Coronavirus (Covid-19): What should you do if it breaks out in your area
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This entry is part 2 of 4 in the series The Nation

Learn about coronavirus, aka COVID-19, a deadly new virus ravaging the world, and how to protect yourself and loved ones.

Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, a novel virus ravaging the world has led to more than 6,000 deaths in over two months since its first detection in China. So far the disease has spread to more than 150 countries with over 160,000 people infected worldwide.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) COVID-19 was first detected in Wuhan on 31 December 2019 and so far there is NO known cure to the lethal virus. But Chinese authorities have been using chloroquine, an off-patent drug, to treat infected victims.

Coronavirus (Covid-19): What should you do if it breaks out in your area
Coronavirus (Covid-19): What should you do if it breaks out in your area

Coronavirus is one of the deadliest viruses the world has ever encountered with a mortality rate of about 1%. The WHO had since declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic with countries such as Italy, Iran, South Korea, Spain, Germany and France topping the chart of countries with the highest cases of infections of the disease after China.

In order to stop and deter the virus, countries around the world have taken drastic measures ranging from lockdowns, banning of large gatherings, cancellations of sporting activities, travel bans to closures of schools.

China declared a lockdown on January 23, but has since been relaxed when the infection rates in the country slowed down considerably. Italy, France and Spain followed suit and the United States of America (USA) which declared a state of emergency on the fatal outbreak, suspended travels from all European countries including the United Kingdom.

In Africa, Nigeria had also recorded two confirmed cases of COVID-19 after an Italian businessman flew into the country. As at 13th of March 2020, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has confirmed that the second case, was a contact of the Italian, “was discharged having cleared the virus and tested negative twice.” It further stated that identified contacts of the index case in the country have completed their 14-day follow up period.

So far there had been reported cases in at least 16 countries of Africa, with Egypt (93 cases, 2 deaths) leading the way, followed by South Africa (38 cases, no deaths), and Algeria (37 cases, 3 deaths).

In this special report, Memorila will be giving you updates on the spread, recoveries, deaths, preventive measures and cure of the COVID-19 as the information gets to our desk.

Coronavirus: Table showing world’s spread of COVID-19 as at March 15, 2020

SNCountry, OtherTotal CasesTotal DeathsTotal RecoveredActive CasesSerious, Critical
1China80,8493,19966,93110,7193,226
2Italy21,1571,4411,96617,7501,518
3Iran13,9387244,5908,624
4S. Korea8,162758347,25359
5Spain7,7532915176,945272
6Germany5,42611465,3692
7France4,49991124,396300
8USA3,08360562,96710
9Switzerland2,2171442,199
10Norway1,205311,20127
11UK1,14021181,10120
12Netherlands1,1352021,11345
13Sweden1,024211,0212
14Belgium8864188133
15Denmark864218612
16Japan8142414464635
17Austria800167931
18Diamond Princess696745623315
19Malaysia428423869
20Qatar3374333
21Australia3005272681
22Canada2521112401
23Portugal24522439
24Finland24410234
25Czechia2312312
26Greece228482165
27Singapore22610512111
28Slovenia21912183
29Bahrain214601542
30Israel20041962
31Iceland1611611
32Hong Kong145481604
33Philippines1401121271
34Estonia1351134
35Romania13191221
36Ireland129211266
37Brazil12111202
38Poland1193131033
39Indonesia11758104
40Thailand114135781
41Kuwait11291034
42Iraq110102674
43Egypt11022781
44India10821096
45Saudi Arabia1032101
46San Marino10154923
47Lebanon9931953
48UAE8620662
49Russia63855
50Chile6161
51Luxembourg59158
52Taiwan5912038
53Vietnam541638
54Slovakia5454
55Pakistan53251
56South Africa5151
57Brunei5050
58Croatia49247
59Algeria4841034
60Serbia461451
61Argentina452431
62Bulgaria43241
63Panama43142
64Peru4343
65Albania421412
66Mexico414371
67Palestine3838
68Colombia3434
69Hungary321130
70Georgia301291
71Latvia30129
72Ecuador282261
73Morocco2811261
74Belarus27324
75Costa Rica27271
76Cyprus2626
77Senegal24222
78Azerbaijan231616
79Armenia2323
80Oman21912
81Bosnia and Herzegovina2121
82Malta21219
83North Macedonia19118
84Tunisia18182
85Afghanistan16115
86Maldives1313
87Lithuania12111
88Moldova1212
89Dominican Republic1111
90Sri Lanka11110
91Faeroe Islands1111
92Macao10100
93Bolivia1010
94Martinique1010
95Venezuela1010
96New Zealand88
97Jamaica88
98Kazakhstan88
99Cambodia716
100Jordan716
101French Guiana77
102Liechtenstein77
103Paraguay771
104Réunion77
105Ghana66
106Turkey66
107Uruguay66
108Bangladesh523
109Guyana413
110Ivory Coast44
111Cuba44
112Puerto Rico44
113Ukraine312
114Burkina Faso33
115Channel Islands33
116French Polynesia33
117Guadeloupe33
118Guam33
119Honduras33
120Monaco22
121Nigeria211
122Aruba22
123Cameroon22
124Curaçao22
125DRC22
126Namibia22
127Saint Lucia22
128Saint Martin22
129Seychelles22
130Trinidad and Tobago22
131Sudan110
132Andorra11
133Nepal110
134Antigua and Barbuda11
135Bhutan11
136Cayman Islands11
137CAR11
138Congo11
139Equatorial Guinea11
140Ethiopia11
141Gabon11
142Gibraltar110
143Guatemala11
144Guinea11
145Vatican City11
146Kenya11
147Mauritania11
148Mayotte11
149Mongolia11
150Rwanda11
151St. Barth11
152St. Vincent Grenadines11
153Suriname11
154Eswatini11
155Togo11
156U.S. Virgin Islands11
157Uzbekistan11
Total:162,5886,06976,21980,3005,655

What is coronavirus?

WHO describes COVID-19 as thus: “Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV).

“Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is a new strain that was discovered in 2019 and has not been previously identified in humans.

“Coronaviruses are zoonotic, meaning they are transmitted between animals and people.  Detailed investigations found that SARS-CoV was transmitted from civet cats to humans and MERS-CoV from dromedary camels to humans. Several known coronaviruses are circulating in animals that have not yet infected humans.”

Symptoms

According to the WHO, common symptoms of COVID-19 infection include “respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.”

But in more severe cases, WHO said infection can cause “pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.”

Emergency staff in protective suits check the body of a man who collapsed and died in the street in Wuhan on Thursday. Photograph: Héctor Retamal/AFP via Getty Images
Emergency staff in protective suits check the body of a man who collapsed and died in the street in Wuhan on Thursday. Photograph: Héctor Retamal/AFP via Getty Images

Preventive measures

The World Health Organisation enumerated the following advice as ways of preventing oneself from the lethal COVID-19 virus. Heed the advice to protect yourself and loved ones.

  • Wash your hands with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Dispose of the used tissue immediately.
  • Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance. Follow the directions of your local health authority.
  • Stay informed on the latest developments about COVID-19. Follow advice given by your healthcare provider, your national and local public health authority or your employer on how to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.

What to do if one is infected with COVID-19

USA’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gives the following advices for a person infected with COVID-19:

  • Stay home: People who are mildly ill with COVID-19 are able to isolate at home during their illness. You should restrict activities outside your home, except for getting medical care.
  • Avoid public areas: Do not go to work, school, or public areas.
  • Avoid public transportation: Avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis.
  • Separate yourself from other people and animals in your home
  • Stay away from others: As much as possible, you should stay in a specific room and away from other people in your home. Also, you should use a separate bathroom, if available.
  • Limit contact with pets & animals: You should restrict contact with pets and other animals while you are sick with COVID-19, just like you would around other people.

Cure of COVID-19

So far, there is no known cure of COVID-19. But according to LiveScience, “Most people who catch the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 recover at home, and some need hospitalization to fight the virus. But in a number of patients, the disease called COVID-19 is deadly.”

According to TheGuardian, “drugs that are known to work against some viruses are being trialled in China,” and that “new trials are starting in the US and other countries.”

TheGuardian large further stressed that more numbers are needed to find out whether these trials work in a few people or a lot of people or nobody at all. The most hopeful of the trails so far, it said, are Kaletra, which is a combination of two anti-HIV drugs, and remdesivir, which was tried but failed in Ebola patients in West Africa in 2013 and 2016.

TheGuardian further reported that “Some Chinese doctors are also trying chloroquine, an antimalarial drug, which is off-patent, therefore cheap and highly available, and would be very useful in low-income countries.” The first results, the report concluded, are expected in mid-March and should indicate if the drugs will at least help those who are most severely ill.

If you are in Nigeria, you can contact the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) through its toll-free number (0800 9700 0010), mobile number (07036708970), SMS (08099555577), WhatsApp (070871108390, their social media handles (Twitter/Facebook: @NCDCgov) or through mail ([email protected]).

Series Navigation<< Education in Nigeria can be salvaged using El-Rufai’s modelZoning Nigeria 2023: To zone or not to zone? >>

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By Faruk Ahmed

Faruk Ahmed cut his teeth at National Review, a Kano-based magazine now rested, where he rose to become Operations Manager and then Business Developer and Strategist. He is a keen watcher of political events.

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