The World Health Organisation said that the new coronavirus outbreak “is a controllable pandemic” if countries step up measures to tackle it. WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said countries needed to find the right balance between protecting health and preventing social and economic disruption.
Meanwhile India saw the country’s first COVID-19 death late on March 12 in Karnataka, after samples of a 76-year-old man, who was a suspected COVID-19 patient and passed away on March 10 night, tested positive for the disease. The patient from Kalaburgi also had co-morbidities such as asthma, hypertension and diabetes.
Here are the latest updates:
8.30 am | Kerala
Kerala vlogger documents his stay in isolation ward
“My lab result has come. It is negative. The doctor also has approved my discharge. As I told you all, be fearless. This coronavirus won’t affect us,” says a cheerful Shakir Subhan, better known as the ‘Mallu Traveller’, in Malayalam in one of his latest videos, which shows him still sporting a mask.
The avid vlogger from Iritty, Kannur, whose videos documenting his three days in an isolation ward at a Government hospital have gone viral, is happy to be home. The globe-trotter had been on “a solo world bike tour” when he was forced to discontinue his odyssey in Azerbaijan just as he was to enter Georgia, due to the global coronavirus outbreak. His videos, posted in his YouTube channel the ‘Mallu Traveller’ that has over 6,62,000 subscribers, attempt to bust some quarantine myths and throw light on what life is like in an isolation ward.
7.40 am | Canada
Canada PM’s wife tests positive for new coronavirus
The wife of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has tested positive for the new coronavirus, his office said late on Thursday.
“Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau was tested for COVID-19 today. The test came back positive,” the Prime Minister’s office said in a statement.
“Following medical advice, she will remain in isolation for the time being. She is feeling well, is taking all the recommended precautions and her symptoms remain mild,” it said.
“The Prime Minister is in good health with no symptoms. As a precautionary measure and following the advice of doctors, he will be in isolation for a planned period of 14 days,” but will not be tested.
COVID-19 vaccine will take at least two years to develop: health officials
Senior health officials have said a COVID-19 vaccine will take at least two years to develop even with expedited clinical trials and approvals. The virus has affected 74 people in the country, including 17 foreign nationals (16 Italians and a Canadian).
Raman. R. Gangakhedkar, head of the Epidemiology and Communicable Diseases-I (ECD-I), Division of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), said Indian scientists have managed to “successfully isolate the COVID-19 virus. This is needed for making a vaccine. There are two ways of going for vaccine preparation — either you look at the sequences of the gene which then may lead to development of antibodies, or you actually have the strain and then you try to develop a vaccine which is always an easier option,” he said.