restrictions for ”long haul” battle.


The New York Times:
Coronavirus In China: Hubei Province Lockdown Eased After 2 Months

The Chinese province of Hubei, where the coronavirus pandemic began, will on Wednesday begin allowing most of its 60 million residents to leave, ending nearly two months of lockdown and sending a strong signal of the government’s confidence that its tough measures have worked to control the outbreak. Wuhan, the provincial capital and the city hardest hit by the virus, will remain sealed off until April 8, though public transportation there will start running again, the government said. (Wang and Wee, 3/24)


The Wall Street Journal:
‘My World Collapsed With A Bang’: How The Coronavirus Ravaged A Wuhan Family

The last message Li Song received from her husband was a hand emoji of the OK sign, assuring her that he was on the mend after being hospitalized with pneumonia. Four hours later, the hospital called to tell her he had died. Ms. Li, 53, had spent days scrambling to save her 53-year-old husband, Hong Ling, after they both contracted the coronavirus that has killed more than 15,000 people and infected more than 350,000 world-wide. (Yang, 3/25)


The Associated Press:
Russia Ramps Up Measures Against Coronavirus As Cases Grow

Russian authorities acknowledged Tuesday that a low number of coronavirus cases in the country could be a result of insufficient screening and warned that the nation must brace for the worst. President Vladimir Putin donned a yellow protective suit to visit the top Moscow hospital treating coronavirus patients and conferred with officials on how to stem the outbreak. Hospital chief Denis Protsenko told Putin the country needs to “prepare for the Italian scenario.” (Litvinova and Isachenkov, 3/24)


Reuters:
India Locks Down Its 1.3 Billion People To Halt Coronavirus Spread

India ordered a 21-day lockdown of its 1.3 billion people on Tuesday to try to protect the world’s second most populous country from the coronavirus spreading around the world. Health researchers have warned that more than a million people in India could be infected with the coronavirus by mid-May, prompting the government to shut down all air and train travel, businesses and schools. (Miglani and Anand, 3/24)


The Associated Press:
Grim Find: Bodies Of Virus Victims In Spanish Nursing Homes

Spanish army troops disinfecting nursing homes have found, to their horror, some residents living in squalor among the infectious bodies of people suspected of dying from the new coronavirus, authorities said Tuesday. Defense Minister Margarita Robles said the elderly residents were “completely left to fend for themselves, or even dead, in their beds.” She said the discovery over the weekend included several nursing homes but did not name them or say how many bodies were found. (Giles and Parra, 3/24)


CIDRAP:
Italian Doctors Note High COVID-19 Death Rate, Urge Action

Italy’s high rate of death from COVID-19 (7.2%, vs. 2.3% in China) may be explained by the country’s relatively high proportion of older people, a different definition of coronavirus-related deaths, and approach to testing strategies, according to a commentary yesterday in JAMA. In a letter today in The Lancet, a separate group of Italian doctors implored countries to learn from their country’s experience and swiftly implement strict infection-control measures. (Van Beusekom, 3/24)


The Associated Press:
In Pandemic, Rumors Of Martial Law Fly Despite Reassurances

Millions of Americans have been ordered to stay home. Businesses and schools are shuttered. And National Guard units have been activated in more than half the states. Yet despite what you may have read in a text message or on social media, there are currently no plans for a national quarantine, let alone martial law. Those National Guard units? They’re busy distributing food and medical supplies. (Klepper, Dupuy and Kinnard, 3/25)


CNN:
Prince Charles Tests Positive For Novel Coronavirus

Prince Charles, Queen Elizabeth II’s son and the first in line to the British throne, has tested positive for coronavirus and is now self-isolating in Scotland. The Prince of Wales is only displaying mild symptoms and is otherwise in good health, Clarence House said in a statement. It is not known how he caught the virus because of his busy schedule of public events in recent weeks. (Reynolds, Foster and Wilkinson, 3/25)


The Wall Street Journal:
Governments Prepare For The ‘Long Haul’ In Battle Against Coronavirus

As the new coronavirus spreads across the world, governments and scientists are bracing for a monthslong siege rather than a swift victory—one marked by shifting strategies and potentially prolonged economic disruption. Sweeping restrictions and unprecedented lockdowns from New York and San Francisco to Milan, Paris, Manila and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, are expected to slow the spread of the disease, but they aren’t likely to halt the contagion altogether, public-health experts say. Places like Singapore and Hong Kong are learning that early accomplishments in containment can be undone by new waves of infection. (Solomon, McKay and Emont, 3/25)


The Associated Press:
Survivors Of World Conflicts Offer Perspective Amid Pandemic

As Western countries reeling from the coronavirus pandemic awaken to a new reality of economic collapse, overwhelmed hospitals, grounded flights and home confinement, it’s tempting to think the end of days is at hand. But for millions across the Middle East and in conflict zones farther afield, much of this is grimly familiar. The survivors of recent wars, too often dismissed as the pitiable victims of failed states, can offer hard-earned wisdom in times like these. (Krauss and Akram, 3/25)


CIDRAP:
As COVID-19 Rages, WHO Calls For More Efforts To Prevent TB

With nations around the world confronting the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Health Organization (WHO) reminded people today that another respiratory illness—tuberculosis (TB)—remains the world’s leading infectious disease killer and urged more action to prevent the disease. In a statement marking World TB Day, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, PhD, said the COVID-19 pandemic underscores the need to continue tackling longstanding health problems like TB, a lung disease that could leave millions worldwide at even greater risk for poor outcomes from the novel coronavirus. (Dall, 3/24)


This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.

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