Chinese coronavirus spread is accelerating as Xi Jinping labels it a “grave situation”

pharmafile | January 27, 2020 | News story | Sales and Marketing Chinese Coronavrius, MARS, Sars, Viral pnemonia, respiration 

The spread of the Chinese coronavirus is accelerating, as multiple countries set up checks and tests to contain the virus.

Since the outbreak begun in Wuhan in December, 2,000 people have been infected and at least 80 have died.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has called it a “grave situation”, as the Chinese government have taken drastic steps to contain the coronavirus. Travel restrictions have been set up in Wuhan and multiple other Chinese cities. Private vehicles are also banned in central Wuhan.

Two hospitals are also being rapidly built in Wuhan, the first is a 1,000 bed hospital which will be operational in early February, and the second will be able to handle 1,300 new patients and will be finished in half a month.

The virus has now spread across the world. Australia confirmed its first four cases, one in Melbourne and three in Sydney. In the US there have been two cases, where Canada has a “presumptive case” of the virus. Test in the UK have been conducted on 31 people but they have all come back as negative. Both France and the UK are considering airlifting their citizens out of Wuhan and placing them in quarantine back home.

In Asia, cases have been reported in Thailand, Singapore, Japan, Taiwan, Malaysia, Vietnam, South Korea and Nepal.

Professor Neil Ferguson, from Imperial College London, said: “There are very large numbers of Chinese tourists across Europe right now. Unless the Chinese manage to control this, and I’m sceptical about whether that is possible, we will get cases here.”

The outbreak began on 12 December, and has been traced to a Wuhan market that sold meat and animals. The disease is thought to come from animal products. Currently known as 2019-nCoV, the virus is understood to be a new strain of coronavirus not previously identified in humans.

This episode is reminiscent of the SARS epidemic in 2003 that spread to Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan and Canada; it killed 774 people and infected over 8,000. Chinese scientists reported that they had generated the genetic sequence of the new virus and it is a coronavirus that is in the same group as SARS and MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus).

Conor Kavanagh


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