THIS IS JUST A ‘QUICK’ UPDATE IN A RAPIDLY CHANGING SITUATION AND OTHERS WILL BE ADDED LATER SO PLEASE RETURN TO THIS BLOG LATER
The spread of coronavirus goes on unabated, doesn’t it? Yep, it originated from Wuhan China last December, but has travelled around the globe rapidly and relentlessly so has been identified in over a hundred countries of 6 WHO regions so far, yet no effective action has been taken to stop it by ‘anyone’, has it?
It inevitably reached and pretty quickly established outbreaks in all regions of the UK and cases are occurring where the person infected hasn’t been in contact with someone who has been overseas nor a known infected person, which is a worry, isn’t it?
Some people including even certain medical professionals say too much is being made about this virus in the media but that’s rubbish. It’s true that there is no need for the public to panic, nor for food stockpiling and clearing supermarket shelves, but the reason it is spreading more rapidly here recently and not being contained effectively in the UK, is that the population was not and is not worried enough, so isn’t taking simple health precautions steps to protect themselves and others, don’t you think?
Those of us who have been closely following the WHO stats have found it disturbingly difficult to keep abreast of it all as the situation changes so rapidly, and often there is different public information published from different sources
At 10 March 2020, 383 UK people [up from273] were confirmed as positive and Six patients who tested positive for COVID-19 have died
[As of 10 March 2020, worldwide nearly 120,000 cases have been confirmed, of which 6,045 remain classified as serious/critical (down from peak of over 12,000), Major outbreaks have occurred in Central China [80,781 cases – 68% of all], South Korea [7,513 cases – 1% of all], Iran [8,042 cases- 7% of all], Italy [10,149 cases- 15% of all], France [1,784 cases- 1% of all], and Germany [1565 cases- 1% of all]. More than 4,000 people have died☹ [a mortality rate of 3.6%) – about 3,100 [73% of all deaths] in mainland China and over 1100 deaths in other countries, but in total over 65,000 people have recovered [nearly 55% of all cases]
Here in the UK, we have seen an utterly ineffective government response to the grave dangers from this ongoing ‘of international proportions’ public health emergency and one which has involved a clueless Prime Minister, offering worthless platitudes of reassurance to the public and uttering the barefaced lie that Britain is well geared-up to deal with what will undoubtably be a killer pandemic, eh? That is crass political and health stupidity when the bulk of us know full well that the NHS is broke both financially and resource wise, so has been on its knees and trembling every year for decades now about the potential devastating impact on UK hospital resources of just an ordinary winter flu epidemic – moreover, even a PM spokesperson had warned that the coronavirus is likely to spread significantly.
Worryingly, despite the PM’s assurances about our resource capability, some people who are confirmed to have contracted the virus are now actually having to be treated at home rather than in hospital — some unfathomable and unsatisfactory change of policy, eh? Well, Germany has had four times as many cases as UK but a third of our deaths and Norway with a similar number of cases as us have had no fatalities – why, why, why?
In reality, the one and only practical thing that the UK government has done about coronavirus is to launch a minimalistic lacklustre campaign to advise people to properly wash their hands with soap and water – but that didn’t even attempt to properly explain the reasons why, so that message is likely to be ineffective, isn’t it? It’s even more unlikely that such a message
will be heeded when delivered by our ‘generally untrusted’ politicians – only health professionals should have been used for this important advice, don’t you think?
[Hand washing both helps people stop contracting coronavirus and also stop spreading it. That is because apart from being airborne, the virus can live on and be picked up on, or be deposited by, hands from surfaces, like say door handles or taps, and then gets ingested through eyes, ears, and mouth]
The dirty truth is that men are particularly irresponsible about hand washing after urinating using a public toilet, and the majority [63 per cent in 2015 study] can’t be bothered to even do that basic but essential act of personal hygiene, so they will inevitably leave bacteria, bugs and disease behind for others to pick up [while it is perhaps less significant, women at 39 per cent aren’t quite as bad]
[Reportedly, bathroom-door handles have so much bacteria on them, you could use one to colonize Mars, and additionally, flushing actually launches aerosolized toilet funk into the air, which can travel up to six feet. That means virtually everything you touch in the bathroom could be coated with a fine mist of invisible poo particles so when toileting, it’s possible to have faecal material and faecal bacteria get onto your hands,” (by-products of ingesting faecal matter include E. Coli and hepatitis.)]
With respect to coronavirus risk alone the government should have, as a minimum surely, provided and forced all public toilets to display their hand-washing message on a printed notice or even to have required an automatic recording to be played to everyone using the facility (as happens on some cruise ships)?
Its unfathomable why the British government didn’t at least screen in Britain those thousands of people who had flown back from Wuhan in January and entering the Country from China, when it became obvious there was a major coronavirus health problem there, isn’t it? Certainly, a student at York University and a relative brought the virus back from China by the start of February.
As there was a significant risk a month ago of the virus becoming more widespread, we might have expected the UK government to have advised then against travel to certain places and to identify the danger of going on cruises which heightens the risk of coronavirus infection as passengers can come from many countries and are contained in large numbers in an enclosed environment wherever the ship is heading
Another consideration has to be the cancelling events involving large gatherings of people which enable rapid inter-contamination, but so far the government haven’t done anything in that respect and indeed international canine event Crufts 2020 in Birmingham which around 160,000 people went ahead this week.
[COUNTRIES IMPOSING RESTRICTIONS BECAUSE OF CORONAVIRUS
- The Gulf countries have introduced range of measures like travel bans, stepping up screening measures at important entry points, and rescheduling and in some cases cancelling significant sports and cultural events. aimed at curbing the spread of coronavirus
- US has imposed new travel restrictions regarding Iran, Italy and S Korea
- Italy has locked down much of the Country’s North over the Coronavirus – the restrictions affect Milan and the regions that serve as Italy’s economic engine, and are the most sweeping measures outside China
- Europe remains open but the countries, and airports, with restrictions and preventive measures in place is increasing – anyone who has recently travelled to or transited through China (usually within the last 14-28 days) complete ban on entry to Australia, Bahamas, many Caribbean islands, Guatemala, Indonesia, Madagascar, Maldives, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, USA and Vietnam, among others; anyone who has visited Italy (usually within the last 14-28 days) complete ban on entry to Cook Islands, Fiji, India, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Mauritius, Mongolia, St Lucia, Seychelles and Turkey, among others. (All of these countries also have a ban on entry to anyone who has visited China); Passengers travelling from the UK (in the last 21 days) the only locations with a ban on people coming from the UK are the Federated States of Micronesia in the Pacific (the islands of Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei and Kosrae), the Comoro Islands near Mozambique – both of which have a ban on travellers from all countries with confirmed cases of coronavirus – and the Pacific island of Kiribati. Those coming from the UK will also face immediate quarantine in the Solomon Islands. North Korea has banned all tourists from entering the country; Poland requires anyone travelling from China, Hong Kong, Italy, Korea or Macao to fill in a health declaration form; some of the world’s largest and busiest international airports have announced preventive safety measures. Prague has designated separate gates for all passengers arriving from Italy or China. People travelling from those countries also face screening at Bratislava airport in Slovakia. Similar procedures are currently in place in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, Croatia, Moldova, Bulgaria, Albania and Turkey; UK, airports are acting on the advice of Public Health England (PHE) and have introduced advanced monitoring at airports with direct flights from China. There are also health experts at Heathrow ready to support anyone arriving from China who feels unwell; The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in the US has increased screenings at 20 airports, including travellers having their temperature taken and filling out a questionnaire. Anyone with symptoms, such as fever, cough or difficulty breathing has to undergo an additional health assessment. Passengers arriving in the UAE, India, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and South Korea will also face screenings, with each country varying in terms of flight origin
NOTE: In practice, virus travel bans and travel restrictions are inevitable but prove ineffective because they are imposed too late or because people circumvent them]
Furthermore, in an inexplicable dereliction of duty and care, the UK government abandoned and failed to urgently repatriate by air more than 70 British nationals trapped onboard for 2 weeks on the American run Diamond Princess cruise ship, which had been held in ‘quarantined flawed’ conditions that turned it into an incubator, off the coast of Japan in the port of Yokohama near Tokyo since February 3, when basic decease control blunders meant that coronavirus spread like wildfire [some 700 cases/6 deaths] – mistakes like, so many people being kept herded together in one place, positive tested crew sharing rooms, toilets and dining spaces, the virus positive ship’s ‘quarantine officer’ going door to door checking on passengers, whence the dire consequence of all that far-off incompetence together with our government’s crass abandonment of our citizens, resulted more than a week ago there in a Japan hospital of the first British coronavirus death (a 80 year old man) who caught the virus on the stricken ship – some would say that PM Boris Johnson and Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab already have blood on their hands, eh?
When the government finally got their finger out a couple of weeks ago, much later than other counties, and rescued our citizens, those 30 repatriated faced another 14-day quarantine at accommodation at Arrowe Park on the Wirral upon arrival in the UK, but four of those cruise ship passengers have now actually tested positive for coronavirus so have been transferred to specialist NHS infection centres
Last week, the first person to die of coronavirus in the UK was also reported (a woman in her 70s with underlying health conditions who it was thought contracted the virus in the UK but had not been in contact with any other known cases) – most disturbingly her test results only came back after she had died. So much for Boris’ assurances that the NHS could cope, eh?
The second UK death occurred a few days ago (a man in his 80s who had underlying health conditions) – apparently work is now underway to trace people who the man was in contact with before he died (not very encouraging news or a sign that the government have got a grip yet, is it?)
On Sunday, a man in his 60s died, making him the third person to die in the UK after contracting the virus. He had underlying health conditions and had recently returned from Italy
- [There were 78 Britons on the Diamond Princess ship, 32 of whom were later airlifted home while four were taken to hospital in Japan wqhere one died]
- A second cruise ship Grand Princess with 500 passengers and crew on board of which more than 140 are Britons, are to be tested for COVID-19, is currently quarantined held off San Francisco US with 21 people including 19 crew members tested positive so far using the available test kits]
Well, coronavirus itself is a flue like respiratory illness with complications that include pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome, so those most at risk of serious illness and death are the elderly and vulnerable with an underlying medical condition, aren’t they? The young and fit are at much lower risk, as apparently are women.
It is called ‘corona’ as its image is likened to a crown and similar to the rarefied gaseous envelope of the sun, the outermost part of the Sun’s atmosphere, and other stars [the sun’s corona is normally visible only during a total solar eclipse, when it is seen as an irregularly shaped pearly glow surrounding the darkened disc of the moon]
[Coronavirus has evolved into two major lineages, the older ‘S-type’ appears to be milder and less infectious, while the ‘L-type’ which emerged later, appears to be far more aggressive, spreads quickly and currently accounts for around 70 per cent of cases, and it is possible to be infected with both]
This coronavirus disease was caused by SARS-CoV-2, and was first identified in Wuhan, Hubei, China. The virus primarily spreads between people in a similar way to influenza, via respiratory droplets produced during coughing or sneezing, with the time between exposure and symptoms, including fever, cough, and shortness of breath, onset being typically five days, but ranging from two to fourteen days
Coronaviruses are a group of viruses which affect your lungs and airways that usually cause mild illnesses, such as the common cold, but this one COVID-19 is much more dangerous and is now named severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) while the disease associated with it is referred to as COVID-19.
This new virus is the second time in 20 years that such an infectious disease emanating from China has hit the World. In 2002 there was an outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in southern China that caused an eventual 8,098 cases, resulting in 774 deaths reported in 17 countries (9.6% fatality rate) with the majority of cases in mainland China and Hong Kong. No cases of SARS have been reported worldwide since 2004.] In late 2017, Chinese scientists claimed to have traced the virus through the intermediary of civets to cave-dwelling horseshoe bats in Yunnan province.
Chinese officials have reported that several of the first cluster of cases of this latest coronavirus had ties to a live animal market where both seafood and other wildlife were sold as food. (The market has since been closed.) The market has become their leading hypothesis for how the virus made the leap into humans where it’s been able to spread efficiently ever since.
Coronaviruses are a group of viruses that that circulate among animals and cause diseases in mammals, and birds. After they have infected animals, they can eventually be transmitted to humans.
A wide range of animals is suspected to be the source of coronaviruses. For instance, the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) is said to have originated from camels and the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) from civet cats
However, to some of us, knowing that all superpower nations weaponize bioweapons, it is a strange coincidence that two new virulent viruses have seemingly jumped from wild life to humans, supposedly without human intervention, in the country of an oppressive militant major Communist power which is aggressive towards the West so has a vested interest in a resulting pandemic uniquely destroying the market economies and political power of the West, wouldn’t you say?
That is particularly so, when we know that Beijing is accused of a global cyber warfare espionage campaign against us in the West since 2006, evidenced in the US, Britain, Europe, Hong Kong, and Singapore, that sets out to destabilise government agencies, defence groups and to target high tech companies to steal trade secrets
For example, in May 2016 a cyber-attack on the British NHS crippled the organisation and cost it a hundred million pounds, and used the crypto worm malware ‘WannaCry’ (which encrypts data on infected Windows operating system computers and demands a ransom payment). It was the biggest global cyberattack offensive in history, and infected more than 300,000 computers in 150 countries. It was launched from North Korea, China’s neighbouring fellow communist ally
In the US, conspiracy theories about the origins of the coronavirus, are promoted by some politicians and are prevalent in the news and on social media. Similar rumours have also been running rampant in online forums in China
One basic rumour is that the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, started and was engineered by humans in a Chinese lab as a bioweapon (after being isolated from animals) and either then “escaped” or “leaked” because of poor safety protocol, and one common thread is that it originated in a level 4 (the highest biosafety level) research laboratory in Wuhan. In another version, the virus was being simply being studied in the lab, but then “escaped” or “leaked” – there is an array of circumstantial clues that Chinese labs’ handling of deadly pathogens can’t be trusted.
The latest rumour is that someone from the lab sold experimental animals to the live animal and seafood market and so “leaked the virus” from the lab.
[However, it turns out, that current scientific consensus in the West concludes that the emergence of this brand-new coronavirus in the same city as China’s only level 4 biosafety lab (the Wuhan Institute of Virology), is pure coincidence, eh?]
Nevertheless, some of us remained unconvinced by the scientists, as releasing a virus is something that China might be prepared to do in light of the US trade war, and not least to scupper the American dream, perhaps?
However, what we do know for certain is that at the outset the Chinese lied through their teeth [and may well still be doing so] to cover-up the true situation in January about coronavirus spreading in their midst, played down the seriousness of the outbreak, and tried to mislead the World about how many people it had infected in China, claiming it was numbers in the low thousands in the city of Wuhan, but as the carriers travelled abroad, our decease control public health experts soon calculated its true extent as being in tens of thousands by seeing its spread pattern to other countries,. Moreover, the Chinese authorities accused the doctor who disclosed in late December that this new virus existed in Wuhan, of spreading false information and they locked him up – then seemingly allowed him the die of the decease. WHY would they do any of those things if they didn’t have ‘something’ to hide, do you think? They need to come clean and give-out all the information they have, don’t they?
We also know that China’s scientists had the sequence of its genome, as by mid-January, they had shared it with the World Health Organization. [Did they really rush to uncover it as claimed or did they know it by engineering it in the first place, eh?].
Conspiracy theories about manmade viruses are not new [eg HIV]. However, they are really quite dangerous kinds of things to get spread around and if they persist about the origin of the health crisis, can undermine trust in public health authorities, and unnerve their communities, so its helpful if they can be effectively debunked.
[Scientists say that the new coronavirus closely resembled viruses that circulate in bats. The genetic sequence of the virus, is closely related to a bat virus – about 96% the same, says the head of the Texas Galveston National Laboratory (a level 4 biosafety lab)]
Unfortunately, there’s a long history of these “spillover” events, where an emerging disease jumps from wildlife to humans, turning into a pandemic. And scientists say we should expect them with more travel, trade, connectivity, urbanization, climate change, and ecological destruction, if we don’t stop the drivers
Wearing a face mask won’t protect you from the new coronavirus as a regular surgical mask will not help you steer clear of the virus
The thinner surgical mask is intended for surgeons, because these products do a good job of keeping-out pathogens from the doctor’s nose and mouth from entering the surgical field, and in some Asian countries, such as Japan and China, it’s not uncommon to see people wearing surgical masks in public to protect against pathogens and pollution, but those masks don’t help much in the context of a virus as they’re not designed to keep out viral particles, and they’re not tightly fitted around nose and cheeks.
However, while some people wear surgical masks because they are sick with a cold or the flu and they don’t want to get other people sick, it’s best just not to go to public areas and stay home.
People sick with COVID-19, however, should wear face masks to reduce the risk of infection to people around them. Health care workers and those “taking care of someone infected with COVID-19 in close settings” (at home or in a healthcare facility), should also wear face masks, but should dispose of them after each use
The best way to avoid getting the coronavirus is to, first and foremost, postpone any travel to places with known outbreaks. Also thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water; avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands; avoid close contact with people who are sick; and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
A more specialized mask, known as an N95 respirator, can protect against the new coronavirus. The respirator is thicker than a surgical mask, but the experts at this point don’t recommend it for public use, as it’s challenging to put on these masks or wear them for long periods of time and specialists receive retraining annually on how to properly fit these respirators around the nose, cheeks and chin, ensuring that wearers don’t breathe around the edges of the respirator. However, the work of breathing becomes much harder, since you’re going through a very thick material, so you have to work to breathe in and out and it’s a bit claustrophobic, moist and hot in there – after wearing one for about a half-hour you need to take it off and have a break to take some deep breaths, and cool off – they are intended only for medical workers and those professionals who need them
[Don’t expect the saga of coronavirus to fade quickly as there are sure ro be further daily twists and turns before the story ends]