Coronavirus outbreak was first reported on December 31, 2019, in Wuhan, China. It originates from a family of viruses found in both animals and humans. The common and mild symptoms of 2019-nCoV, include runny nose, sore throat, cough, and fever. In some cases, it becomes more severe and ultimately leads to pneumonia or other breathing problems. People who already suffer from diseases, such as diabetes or heart disease and older adults are more prone to fall severely ill when faced with this virus.
Global Mortality Rate reaches 3.4 per cent
The World Health Organisation says that the global death rate of the virus has now become 3.4 per cent. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO’s Director-General said in a news conference at Geneva that Covid-19 is deadlier than the seasonal flu, but it does not transmit as easily. “Globally, about 3.4 per cent of reported Covid-19 cases have died,” said Dr Tedros. “By comparison, seasonal flu generally kills far fewer than 1 per cent of those infected.”
The coronavirus spread from Central China to almost 83 countries. The outbreak is growing fast in South Korea, the US, Italy and Iran. The number of infected has reached up to 98,000 and killed above 3,387 worldwide.
In South Korea, hospitals are struggling to find beds for numerous infected patients. As on March 6, 518 new cases have been reported in the country brought the total number of infected patients to 6,284, including 42 deaths. In contrast, China recorded only 146 new cases, taking the total number of infected to 80,555 and 3,042 death.
The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated that out of the 42 deaths reported mostly older adults had other underlying illnesses. Most of the cases of infections were from the southeastern city of Daegu, a city of 2.5 million people.
The US has started expanding testing for the people who fear that they, too, have been infected by the virus. The official stated that there would be no restrictions on testing for the coronavirus and would allow the testing of people who have even mild symptoms.
At least 14 people have died due to this virus, with 233 confirmed cases of infected in the country as of March 6. Facebook temporarily closed down its office in Seattle after an employee fell sick. An Amazon employee at the e-commerce giant’s Seattle office also reportedly tested positive making the situation more vulnerable.
Even though the virus is slowing down, as, on March 5, the death toll in Italy has increased to 107; the total number of confirmed cases as per March 6 is 3,858, killing 148 people. Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said that all professional football matches and other big sporting events would take place without the presence of fans until April 3, 2020. This is a preventative measure taken to avoid the spreading of the virus. Conte posted a 5-minute video on Facebook to reassure the citizens.
Due to the coronavirus outbreak, Iran has been forced to suspend the Friday prayers in major cities. It is struggling to contain the virus as the number of deaths and confirmation are continuing to increase day by day. As of March 6, the total number of infected cases has gone up to 3,513 and 108 deaths.
Saudi is said to ban the ‘Umrah’ pilgrimage to stop foreigners from visiting Islam’s holiest states. This is a precautionary measure taken by the Saudi government so that the virus does not spread further.
Last week, Saudi Arabia said it was preventing foreigners from reaching the holy city of Mecca and the Kaaba, the building at the centre of the Great Mosque. It also said travel was suspended to Prophet Muhammad’s mosque in Medina.
Japan’s Olympics minister flagged the Summer Games would go ahead as planned. His statement came the same day that Japan reported its biggest one-day increase in new confirmed cases which made the total cases to 1,023 nationwide, of which 706 are from the Diamond Princess cruise ship.
World Bank extends help
World Bank has decided to set aside 12 billion dollars (£9.4bn) in aid especially for the developing countries which are struggling to contain the spread of the coronavirus. This emergency packet includes all the necessities such as low-cost loans, grants and technical assistance.
This act came after the leaders around the world were seen trying to shield their country from the economic impact that this outbreak has caused. World Bank has sent warnings that post this outbreak the nations might be tipped into recession.
According to the World Bank, this aid is issued to help countries improve their public health response to the crisis and work with the private sector to reduce the economic impact.
The organisation is going to prioritise the poorest countries and the ones which are at an absolute risk to distribute the aid. The countries which are said to be most vulnerable to the outbreak are the ones with weak health systems, limited financial resources and close economic links with China.
Coronavirus Update in India
India, as on March 5, has confirmed 30 cases, after a new case of infected reported in Ghaziabad.
The government has now decided to screen all passengers coming from abroad besides testing people coming in through open borders. Earlier the airport authorities were only screening passengers coming in from China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Singapore, Nepal, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Malaysia.
Union Minister Prakash Javadekar stated more than 600,000 people had been screened for the coronavirus across 21 airports. Furthermore, he added that one million people coming in through the country’s open borders with Nepal, Bhutan and Myanmar have also been screened.
Health Minister Vardhan said the government is also setting up additional labs where the confirmation test can be performed. He further added Phase one of that had 15 labs, some of which are already functional. Phase two will have 19 new labs.
The government has also advised all public hospitals in Delhi to be armed for more such cases. Vardhan said: “We will ensure that all facilities are of the highest order to handle patients that require any isolation.”
Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi, Manish Sisodia said all primary schools would be closed till March 31, in Delhi. He further said that all government, aided, private and schools run by the civic body will remain shut.
Stretching the precautionary measures at Rashtrapati Bhavan, the Mughal Gardens will be closed for public from March 7 to avoid any large public gathering.