Coronavirus World Update, May 12: Ventilator fire in Russia, Japan to approve antigen test, reducing cases in the USA

As of May 12, over 4.2 million people worldwide have been confirmed to have COVID-19. Out of these, over 1.5 million have recovered and 287,615 have died.

Myupchar May 12, 2020 20:49:38 IST
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Coronavirus World Update, May 12: Ventilator fire in Russia, Japan to approve antigen test, reducing cases in the USA

As of May 12, over 4.2 million people worldwide have been confirmed to have COVID-19 . Out of these, over 1.5 million have already recovered and 287,615 have died.

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Representational image. Image by Tumisu from Pixabay.

Taiwan has reported zero cases for five consecutive days now. Taiwan’s Health Minister Chen Shih-Chung said in a press briefing that the country hasn’t observed a single domestic case for a month now.

Russia to ease lockdown, ventilator fire in Russia, underreported deaths in Moscow

On Monday, President Putin had announced that people should go back to work on Tuesday. The announcement had come in when Russia had surpassed the UK and Italy in the total number of cases. A fire in the ICU unit of a hospital in St. Petersburg killed five COVID-19 patients. The fire was reportedly caused due to malfunctioning of a ventilator or a short circuit.

The death toll in Russia has been surprisingly low, despite the increasing number of cases. Data released recently by the Moscow government suggests that this may be due to serious underreporting - the number of total deaths in April in Moscow alone has far exceeded the five-year average.

USA reports lowest cases for two days since May, Fauci says too early to open lockdown

For two days now the USA has reported a lowering number of new daily cases. On May 10, the country noted 20,329 new cases, the lowest since March-end and on May 11, 18,196 cases were reported.

Anthony Fauci, a senior health official and member of the coronavirus task force in the USA, reportedly said on Tuesday that easing the lockdown right now may cause multiple outbreaks in the country and kill many more if any of the checkpoints in the reopening guidelines are skipped. Earlier in April, President Trump had revealed reopening guidelines for America in three phases. As per media reports, experts are suggesting various flaws in the guidelines.

Spain mandates 14-day quarantine for travellers, South Korea uses digital data to look for coronavirus cluster

On Tuesday, Spain reported the lowest daily cases in two months. As the country eases lockdown, all foreign nationals who enter Spain after May 15 and at least until May 24 will have to follow a 14-day quarantine when they arrive in the country.

To contain the new club cluster, South Korea is now identifying people through CCTV footage, credit card information and phone data.

Japan to approve antigen test

Japan is set to approve the new COVID-19 antigen test to increase its testing capacity. An antigen test is more likely to give a false negative than an RT-PCR. However, Yoshihide Suga, Chief Cabinet Secretary of Japan said in a press briefing on Tuesday that it is not possible to keep track of everyone with RT-PCR alone.

As per media reports, they are planning to use Fujirebio’s antigen test kit, which gives results in half an hour as compared to the six hours of a PCR test. The company can reportedly make about 200,000 kits a week.

For more information, read our article on RT-PCR test for COVID-19 .

Health articles in Firstpost are written by myUpchar.com, India’s first and biggest resource for verified medical information. At myUpchar, researchers and journalists work with doctors to bring you information on all things health.

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