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The rapidly spreading coronavirus infections have led to the lockdown of 3 cities in China, cancelling of Chinese New Year festivities with the puzzled global public health experts to understand, track, and contain the new virus.

There are notable number of growing cases reported that are affected by the outbreak of the virus in China. With hundreds of infections reported by Chinese health officials, there are cases being reported even from countries internationally, including the US, where the first coronavirus infection was identified in a traveller returning from Wuhan on 21 January 2020.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),

  • Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some causing illness in people and others that circulate among animals, including camels, cats and bats;
  • Animal coronaviruses can evolve and infect people and then spread between people such as has been seen with MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) and SARS (Severe acute respiratory syndrome).

The spread of the coronavirus has not only raised the health concerns but has taken a toll on the Chinese businesses, tourism as well as several other aspects of the economy. Travellers to China are being cautious, lockdowns in cities and transport system have put the commerce to a halt in some parts of the country.

Coronavirus WHO Report

The latest situation reports on coronavirus by WHO confirms the following:

  • A total of 581 confirmed cases reported for novel coronavirus globally, of which 571 cases were reported from China;
  • Reported cases had travel history to Wuhan and have been reported in multiple countries including, Thailand, Japan, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China, the US etc.;
  • Of the 571 confirmed cases in China,
  • 375 cases were confirmed from Hubei Province;
  • 95 cases are severely ill;
  • 17 deaths have been reported (all from Hubei Province);

CDC considers this is as an extremely serious public health threat and travel advisories to China have been issued by the governments across the globe.

While, the local government in China has temporarily closed the area’s outgoing airport and railway stations and suspended all public transport in Wuhan, where the situation is worsening with increasing number of cases.

Phoslock Revealed Business Update Amidst Coronavirus Spread

Amidst this worrisome situation in China, Phoslock Environmental Technologies Limited (ASX:PET) provided update concerning its projects and personnel stating that there has been no impact on PET’s business due to the coronavirus and that none of its staff has been affected by the same.

In China, ASX-listed global environmental company, Phoslock was formed to help remediate the massive Chinese algae and water pollution problem and currently has several agreements for marketing and co-operation with various environmental companies and government agencies.

Moreover, the Company notified the Chinese government’s robust measures to minimise any further spreading of the virus particularly around the Wuhan area.

The Company’s application and engineering teams in Wuhan during September and October 2019 completed the first Phoslock applications.

The Company notifies that further Phoslock applications are scheduled for the months of April & May in the current year, only if local conditions are favourable.

PET slipped~ ~3% on ASX, closing the day’s session at $0.815 on 24 January 2020.

All About Phoslock Environmental Technologies

Phoslock Environmental Technologies engages in offering water treatment products and engineering solutions that facilitate in the rectification of polluted drinking water reservoirs including lakes, rivers, canals.

Headquartered in Sydney, PET has global presence with offices across Brisbane, Beijing & Changxing, China; and Manchester, UK and ten other countries where it is represented by licensees, distributors and agents, like:

  • SePRO Corporation in the United States, and
  • HidroScience in Brazil

PET manages the increased array of projects both in China and elsewhere, which comprises of the following:

  • Phoslock®-
  • A unique water treatment product that permanently binds excess phosphorus in the water column and sediments which in turn inhibits the growth of Harmful Algal Blooms (HAB) that lead to detrimental effects to both aquatic and human life;
  • Certified to be used in drinking water in North America, Europe, UK, Brazil, Australia and China
  • Zeolites-
  • a porous, natural material that can be applied to heavily polluted water to absorb nutrients such as nitrogen which is an important food source for the growth of harmful algae;
  • Bacteria –
  • Specialised types of bacteria can break down contaminants and organic matter that pollute water and cause human and water-borne diseases;

PET’s large multi-purpose factory in Changxing, Zhejiang province, China recently received ISO accreditation from TUV Rheinland, a German engineering accreditation agency for:

  • ISO 9001 – Quality Control and Documentation Certification;
  • ISO 14000 – Environmental Management Standards Certification; and
  • OSHA 18000 - Health and Safety Management Systems

In addition to the above, PET secured the exclusive global licence to produce, commercialise and distribute a unique new product which can be reused after removing phosphorus from polluted water. Furthermore, a development team has been established by PET to advance the product to full commercialisation and commercial quantities of the same are anticipated to be available by mid-2020s.

CDS Actively Engaged In Monitoring The Outbreak

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has taken steps that have been implemented on ground level in response to the risks asserted by the virus including:

  • Working in coordination with WHO;
  • Raised travel notice for Wuhan City from Level 2: Practice Enhanced Precautions to Level 3: Avoid Nonessential Travel;
  • Issued a Level 1: Practice Usual Precautions for the rest of China;
  • Conducting entry screening of passengers on direct and connecting flights from Wuhan to Atlanta (ATL), Chicago (ORD), Los Angeles, (LAX) New York city (JFK), and San Francisco (SFO);
  • Deployed A CDC team to support the ongoing investigation in the state of Washington in response to the first reported case of coronavirus in the US;

CDC believes that there can be identification of more cases in the coming days, including the US. Moreover, the person-to-person spread is also expected to occur further and persist for some time.

Since the investigations are ongoing to learn more about the occurrence, spreading and other aspects of the virus, the people need to be extra cautious in public gatherings.


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