Covid-19 virus dominating news

The Covid-19 coronavirus is dominating the news as it spreads around the world. More cases are now being identified outside China than in the country where it started.

It is leading the news at RNZ:  Coronavirus: more new cases outside China than inside – WHO

More new coronavirus cases have for the first time been reported outside China than inside, World Health Organisation chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has said.

In China, the number of new cases reported on Tuesday was 411, whereas in the rest of the world the number was 427.

The WHO chief said the sudden rise in coronavirus cases in Italy, Iran and South Korea was “deeply concerning” but the virus could still be contained and did not amount to a pandemic.

Several European countries have announced their first coronavirus cases, all apparently linked to the growing outbreak in Italy.

Austria, Croatia, Greece and Switzerland said the cases involved people who had been to Italy, as did Algeria in Africa.

The first positive virus test has been recorded in Latin America – a Brazilian resident just returned from Italy.

RNZ: Coronavirus expert tells nations to get ready to respond rapidly

“Think the virus is going to show up tomorrow,” the head of the joint WHO-Chinese mission on the outbreak, Dr Bruce Aylward, told reporters in Geneva.

“If you don’t think that way, you’re not going to be ready,” he said, adding that it was an “incredibly interconnected world”.

Aylward said the public needed to be educated about the issue to ensure their support in the battle to contain the virus.

He said 10 per cent of people who come in contact with an infected person contracts it.

RNZ: GPs feel vulnerable to Covid-19 as protective gear stock runs out

GPs have run out of masks and other protective gear and say that makes them vulnerable to the novel coronavirus, while the government holds on to 18 million masks.

The Ministry of Health has stockpiled nine million masks with filters as well as nine million general surgical masks as part of its pandemic planning.

But the Royal New Zealand College of GPs said several clinics had run out after using up their supply on suspected cases of Covid-19.

RNZ: Coronavirus – floods of information in a misinfodemic

The headline seems quite misleading.

The response of health experts around the world to the rapidly evolving global health emergency has led to a “knowledge explosion”.

Vaccinologist Helen Petousis-Harris from the University of Auckland calls it an unprecedented triumph in human research collaboration. Researchers tend to be precious about their life’s work, she says; they guard it closely in case someone else beats them to it. But in this case, traditional academic and research practices have “gone out the window”.

She also says Covid-19 “is not the apocalypse”, and the speed of the international reaction is incredible. That includes helping countries that have very weak health systems to cope with what’s happening.

The unprecedented collaboration and the hundreds of millions of dollars available through a special fund called the Coalition of Epidemic Preparedness Innovation [CEPI] could mean that a vaccine starts to roll out at the end of April.

“Some vaccines have taken 20 years, some vaccines still elude us, others have been faster but we’re moving into a new paradigm, a new world in this space now, which means if we can do this – what else can you do?” she says.

RNZ: Auckland Arts Festival cancels French performance due to Covid-19 impact

Chief executive David Inns said the arial spectacle Place des Anges was hampered by rising air freight costs driven by the Covid-19.

Inns said the festival had been hit by other impacts from Covid-19, including increased flights costs for the Los Angeles Master Chorale group Lagrime Di San Pietro, which had to cancel its show in Hong Kong.

RNZ: Auckland Asian restaurants hit by coronavirus fears

As coronavirus continues to spread offshore, local Asian businesses say they’re starting to fail as customers stay away.

Profits have halved for some Chinese restaurants in Auckland, and with the increase of the minimum wage set to kick in, the timing could not be worse.

I wonder if Italian restaurants will also be affected.

Leading the news also at…

Newsroom: It’s not the apocalypse, but yes, you should care

Less than two months after China told the World Health Organisation there was a problem, a lot has happened. Sadly, deaths, confirmed cases and countries affected are increasing every day.

However, on a scientific and medical level, what is going on to contain, cure and prevent this new disease is truly inspirational. Let’s look at the build-up to this global health emergency and what is being done by medical teams all over the world to combat its effects.

Internationally, Reuters:  Coronavirus pandemic a question of ‘when’ not ‘if’, warns U.S.

Asia reported hundreds of new coronavirus cases, including a U.S. soldier stationed in South Korea, as the United States warned of an inevitable pandemic and outbreaks in Italy and Iran spread to other countries.


ABC: As coronavirus COVID-19 spreads, how are Italy, Iran, Korea and others dealing with the outbreak?

The Australian Government says it is “pandemic ready” but warns “no country is immune” as coronavirus hotspots continue to crop up around the globe.

Key points:

  • The outbreak in Italy has seen the virus spread to other European countries for the first time
  • A Brazilian man has been confirmed as South America’s first case
  • Iran has been accused of a cover-up while some of China’s allies have a relaxed approach

Only two months from the first reported case in China, the death toll now stands at more than 2,700 and there are more than 80,000 recorded cases of the COVID-19 virus around the world — although the vast majority of cases and deaths continue to be concentrated in Hubei province’s Wuhan.

Following on the heels of other nations, Australia imposed a travel ban on China with some exemptions despite the World Health Organisation warning such measures would only contribute to “fear and stigma”.

A world map colour-coding the spread of the novel coronavirus COVID-19.

Deadline: Donald Trump Blames Media Coverage Of Coronavirus For Dow Jones Drop

President Donald Trump lashed out at MSNBC and CNN for their coverage of the outbreak, claiming that they are “doing everything possible” to make the situation “look as bad as possible.”

He said that he would hold a press conference at 6 p.m. ET to talk about the subject along with representatives for the Centers for Disease Control.

Media do at times over-hype stories, but the virus is a big world story.

Perhaps Trump could set the record straight via Twitter.

Leave a comment


  1. Trump is as smart as sedimentary rock about all things scientific, and I know we are all used to it by now, but think how out of touch with reality he has to be to tweet this:

  2. Yes, perhaps Trump could set the record straight on Twitter, he’d probably do a better job than the MSM running contradictory stories and opinion pieces daily.

    81,109 cases of … the virus, 2,718 deaths.

    From WHO .. “Although for most people COVID-19 causes only mild illness, it can make some people very ill. More rarely, the disease can be fatal. Older people, and those with pre-existing medical conditions (such as high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes) appear to be more vulnerable”

  3. Alan Wilkinson

     /  27th February 2020

    Some interesting charts here esp plot of fatality percent vs infection rate:

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  27th February 2020

      A paranoid coronavirus prepper has bought 150 tins of food. How long does she think she’d be in hiding from it ?

  4. Duker

     /  27th February 2020

    Some suggest Covid-19 maybe around for ever and join the other 4 existing human coronavirus of varying severity of side effects or respiratory illnesses

  5. The White House is trying to project confidence about America’s ability to contain the coronavirus while appearing prepared for an outbreak in the U.S.

    It’s a tricky moment for any president to balance an image of both strength and caution. Trickier still for Trump who is pathologically incapable of projecting either strength or caution.

    But appointing Mike Pence as czar to oversee the US response gives me a particularly cold chill. Pence is an extreme fundamentalist who doesn’t believe in science. As governor of Indiana, his science denial contributed to one of the worst HIV outbreaks in Indiana’s history.

    What does a guy who refuses to be alone in a room with a woman not his wife and who puts creationism waaaay ahead of evolution know about basic anatomy and physiology, let alone epidemiology, pharmacology, viral evolution, and the intricate decision trees and flow charts one would expect to find in the so-called master plans this administration has supposedly prepared?

    I can see his response now: calls for national prayers and waits for the rapture.

    • Heh, there’s always a tweet…

      • duperez

         /  28th February 2020

        From 5:34 sums it up and suggests what a ‘normal’ response could look like and should look like.


Leave a Reply to Call me Ishmael... Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: