Coronavirus disease 2019 COVID-19 has become a Pandemic and spreading worldwide at a faster pace, faster than experts had anticipated.
Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.
Coronaviruses are zoonotic, meaning they are transmitted between animals and people. Detailed investigations found that SARS-CoV was transmitted from civet cats to humans and MERS-CoV from dromedary camels to humans. Several known coronaviruses are circulating in animals that have not yet infected humans.
Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.
“Neither the 2009 pandemic influenza A (H1N1) virus pandemic or the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) or the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) epidemics had the combination of both high transmissibility and severity as in the Coronavirus disease 2019 COVID-19.
A pandemic essentially refers to a stage in which epidemics break out in several countries—and even continents—at the same time. The new coronavirus that causes the disease that has been named covid-19 is on the verge of reaching that stage. The CDC is getting ready for that possibility as it prepares for the virus to start spreading much more quickly in the United States. “We’re not seeing community spread here in the United States, yet, but it’s very possible, even likely, that it may eventually happen,” Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, told reporters. “Our goal continues to be slowing the introduction of the virus into the U.S. This buys us more time to prepare communities for more cases and possibly sustained spread.”
We have covered in details about Corona Virus in our previous articles:-
Table 1. Confirmed and suspected cases of Coronavirus disease 2019 COVID-19 acute respiratory disease reported by provinces, regions and cities in China, 22 February 2020
Table 2. Countries, territories or areas outside China with reported laboratory-confirmed Coronavirus disease 2019 COVID-19 cases and deaths. Data as of 22 February 2020
The coronavirus (officially, SARS-CoV-2) is extremely contagious. Experts estimate that without protective measures, every infected person will spread it to an average of slightly more than two additional people. The disease has been fatal in roughly two out of 100 confirmed cases.
Travelers have already spread it to more than two dozen countries, where it has infected more than 75,000 people and killed more than 2,000.
On Sunday, February 16, the 14 positive people flew from Japan to the US on State Department-chartered planes. They were among over 300 others, all evacuees from the luxury cruise ship, the Diamond Princess, which had an explosive outbreak of COVID-19 cases.
The cruise ship, initially carrying 3,711 passengers and crew, had been quarantined in Yokohama, Japan since February 3, after a former passenger tested positive on February 1. But the quarantine efforts failed to curb the spread of the virus on board, and case counts steadily climbed during the 14-day confinement. Even in the last days, health officials in Japan were still reporting dozens of new cases.
On Friday, February 21, after the initial quarantine lifted on the 19th and hundreds of passengers and crew were allowed to disembark, the outbreak on the ship reached 634 cases. It is by far the largest cluster of cases outside of China, accounting for around half of all cases outside of the hard-hit country.
The agency made clear that only the uninfected would be allowed to fly back. “All travelers from Japan will be screened before boarding the State Department-chartered aircraft to prevent symptomatic travelers from departing Japan,” the CDC said.
But in a last-minute twist, that all changed. As American evacuees sat crammed into buses idling on an airport tarmac in Japan, officials received the results of coronavirus testing done a few days before: 14 of the people on the buses were positive.
By January 21, Iran Officials had denied any reports of the COVID-19. By January 26 also officials were in denial mode. On Feburary 19 they declaried officially 2 dead from Coronavirus.
Iran News Wire @IranNW on Feb 20 tweeted, “Warning-might be disturbing for some ppl. There are unconfirmed reports that Haj Hossein Molaie was one of the patients that passed away due to the #coronavirus in #Iran. His brother said he was only tested for corona after a week. He said he got the virus from ppl on the streets.”
Ali Khamenei banned disclosure of Corona patients in Iran until after the election.
Iran health ministry official says it is possible the new corona virus exists in all Iranian cities
Social media is presenting a scary picture of Iran.
One of the social media users with Twitter handle @7Cities_Of_LOVE tweeted, “While the corona virus is on the rise in Iran & there are more than100 deaths. Health mask in Iran is scarce & its price has increased from 4100 tomans to 15000 tomans.”
Iran reports 15 new cases of coronavirus and 3 new deaths. Iran now has 43 confirmed cases and 8 deaths
As per reports 2 Iranian Travelers were tested positive in Lebanon and Canada. Neighboring state Pakistan has in the meanwhile sealed its border with Iran from the fear of Corona Virus spreading. This will bring to halt all the Oil smuggling by Pakistan from Iran for which Iran had to raise the Oil prices to discourage oil smuggling and that lead to massive public protests. We covered it in details in our previous article Iran Supreme Leader Backs Gasoline Price Rise To Stop Oil Smuggling By Pakistan
This Virus Pandemic finally will force Pakistan to stop smuggling oil from Iran.
As per unofficial figures in Iran 18 have died, if u take the 2% mortality rate initially, it means 2000 are infected easily.
BNO Newsroom @BNODesk tweeted “South Korea reports 46 new cases of coronavirus and 1 new death, raising total to 602 cases and 5 dead”
Of the 46 new cases, 20 are linked to the church and 26 others unknown, and are under investigation.
The number of people being tested for coronavirus in South Korea has risen to 8,057, up from 6,039 this morning
Now compare the above figures with the Situation report of WHO, there is a big shortfall in the figures under-reported by WHO than the actual figures from the respective countries.
South Korea has secured 609 hospital beds in the Daegu area and they’re working to add 1,000 more – Yonhap
South Korea delays start of school year by 1 week due to coronavirus; it’s the first time in South Korea’s history that such a measure has been taken for health reasons – Yonhap
Map of coronavirus outbreak in South Korea. It has basically infected every region & will spread throughout now. #coronavirus
One #COVID2019 case confirmed in a Samsung factory in Gumi, causing shutdown of entire factory.
Samsung Electronics confirmed that a #coronavirus case was found in a mobile device factory in the southeast of Gumi City, causing the entire factory to be closed. #covid19
BNO Newsroom @BNODesk “BREAKING: Italy reports 34 new cases of coronavirus, raising total to 113”
Milan mayor says he’ll propose stricter measures in the city, says schools should be closed for 1 week and non-essential events should be canceled to stop the spread of coronavirus – ANSA
Italy Flag of Italy declares a lockdown in 11 cities applying to 50,000 people. Nobody is allowed to enter or leave. This is the first lockdown from #coronavirus in Europe.
Israel has started strict measures. A Korean Air flight from South Korea landed at Tel Aviv on Saturday 22-February 2020. Only 12 Israelis were allowed off the plane. Approx 200 foreign nationals were not allowed off the plane. Instead they were all sent back.
Israel will deny entry to all foreigners who have recently been in South Korea or Japan.
Israel’s ambassador to China under quarantine in Beijing after sharing flight with South Koreans infected with Covid-19.
Zvi Heifetz travelled from Tel Aviv to Seoul on February 15 with nine South Koreans later confirmed as being infected, Israel says.
But foreign ministry does not explain why he was on the flight or when he returned to the Chinese capital
Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was set to hold a meeting on Sunday morning to discuss the Covi-19 epidemic, The Jerusalem Post reported.
Moshe Bar Siman Tov, the director general of Israel’s health ministry, told a press conference on Saturday evening that the likelihood of Israeli citizens being infected with the deadly virus had “risen significantly”.
He also ordered all Israelis returning home from mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, Thailand, South Korea or Japan to quarantine themselves for two weeks.
While it is unknown whether the nine South Koreans contracted the virus before or after their return home, the Israeli health ministry is operating on the assumption that they arrived in Israel as carriers of the virus, which has a 14-day incubation period during which those infected are asymptomatic, according to the newspaper report.
Bar Siman Tov said the South Koreans had likely come into contact with “hundreds” of Israelis during their stay, which included visits to several towns, cities and tourist attractions in both Israel and Palestine.
Any Israelis who had been in contact with the infected tourists – defined as being within two metres (six feet) for at least 15 minutes – should quarantine themselves for two weeks, The Times of Israel said in a separate report.
About 1,000 South Korean tourists currently visiting Israel have been instructed to remain in isolation in their hotels, The Jerusalem Post report said.
Japan reports 10 new cases of coronavirus, 12 so far today
Official figures says 3 cases of Corona virus were reported and 3 were recovered fully.
However the truth is something else. One of the local Indian News MSM mentioned that in the state of Kerala alone has identified 305 Coronavirus patients. Figures from the other states of India are still not known.
Swine flu scare gripped one of the city’s largest tech park RMZ Ecoworld, after 2 employees who work for SAP India, tested positive for the H1N1 virus. As a precautionary measure, the tech company closed all its offices across Bengaluru for extensive sanitisation.
As per news published on Jan 30, 2020 Doctors’ body warns of possible spread of coronavirus to Kashmir Valley, President of the Doctors Association of Kashmir (DAK) Suhail Naik said China is located near India and there were chances of coronavirus reaching the valley as it is a tourist destination.
“Following the recent outbreak of coronavirus in China, there is a potential threat of the novel virus in Kashmir as people from different parts of the world come here as tourists,” he said in a statement.
As per a report on February 5, 2020 21 Jammu and Kashmir residents arrive back from China, no positive case found
In some states like Karnataka the infections are being termed as H1N1 Swine Flu and in Kashmir the infection is termed as unknown.
Evaluating and Reporting Persons Under Investigation (PUI)
Limited information is available to characterize the spectrum of clinical illness associated with 2019-nCoV. No vaccine or specific treatment for 2019-nCoV infection is available; care is supportive.
The CDC clinical criteria for a 2019-nCoV person under investigation (PUI) have been developed based on what is known about MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV and are subject to change as additional information becomes available.
Health care providers should obtain a detailed travel history for patients being evaluated with fever and acute respiratory illness
The criteria are intended to serve as guidance for evaluation. Patients should be evaluated and discussed with public health departments on a case-by-case basis. For severely ill individuals, testing can be considered when exposure history is equivocal (e.g., uncertain travel or exposure, or no known exposure) and another etiology has not been identified.
Some Precautions that can be taken by everyone:
Wash your hands well. You probably wash your hands after using the bathroom, before preparing or eating food, and after gardening or other dirty tasks. You should also wash up after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; feeding or stroking your pet; or visiting or caring for a sick person. Wet your hands thoroughly. Lather up with soap or cleanser, and rub it into the palms and backs of your hands and your wrists. Be sure to clean your fingertips, under your nails and between your fingers. Rinse under running water. Dry your hands and wrists thoroughly.
Cover a cough. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you sneeze or cough, then dispose of it. If no tissue is handy, cough or sneeze into your elbow rather than into your hands. Read this article “How far is a safe distance from a sneeze? Farther than you might think.” As per the article, “The largest droplets rapidly settle within [about three to six feet] away from the person,” “The smaller and evaporating droplets are trapped in the turbulent puff cloud, remain suspended,” and, over the course of seconds to a few minutes, can travel the dimensions of a room and land up to [19 to 26 feet] away.” “It’s up to the person who’s sneezing to prevent this.”
Particles expelled in a sneeze or cough can carry germs for an array of infectious diseases. To keep from spreading germs this way, cover your nose and mouth with a tissue whenever you sneeze or cough. If you’re caught without a tissue, health experts suggest using the crook of your elbow. That will keep the germs from becoming airborne and will keep your hands from getting germy. If you do sneeze or cough into your hands, wash them immediately with warm water and soap. Rinsing with water alone won’t kill germs. Or use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.
Wash and bandage all cuts. Any serious cut or animal or human bite should be examined by a doctor.
Do not pick at healing wounds or blemishes, or squeeze pimples.
Don’t share dishes, glasses, or eating utensils.
Avoid direct contact with napkins, tissues, handkerchiefs, or similar items used by others.
Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth. Hands touch many surfaces which can be contaminated with the virus. If you touch your eyes, nose or mouth with your contaminated hands, you can transfer the virus from the surface to yourself.
Whenever you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing it’s important to seek medical attention promptly as this may be due to a respiratory infection or other serious condition.
If you have mild respiratory symptoms and no travel history to or within China, carefully practice basic respiratory and hand hygiene and stay home until you are recovered, if possible.
Bottom line: To prevent the airborne spread of germs, avoid close contact with anyone who’s sick. If you’re ill and likely to cough or sneeze, stay home until you’re healthy.
The following precautions will help kill microbes that are present in the food you buy and help you avoid introducing new microbes into your food at home:
Rinse all meat, poultry, fish, fruits, and vegetables under running water before cooking or serving them.
Wash your hands with soap and water before and after you handle raw meat.
Separate raw foods and cooked foods. Don’t use the same utensils or cutting boards with cooked meat that were used to prepare the raw meat without washing between uses.
Cook foods thoroughly, using a meat thermometer to ensure that whole poultry is cooked to 180° F, roasts and steaks to 145° F, and ground meats to 160° F. Cook fish until it is opaque.
Defrost foods only in the refrigerator or in the microwave.
Readers should use the guidelines from WHO on novel Coronavirus disease 2019 COVID-19 https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public
We strongly urge citizens to stay home as much as possible and limit contact with others, including large gatherings.
Consider stocking up on food and other supplies to limit movement outside the home.
If you are working in the corporate, check with your office/management if the work from home option is available.
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