Updates on Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)


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January 30, 2020 – In Melbourne, Australia, the Doherty Institute or The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity scientists, led by Dr. Julian Druce, have successfully created a version of the Wuhan novel coronavirus which could possibly help in developing a vaccine against the disease. According to these experts, this advancement will enable precise investigation and analysis of the virus on a global scale.

According to Dr. Druce:

“Chinese officials released the genome sequence of this novel coronavirus, which is helpful for diagnosis, however, having the real virus means we now have the ability to actually validate and verify all test methods and compare their sensitivities and specificities. The virus will be used as positive control material for the Australian network of public health laboratories, and also shipped to expert laboratories working closely with the World Health Organization (WHO) in Europe.”

On the other hand, the WHO, at first, urged nation leaders to be on alert in dealing with this 2019 virus and it strongly encouraged health institutions in all countries to formulate ways in preparation to detect any possible cases of infection to properly treat patients with cautious isolation. However, as of Friday, the WHO has declared the Wuhan coronavirus epidemic as an international public health emergency. As of today, there are a total of 8, 163 confirmed cases of infection and there are 171 deaths related to the virus. Though, these numbers, all in China, specifically in Hubei province of Wuhan, and these deaths are not totally confirmed if the virus is only the reason.

Outside China, there are already 82 cases confirmed; in 18 countries all in all including Vietnam, Cambodia, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Canada, India, Dubai, South Korea, Thailand, Taiwan, Macau, Hong Kong, Japan, Germany, the US, Singapore, and France . However, there are no deaths being announced yet except from China. Meanwhile, UNICEF sends help to health workers. The UN organization for children says it has shipped 6 tonnes of kn95 mask for sale, along with suits for protection to Shanghai for the health workers.

On the other hand, the British Airways suspended all flights to and from mainland China on Wednesday after British authorities warned against “non-essential” travel to the country. In the Middle East, the first case of virus infection had been confirmed in the United Arab Emirates. This was due to four members of a Chinese family who arrived in UAE from Wuhan on January 16. However, all of these four patients are now said to be in a “stable” condition while still being under thorough observation. Experts from the Gulf Cooperation Councils met on Wednesday in Riyadh to discuss the case and intensify Gulf efforts against the spread of the virus.

Back in China, hundreds of foreign nationals from the US, EU, and Japan have been successfully evacuated from Wuhan on Wednesday. Meanwhile, a hospital dedicated to the novel coronavirus was successfully opened in another city near Wuhan. The hospital was built in 6 days through the help of dedicated Chinese volunteers and workers. The hospital contains 1,000- bed emergency facility. In addition, another hospital is also being constructed and expected to be opened within this week, 47 miles away from Wuhan.

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