COVID-19 responses in Australia and Global, relevant articles

As confirmed COVID-19 cases continue to rise, the federal government has announced the introduction of measures to protect the population, including up to 100 pop-up fever or respiratory clinics to allow for the more serious cases to be treated at hospitals and GP clinics. It is expected that the clinics will manage those people who have mild or moderate symptoms. Govt. funding will also provide for phone hotlines, telehealth consultation services and some home medicines services.

More on local and global cases in the Mar 10 WHO Sitrep and the Australian Dept. of Health’s dedicated COVID-19 online resources.

Details of conditions inside just one Italian hospital dealing with the extensive outbreak, now the second-largest outside mainland China, offer compelling reasons behind the countrywide lockdown now in place. Read more

In other news:

A STAT news article summarising a recent (pre-print) German study suggests the rapid spread of COVID-19 is due to ‘very high levels of virus emitted from the throat of patients from the earliest point in their illness —when people are generally still going about their daily routines’. Read more

The Mar 6 WHO Situation Report contained a section on Q&A: Similarities and differences – COVID-19 and influenza.

An informative series of tweets by a professor at the UNSW School of Chemistry explainsWhy does soap work so well on SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus and in fact most viruses?’

While SARS-CoV-2 can survive on surfaces from two hours to nine days, it is vulnerable to heat, changes in pH, and common disinfectants.

The Chair of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations has said that a COVID-19 vaccine won’t be available for at least 12 months; and in the US, the NIH has commenced Phase 2 studies of the investigational antiviral remdesivir to test its effectiveness in hospitalised adults diagnosed with COVID-19, including 295 patients in South Korea. Read more.

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