Coronavirus a killer virus

Coronavirus in Peshawar

The first case of coronavirus has been reported in Peshawar on 22 Feb 2020. The infected person is of Chinese origin and is admitted in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of Khyber Teaching Hospital (KTH). The intent of the health department seems to suppress the issue and to hide the case from the media.  A senior registrar working in the said hospital, on the condition of anonymity, has informed one of our team member about it. The infected person is working on a CPEC project and has recently returned from China.

Coronavirus has created panic in Pakistan because its cases are reported in Afghanistan, Iran and India. Pakistan shares borders with all these countries and thousands of people, from all the sides, visit these countries daily. There are maximum chances that the people may get infected while visiting these countries because there are no proper checking facilities on the border.

Apart from it, Pakistan shares a very long border with Afghanistan (2500 kilometre) and Iran (99 kilometres). There is no proper fencing on most of the border areas where people case be stopped from entering another country. These areas are also used by human and drugs smugglers. The people can easily slip between Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan which further increases the chances of caring infection from other sides.

Keeping in view the severity of situation Pakistan government is considering to impose a complete ban on travelling to these countries. Ban on travelling to China has also been imposed by the govt to protect its people from the pandemic of coronavirus.

Its merit to mention here that Pakistan also important hundreds of dollars of items from Afghanistan and Iran. These items include candies, biscuits, dry fruits, vegetable, honey, tiles, vehicles, spare parts and a large number of other edible products.  Pakistan also exports various items worth billions of dollar to these neighbouring countries due to which the movement of the people among these countries also increases. In such a situation, if a ban on travelling is imposed the economies all these bordering countries will suffer billions of dollars in revenue.

In the months of Ramadan, Pakistan imports date from Iran, which will not be possible this year Ramadan if there will be a ban on travelling between two countries.

What is Coronavirus:

This name is derived from a Latin word Corona and a Greek word Korone which means a crown. This name is given to it due to the reason that it appears like a crown in the electron microscope. In was identified in 1960.

Coronavirus Transmission

There is uncertainty about the transmission of coronavirus but it is thought that this virus is transmitted from animals to human. The first case in the present crises was reported on 31st December 2019 in the Wuhan city of China, which was confirmed on 7th January 2020. It is believed to be transmitted from bats and snakes into human beings but, expert says there is no scientific evidence in this regard which can prove this claim. A seafood market in china which is believed to have played a major role in spreading this virus which has been closed down by the authorities.

The present crises of coronavirus, in the year 2020 is believed to be its transmission from bats and snakes into human beings but there is no scientific evidence in this regard which can prove this claim.

In the past, SARS (severer acute respiratory syndrome) and MERS (Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome) were caused by the viruses of the same family and these viruses were transmitted from animals to human beings.

SARS associated coronavirus (SARS-CoV) was transmitted into a human from cats, while the MARS associated coronavirus (MARS-CoV) was transmitted into human beings from camels. SARS had a history of killing 774 people out of more than 8000 infected cases worldwide in the years 2002 to 2003. Majority of these cases reported in Hong Kong and China.

Diseases caused by a coronavirus

There are many viruses in corona virus’s family. These viruses are responsible for many diseases and they affect animals and human beings as well.

Coronavirus signs and symptoms

In humans:

It causes severe respiratory infection (infection of the nose, upper throat, sore throat, cough, the common cold), which if not treated on time may lead to death in a short period.

The sign and symptoms of this virus appeared within 2-14 days of infection. It is very fetal for old age people and those affected by other diseases. It signs and symptoms are similar to pneumonia infection.

In animals:

It can also cause severe diarrhoea and respiratory infection in animals (chicken, pigs and cows) which could be lethal for them.

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Coronavirus Treatment: 

  • The most dangerous aspect of this virus is that there is no drug and vaccine available for its prevention and treatment.
  • We have to rely on symptomatic treatment and there is no alternative without it. The traditional remedies used to treat cough, sore throat and runny nose can be used to treat it.
  • They should avoid overexertion and the patients shall be on bed rest.
  • Take fresh juices, fluidized meal and water.
  • Don’t keep your throat dry because it is considered that this virus can easily invade a dry throat. It is therefore recommended that keep your throat wet by repeatedly taking warm water.
  • Common over the counter antipyretic and analgesics (paracetamol, ibuprofen) shall be used to reduce the severity of the disease.

Coronavirus Precautions: 

  • The person infected by the said virus shall be kept in isolation i.e. away from the general public. It should be done because this virus spread from the infected person very easily. It spreads through coughing and sneezing.
  • The healthy people can easily acquire if from the infected person by touching his body parts (hands, face etc). It can also be acquired by using the utensils of coronavirus infected person. Therefore, all the items used by the infected person shall not be used by anyone and all such items shall be burned to ashes after its use.
  • The medical worker shall repeatedly and properly sterilize all the products used in hospitals. Special care shall be taken in medical wards where patients suffering from various seasonal diseases are admitted.
  • Children are more prone to this virus therefore special attention shall be given to their protection.
  • Repeated and Proper washing of hands with medicated soap.
  • Avoid hotelling during the pandemic.
  • Avoid public places and gatherings.
  • Avoid contact with domestic and wild animals because human can also acquire it from infected animals.
  • All food products shall be properly cooked especially meat and eggs. Pressure cooker shall be used to cook meat and other edible products.
  • One of the words renowned scientific journal Lancet has recently published a report in which it is stated that this infection could be spread even from the people who do not have symptoms of it. This could further aggravate the situation, to an alarming level because the people could only protect themselves from the infected people, who are confined to hospitals or those who have clear symptoms of it.

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World Health Organization (WHO) concerns regarding Coronavirus

Though the WHO has not raised severe concern regarding the issue of Coronavirus since China has taken strict measures, so far to control the epidemic but they have warned the number of infected people could rise further.

The Chinese government has imposed travel restrictions on the cities which are infected by the virus. The number of such cities is said to be 18 where more than 56 million people will be affected by the travel restrictions.

The people are directed to wear face masks while doing their routine work. A ban has also been imposed on several festivals that are to be held in coming days as this is the most important month of celebrations according to the Chinese calendar.

Several cases of coronavirus infected people have also been surfaced in other countries including the US, Singapore, Japan, Australia and South Korea but the situation, in these countries is in control according to WHO.

Coronavirus outbreak in China

There is an outbreak of coronavirus in China at the start of the year 2020. According to the reports thousands of people have been infected by the virus in different Chinese cities. The Hubei and Wuhan cities of China are the worst affected. By 25th of January 2020, more than 1200 confirmed cases have been reported by the Chinese health authorities. About 51 infected people are also killed so far.

It has also been reported that said virus has also spread to other cities of China including Beijing and Shanghai. This fast-spreading epidemic has forced the Chinese authorities to seal the routes leading to the cities infected by the epidemic. No one is allowed to leave the infected cities to protect the spread of this deadliest virus and to protect the lives of other non-infected people.

Coronavirus affected countries (Latest updates 25th Feb 2020)

S.NO Affected Country No of affected people No of people killed
1 China 90345 3114
2 USA 5
3 UK 5 (suspected)
4 Japan 2
5 Mexico 1 (unconfirmed)
6 Thailand 4
7 S. Korea 2
8 Taiwan 2
9 Hong Kong 2
10 Australia 2 (suspected)
11 Pakistan 3 (suspected)
12 Canada 1
13 Iran 227 64
14 Afghanistan 5
15 Bahrain 3
16 Kuwait 3
17 South Korea 835 74

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