For the past hundred years, diseases have struck the earth leaving behind a huge number of deaths. The past five months, a deadly pneumonia of an unknown cause was detected in Wuhan, China. The case was reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) office in China on 31st December 2019. WHO started analyzing data, providing advice, coordinating with partners and helping countries prepare for the virus. This virus was declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on 30th January, 2020.
The international community has asked for $15 million from the United Nations (UN) to help support states with weaker health systems as part of its strategic preparedness and response plan.
On 11th February 2020, WHO announced a name for the novel coronavirus disease, COVID-19. As at 26th March 2020, there had been a number of 519,899 COVID-19 cases detected globally with its death toll of about 23,588 and recovered cases, 123,296. This virus has affected 198 countries around the world. China had the highest number of deaths of 3,287 as at 26th March,2020 but Italy has risen with total death cases of 8,215. According to the WHO, 46 African countries had been affected with the virus with a total number of 2,746 cases and 12 deaths.
ABOUT THE VIRUS
COVID-19 is a family of viruses that cause illness ranging from common cold to more severe diseases such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). According to the WHO, signs of this infection include fever, cough, shortness of breath etc. In most severe cases, it can lead to multiple organ failure and even death. Most infected people show symptoms between 5 to 6 days but the WHO has estimated an incubation period of 14 days (the time between the infection and the onset of the symptoms).
However, infected patients can also be asymptomatic, i.e., they do not show any symptoms despite having the virus in their system.
As at 26 March 2020, more than a third of the world’s population is under some form of movement restrictions. Countries around the world are implementing diverse measures such as national quarantines to slow the spread of the virus.
WHAT HAS BEEN DONE
Some events have been paused or postponed. The Union of European Football Association has halted all activities and has asked players in affected countries to be in self-isolation. There has been supported from some organizations like Federation International? d? Football Association that has donated $10 million to WHO to help fight COVID-19
Medical doctors around the world are working tirelessly to find a vaccine to cure this pandemic. Presidents and leaders of some countries have also gone down to seek God’s mercy.
In the meantime, we are all advised to stay at home, keep personal hygiene, practice social distancing etc. to reduce the spread of the virus.