The Corona Virus (Covid-19) was first discovered in Wuhan, China on November 17, 2019, but “patient zero” has yet to be confirmed. In 2019 the first 266 cases were reported in China, all of whom came under medical surveillance.
One whistle-blower (Dr. Zhang Jixian or Dr. Ai Fen) announced to the medical community in late December the findings about the new disease. Prior to the start of the Chinese New Year celebrations in January 2020, it was labeled as an epidemic by Chinese medical authorities.
In February 2020, we published an article “The Corona Virus Threatens the Global Apparel Industry” discussing the effects of the virus on the global supply chain.
On March 11th WHO (World Health Organization) declared Covid-19 a pandemic.
As of March 14, 2020
In this article we look at the spread of this virus globally and its serious effects and preventative measures adopted in different regions.
COVID-19 can spread via respiratory droplets, contact with bodily fluids, or from contaminated surfaces. Some symptoms include:
- A fever (that gradually increases in temperature)
- Dry cough (that gets more severe over time)
- Sore throat
- Shortness of breath (difficulty breathing)
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- Pneumonia in both lungs
- Bluish lips or face
This list is not all-inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms you are uneasy about. Please check out the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) website by clicking this link.
Recent evidence suggests that someone who is non-symptomatic can spread COVID-19. Other medical authorities question this conclusion. Most doctors believe that conventional measures, such as facemasks, provide insufficient protection.
Seek medical advice (via telephone) if you develop symptoms or have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or if you live in or have recently been in an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19.
Call ahead to the health-care facility you are planning to visit so that they can take precautions. In an emergency, describe your symptoms, travel history, and any contacts with sick people.
Hand washing is key: wash for at least 20 seconds (singing your ABC’s), vigorously scrubbing your hands repetitively. Do the same on your return from all outside visits.
Do not touch your face, eyes, nose, or mouth if you have not recently washed your hands. Do not go out if you are feeling sick with any cold or flu symptoms.
Practice social distancing: stay as far away as you can (at least 3 feet) from anyone who is coughing or sneezing. If your area is under unusual severe threat practice the 3 feet rule for everyone.
Cover your mouth with the inside of your elbow whenever you sneeze or cough. Immediately discard any tissues you use.
Clean all objects you touch frequently. It is recommended to use disinfectants for your phones, computers, utensils, dishware, and doorknobs.
It is also important to continually disinfect surfaces to protect yourself from this and other viruses.
There is currently no treatment specifically approved for Covid-19. Possible treatments and vaccines are currently under intense study.
Treatment now focuses on managing symptoms as the virus runs its course.
South Korea was the first country with the most confirmed cases and deaths after China.
Seoul’s handling of the issue was much different from China’s; directing awareness (via text messages) in an open and transparent (past movements of infected, their area, names of shops and restaurants they visited) instead of lockdowns.
Using mobile phones the population reports symptoms, places visited, and personal contacts (via an app). (Look up what else is on the app) Continuously and vigorously cleaning public spaces.
South Korea has not restricted people’s movements. They counted on public cooperation rather than hardline measures. They have entered a “phase of stability” with a major reduction of new cases.
For international travellers South Korea introduced “special immigration procedures” for the most heavily affected countries: requiring passengers to undergo temperature checks; provide verified contact information; and completing health questionnaire. (Try to find sample online)
They have screened more people per capita for the virus than any other country by far. This involved carrying out up to 15,000 tests per day.
South Koreans have largely embraced self-isolation and social distancing on their own accord. They cancelled or postponed events with mass gatherings.
South Korea has emerged as a source of inspiration and hope for authorities around the world as they scramble in the battle against the pandemic.
Hong Kong was the first outside of China to implement “social distancing”; many events were cancelled and venues were closed to minimize contact between people.
Authorities produced a digital map of confirmed cases to allow people to avoid potentially infected areas.
Taiwan has pooled information from immigration and health insurance databases to track people’s travel history and symptoms. Most importantly, they used phone tracking to ensure compliance with quarantine.
Is the largest economy and one of the last countries to start dealing with Covid-19? They have been slow to roll out nation-wide testing for those in need. The president seems to be in denial about many of the issues?
On March 2, Washington State was the first to declare a state of emergency. California (March 5) and New York (March 7) followed suit. On March 13th US President Donald Trump declared a National Emergency.
As of now, the United States, has set up 78 state and local public health across 50 states, with a capacity to test 75,000 people.
They are also adopting social distancing and they postponed or cancelled many events where the attendance exceeds 250 people. All professional sports leagues have been temporarily suspended.
These cancellations also apply to most of the entertainment industry.
The disease has quickly spread to Italy, Spain, Germany, and France with Netherlands, United Kingdom, and Denmark close behind.
Italy has reported the most infections with over 21,000 cases and 1,400 deaths. That is a 7% mortality rate: higher than any other previously reported. The entire population, 60 million people, are in lock down.
In Europe, Italy has the highest number of air connections (tripled this past year) with China, higher than any other European country. In early January 2020, Italy signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with China to expand the air links between the two countries in order to expand tourism.
Italy has the highest per capita rate of infections in the world.
The government created the most stringent emergency situation: all public events, schools, universities, most stores, and restaurants have been ordered closed. There are also strict regulations about the houses of worship. Italy as a country has closed down.
As of now, the following seem to be the key issues in containing the virus:
- Learning how the disease spreads
- Determining how undetected and undocumented cases contribute to its transmission
Making sure testing is free for anybody anywhere. Establishing drive through testing stations that can screen suspected patients in minutes.
Adopting the best containment models used in various countries. Quickly developing vaccines.