Outbreak 2020: Novel Coronavirus Situation As At 3rd February 2020

virus

The 2019-nCoV virus situation as at 3rd February 2020: 426 dead, 623 recovered and 19,881 confirmed cases. Since 31st January 2020, the number of deaths has increased by another 167 deaths.

Compared to 31st January 2020, the fatality rate as at 3rd February 2020 had reduced from 2.28% to 2.14% whilst there has a good improvement on the recovery rate from 2.22% to 3.13%. The number of confirmed cases in Malaysia remains unchanged at 8 cases. Image source: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering

Bringing Malaysian Back Home

Although there has been conflicting views on this, in the end, it is wise to bring back home Malaysians stuck in China due to the coronavirus. Treatment will be cheaper and they can be taken care by their close family members and friends.

Laden with 500,000 pairs of rubber gloves, the flight from KLIA to Wuhan departed at 3.50pm yesterday, and the return flight is scheduled to arrive today. A total of 141 passengers; 116 Malaysians and 25 non-Malaysians who are family members, have been identified for the return flight from Wuhan.

Dzulkefly said that they will be subjected to exit screening by Chinese health authorities at the Wuhan Tianhe International Airport before they board the plane.

“If any of them are found to have symptoms, they will not be allowed on the flight and will be taken to a health facility in Wuhan for further treatment, ” he said. Upon arrival the flight from Wuhan will land at KLIA. Rather than entering the terminal building, passengers will be transported by special buses to the Air Disaster Unit building for decontamination and entry screening. This will be conducted by the Fire and Rescue Department’s Hazmat unit”.

“Those with symptoms will be taken away to our referral hospitals, either the Hospital Sungai Buloh or Hospital Kuala Lumpur, ” he said at a press conference here yesterday. Those without symptoms will be brought to a surveillance centre where they will be quarantined and monitored for 14 days.”

Eight officers from the Health Ministry, the National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma) and the Foreign Ministry were on the plane leaving KLIA to facilitate the rescue process.

(Source)

However given the fact that it has been reported that some people shows symptoms of the virus after initially showed no signs of the virus, it is crucial that these Malaysians to be quarantined for at least 2 weeks before allowed back to their home.

It is good to know that the Health Ministry is not leaving any stones unturned on such precautions – to the extent of getting the Fire Department’s Hazmat unit to handle the decontamination.

Coronavirus Cure Found?

Not sure if this is a new find or it is something pre-planned & already under study by big, profit hungry pharmaceutical companies even before the virus went berserk. However the recovery rate has improved indeed and hopefully it continues to improve.

A Chinese woman infected with the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) showed a dramatic improvement after she was treated with a cocktail of anti-virals used to treat flu and HIV, Thailand’s health ministry said on Sunday.

The 71-year-old patient tested negative for the virus 48 hours after Thai doctors administered the combination, doctor Kriengsak Attipornwanich said during the ministry’s daily press briefing.

The doctors combined the anti-flu drug oseltamivir with lopinavir and ritonavir, anti-virals used to treat HIV, Kriengsak said, adding the ministry was awaiting research results to prove the findings.

(Source)

And there is another potential drug in the works:-

Remdesivir, a new antiviral drug by Gilead Sciences Inc. aimed at infectious diseases such Ebola and SARS, will be tested by a medical team from Beijing-based China-Japan Friendship Hospital for efficacy in treating the deadly new strain of coronavirus, a hospital spokeswoman told Bloomberg News Monday.

Gilead shares rose as much as 8.7% in New York, their biggest intraday gain since November 2012. Last year, the stock finished up 3.9%, underperforming the 24% gain in the Nasdaq Biotechnology Index.

Expectations for the drug have been buoyed by reports that the first patient in the U.S. infected with the virus, a 35-year-old Washington state man, saw his pneumonia improve after he was given remdesivir, doctors treating him said in a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine last week.

(Source)

Both mix of drugs are still under further studies and yet to confirmed as the final cure.

There is no specific antiviral treatment recommended for 2019-nCoV infection. People infected with 2019-nCoV should receive supportive care to help relieve symptoms. For severe cases, treatment should include care to support vital organ functions.

(Source)

Nonetheless it is a good lead in the fight against the deadly virus who have seen hundreds dead. If this is so, then it begs the question – what is being administered to the 600++ Chinese patients who had recovered from the virus? The same cocktail of drugs like how was done by Thailand? Close monitoring of the patients with normal flu drugs?

And finally if a cure is found in the end, what would be the cost considering people would be desperate and pharmaceutical companies need to recoup their “investments” on research, trials and manufacturing.

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