Coronavirus: Is there room for cautious hope?

Cases appear to be declining, but it is important not to be complacent
A medical worker in protective suit adjusts a drip bag for a patient at a hospital, following an outbreak of the new coronavirus in Wuhan, Hubei province, China February 3, 2020(REUTERS)
A medical worker in protective suit adjusts a drip bag for a patient at a hospital, following an outbreak of the new coronavirus in Wuhan, Hubei province, China February 3, 2020(REUTERS)
Published on Feb 18, 2020 06:00 PM IST
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Hindustan Times | ByHT Correspondent

Even as the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) cases crossed 70,000, and deaths crept closer to 2,000, the World Health Organization (WHO) has said that there appears to be a decline in new cases. But it’s still too early to say if this reported decline will continue, as new populations get infected across the world. The WHO has also said Covid-19 is not as deadly as other coronaviruses.

The team of experts on the ground, and a new paper from China with detailed data on more than 44,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19, indicates that more than 80% of patients have a mild case of the virus, and will recover. Around 14% patients have severe case, including pneumonia and shortness of breath, while the virus causes critical disease, including respiratory failure, septic shock and multi-organ failure, in about 5% of patients.

The virus has killed 2% of the reported cases, mostly older patients, shows data from China, which has been battling accusations of underplaying the severity and extent of the epidemic. For the decline to continue, countries must stay vigilant. The WHO estimates $675 million is needed to support less-developed countries to prepare for screening, testing, contact tracing and treatment, as was done successfully in India, where around 500 evacuees from China are headed home, disease-free, after spending 18 days in quarantine.

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Wednesday, December 08, 2021