At the start of December 2019, a new virus appeared in the city of Wuhan, China that has pulled public health experts from around the world to understand, track, and control it.
Update: World Health Organization (WHO) declared Novel Coronavirus (COVID19) as Pandemic.
Update: Italy announced lockdown in the whole country, USA announced COVID19 a National Emergency
Latest Updates about COVID-19:
Fatality Rate of COVID-19:
|Age Group||Death Rate with confirmed cases|
|0-9 years old||No Fatalities|
|10-19 years old||0.2%|
|20-29 years old||0.2%|
|30-39 years old||0.2%|
|40-49 years old||0.4%|
|50-59 years old||1.3%|
|60-69 years old||3.6%|
|70-79 years old||8.0%|
|80+ years old||14.8%|
Where did it come from?
In late December 2019, Health officials from China informed the World Health Organization that they are having a problem in controlling an unknown virus that was causing pneumonia-like illness in the city of Wuhan and soon it was found out that the virus is Coronavirus and is spreading rapidly inside and outside of the city.
Coronaviruses are commonly seen in animals but sometimes these viruses evolves and affects humans. In SARS outbreak 2002 and MERS outbreak 2012 coronavirus were found to be the reason behind the illness.
In early stages of research, scientists have found that the virus first affected the humans in a seafood market in Wuhan and spread from there. One team of researchers in China reported that the virus has come from snakes, based on the genetic code of the virus and another analysis found that the genetic sequence of the newfound virus is 96 percent similar to one coronavirus found in bats.
Both SARS and MERS originated in bats.
How Dangerous is this new virus?
There is no official statement of the fatality rate of this new virus, symptoms found in infected patients have ranged from mild to severe. Currently, the fatality rate is said to be 4 percent but it could change (Fatality rate was about 14 to 15 percent in SARS outbreak).
It has been noted that the virus might have spread from a sick person to other family members or health workers.
|Diamond Princess Cruise Ship||712||7|
|Bosnia & Herzegovina||93||1|
|Trinidad & Tobago||49||0|
|Central African Republic||3||0|
|Antigua & Barbuda||1||0|
|Saint Vincent & the Grenadines||1||0|
|Republic of the Congo||1||0|
|Papua New Guinea||1||0|
Note: The numbers given in table may vary
SARS outbreak counted for 774 deaths worldwide, while the MERS outbreak counted for 525 deaths worldwide (453 in Saudi Arabia).
How China is controlling the Virus spreading?
As of now at least eleven cities of China (Wuhan, Ezhou, Huanggang, Chibi, Xiantao, Zhijiang, Qianjjiang, Huangshi, Xianning, and Yichang) are under some degrees of lockdown means all form of transportation in the cities for about 30 million people has been restricted.
Construction of a new specialized hospital with 1,000 beds for patients completed within February 3. The new hospital will be built on the same model which was built in seven days in Beijing during the SARS outbreak in 2003.
Another 1,600-bed specialized makeshift hospital constructed in Wuhan and 1,230 doctors and nurses have been deployed to help fight coronavirus with private firms including Tencent, JD.com, and Lenovo pledge for financial aid in dealing with the deadly outbreak.
Alibaba has donated 100 million yuan through his charitable foundation to help find a vaccine for the novel coronavirus. The Tencent Charity Foundation announced a donation of 300 million yuan to set up the first phase of a new pneumonia prevention and control fund.
Security software provider 360 Security Group donated 15 million yuan worth of medical supplies to Wuhan, Hubei province, to ensure the safety of front-line disease prevention staff and support rescue efforts.
Ten steps to protect yourself from Coronavirus
Here are 10 lessons — good and bad — from Asia on how to deal with a coronavirus outbreak.
1. Be transparent with the public. Government transparency and publicly accessible information can help educate citizens on the risks and necessary precautionary measures, and avoid panic or misinformation.
2. Conduct social distancing. The virus spreads when people are in close physical contact — so one of the most important preventative measures is social distancing. Countries across Asia have suspended schools, canceled public gatherings, and closed public spaces like swimming pools or libraries.
3. Be ahead of the game. In January, as it became clear that the virus was spreading rapidly across Asia, countries got ready by setting up quarantine centers, ordering more medical supplies in advance, and organizing cross-departmental government emergency response committees.
4. Get tested early. Countries can encourage early testing, and make testing available across local districts, to quickly identify the arrival of the virus. In South Korea, a smartphone app asks citizens to do a daily check of their symptoms, and the country has pioneered drive-through testing for the virus.
5. Spread good hygiene practices. Simple measures can go a long way — like washing your hands properly and frequently, covering your nose or mouth when you cough or sneeze, and being conscious of the surfaces you touch.
6. Offer employees flexible working arrangements. Millions of people in Asia have been working from home, or working more flexible hours, for several weeks — made possible by modern technology. This reduces the risk of infection and helps employees feel safer.
7. Don’t panic buy. Panic buying, as seen in Hong Kong and elsewhere, stokes unnecessary chaos and fear. It takes away critical supplies for front liners and health care workers — and often, the supply chains are just fine.
8. Don’t be afraid of your pets. There are no evidence pets can catch the virus and subsequently infect you. The virus can live on surfaces and objects — so it could be present on the surface of a dog or cat, like how it might be present on an elevator button or door handle.
9. Don’t stigmatize patients. As the virus spreads, so does fear and discrimination. Experts have warned against stigmatizing patients; for instance, if quarantines aren’t done properly, patients could potentially be treated with less dignity and respect.
10. Finally — don’t panic. Based on currently available data, the virus is thought to have a fatality rate of about 2% — that’s higher than influenza, which is about 0.1%, but much lower than severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) at 9.6%, and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) at 35%. For many people, symptoms are just like those of common cold and may go away on their own.