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Latest coronavirus update for doctors and healthcare professionals – Friday 28 February 2020

28 Feb 2020

Latest coronavirus update from Jane Chiodini, Dean of the Faculty of Travel Medicine.

From Jane Chiodini, Dean of the Faculty of Travel Medicine.

As March approaches who would have predicted that such significant changes would have dominated the world news in the first two months of 2020.  Developments around coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19 escalate.  It’s hard to appreciate that since my last blog just two weeks ago, news headlines such as the Princess Diamond cruise ship quarantined in Japan with eventual numbers of over 690 cases on board have been overtaken by reports of serious outbreaks in Northern Italy; worrying details about the situation in Iran;  large sporting events being cancelled around the world; Saudi Arabia announcing the temporary suspension of visits to the Kingdom for religious purpose including Umrah, and whilst it is too early to decide right now, the status of the Olympic Games to be held in Tokyo in less than five months quite uncertain. It’s no wonder the stock market is in turmoil.   

The latest figures from the WHO daily report no. 38 stated that as of 27th February there have been 82,294 global cases with 2804 deaths.  But this week for the first time there have been more new cases reported from countries outside China than within.  Just yesterday, nine new Member States with reported cases brought the total number of cases outside China to 46 and the day before it was reported on Algeria being the first Member State of the WHO AFRO Region to report a case of COVID-19. 

In the UK we’ve had 16 cases identified but all connected with cases from abroad.  Some of you who are front line healthcare professionals will be having your mask fit testing performed and will be aware of the preparedness measures taking place, but the clear message from Government at the current time is a four part plan:

  1. Contain
  2. Delay
  3. Research
  4. Mitigate

The most important measures the public can adopt are methods that are known to reduce risk, to adopt good hand hygiene at all times and if coughing or sneezing to do so into a tissue and bin it.  Many resources are now available to illustrate these behaviours and a public information campaign is soon to be rolled out. 

The College posted a COVID-19 update last night reassuring us that the organisation is closely monitoring the situation with clinical volunteers, examination candidates, event delegates and staff to ensure action is taken as and when required. 

In the meantime, I refer you to the previous blogs on 31.01.20 and 14.02.20 for many resources but here are some new and very interesting ones.

New resources

A few useful resources for patients

Previous updates from the College:

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