Tracing the Corona Virus to its Source

You may think Professor Gabriel Leung from Hong Kong is a pessimist for predicting the figures you are about to hear until you discover more about him.

“40, 50, even 60 percent…” is his response to the question of how far the virus could impact the world when speaking in a documentary by 60 Minutes, an Australian investigative program.

That translates to anything between 45 to 60 million, given its transmission rate and the fact that people continue to mingle on a daily basis.

And the man (Prof. Leung) is not mad having been on the forefront to fighting SARS back in 2002.

Still the World Health Organization (WHO) won’t declare Corona Virus a Pandemic which has raised reaction among critics citing the Chinese government as an obstacle.

But the Professor is positive that maybe it is not the right time to go public with such an announcement.

“Maybe declaring COVID-19 a Pandemic at a time when governments are struggling to maintain order amid turmoil is not a clever disaster management move. It could lead to panic…”— Professor Gabriel Leung, Hong Kong.

So what’s Corona Virus and where did it come? We dig deep to reveal more.

SARS, MERS-COV and SARS-Cov-2: What’s the Link?

Corona is term that refers to crown— which is the shape of these viruses—of course, only visible under a microscope.

According to Dr. BhanuSud, of California’s St. Jude Medical Center, these are a group of viruses and many of them aren’t harmful to humans.

Most Corona Viruses are mild and harmless. They may cause mild upper respiratory tract conditions, like common cold. Many of us get infected with some of these viruses at one point in our lifetime.”— Dr. BhanuSud

But while you may not need to worry about other types of Corona Viruses, MERS and SARS strains could cause severe respiratory problems explains Dr. Bhanu. Mortality for SARS is 10%, while MERS is the worst at 30%.

SARS or severe acute respiratory syndrome-Coronavirus is the first type of Corona Virus, detected in November 2003. It spread rapidly in 17 countries, infected over 8000 people and killed 800 of the infected. Yet the current variant is said to be more infectious than SARS!

Later on, in 2012, another type was detected in the Middle East and named the Middle East respiratory syndrome-Corona Virus (MERS-CoV).

And now in 2020— first discovered in China— is SARS-CoV-2, the variant responsible for COVID-19 (the name of the disease triggered by thisnew variant of SARS).

COVID-19: Yet another Deadly Virus contracted from Wild Animals.

Wuhan, China is believed to be the home of the Corona Virus. Yes. You read that right!

It is also a hotspot for many wet markets or illegalwildlife marketplaces—where wild animalsare sold for meat.

So far, medics suspect that the virus is a flu in animals transmitted to humans during interactions like these.

Many link COVID-19 to bats, but Steven Gallister, an Environmentalist and human Rights Investigator believes the disease might have come from pangolins— the most trafficked wet-market mammal.

“Intermediate” animal could be the pangolin, a rare, ant-eating mammal, according to studies. Despite that, the viruses that have been found in samples drawn from wet-market pangolins don’t match the SARS-CoV-2 virus closely enough to prove the pangolin as this go-between.”— The journal Nature.

Gallister has been on the frontline in the war against the sale of wild animals. He terms Corona Virus as “mother nature’s revenge for our ruthlessness towards it.”

To lend credence to this seemingly far-fetched story, China has so far shut down more than  20, 000 wet markets since the onset of the Corona Virus.

Still, some wet markets are still live and operational throughout Asia in countries like Indonesia, Burma, Thailand, Cambodia, and so on.

Even in China where you expect maximum caution, it’s still business as usual in some of these illegal markets.

An undercover investigation by 60 minutes in one Hong Kong wet marketreveals scary discoveries

Hidden cameras reveal show wild animals from all corners of the world locked up in boxes, and stacked up in a crammed filthy room—which Gallister describes as “the perfect breeding ground for such viruses.”

You’ll also be surprised by the variety of animals in these illegal markets. All sorts of wired animals like blue-tongue lizards, rare turtles, African Cats, Snakes, foxes and monkeys locked up in unsanitary conditions that could form a breeding area for animal viruses—and then transferred to humans who handle them.

Run by powerful syndicates, Asian wet markets can smuggle anything their customers would love to try.

“These people (the syndicates who run wild animal meat markets) are like drug dealers, they won’t stop just because of the shutdowns in Wuhan and some parts of china. They’ll probably take their businesses elsewhere and to other active markets in Asia like Indonesia, Burma, Thailand, Cambodia, and so on.”— Steven Gallister, Environmentalist.

So the danger of COVID-19 may get worse if we do not fight it from the source.

According to the Preservationist, the only way to curb this practice and avoid such animal-to-human transmissions is to “wipe out illegal these illegal markets running in Asia.”

From China to the World— 157 Governments Report Corona Infections and Deaths

Corona is possibly the greatest pandemic in our times. Apart from China, it has now spread to 157 other Countries and Continents all over the globe.

And the numbers will continue to increase, according to what Professor Leung told Australia’s 60 minutes. 

“New Corona cases may worsen to 80 to 100 new cases a day,” says Leung.

So far (as of March 16, 2020) the world has so far confirmed around 171,027 cases of COVID-19 and a total of 6, 526 deaths.

Country Cases Deaths Region
China 80,879 3,213 Asia
Italy 24,747 1,809 Europe
Iran 13,938 724 Asia
South Korea 8,236 75 Asia
Spain 7,988 294 Europe
Germany 6,215 13 Europe
France 5,423 127 Europe
United States 3,802 69 North America
Switzerland 2,217 14 Europe
Japan (+Diamond Princess) 1,541 32 Asia
United Kingdom 1,391 35 Europe
Norway 1,262 3 Europe
Netherlands 1,135 20 Europe
Belgium 1,058 4 Europe
Sweden 1,043 3 Europe
Austria 959 2 Europe
Denmark 898 4 Europe
Malaysia 553 0 Asia
Qatar 401 0 Asia
Australia 375 6 Australia/Oceania
Canada 341 1 North America
Greece 331 4 Europe
Czech Republic (Czechia) 298 0 Europe
Finland 266 0 Europe
Israel 250 0 Asia

Continue thecomplete list of Corona cases and deaths by region and nation at worldometers.com.

China Has Been a Nation on Lockdown since COVID-19—And it’s not a Bad Strategy

Since mid-Jan, we’ve seen empty streets and shop closures in major business districts likeBeijing, Hong Kong,Shanghai, and Wuhan.

Call it social distancing, or what you like, but the Chinese have adopted a no dithering national policy against Corona. Citizens only go out when they have to, and when they do, everyone wears a mask and keeps distance.

While detrimental to its economy, this level of caution has helped China contain this highly infectious disease.

Many times, only one member per family goes out for must-have supplies.And all suspected and confirmed cases are reported and quarantined as soon as possible.

As a rule of thumb, a temperature check is a must-do before you enter most Chinese restaurants. And top help citizens adhere,the authorities also gives out free masks and hand sanitizers.

Considering that SARS-CoV-2 is highly infections than SARS, we can say the Chinese Government and citizens have responded swiftly to manage the spread of the Corona Virus. — 60 Minutes, Australia.

And to deal with the confirmed Corona cases in Wuhan, China built HuoshenshanHospital in just 10-days. The 1000-bed facility will help Wuhan, a city of over 11 million deal with the increases cases. Wuhan has been on lockdown since Jan. 23.

The outlook of Coronaviruses

The future will depend on our preparedness to control the spread of the SARS-Cov-2.

Preparedness means being ready to take the safety precautions that china took (some which may impact the economy).

It also means being ready as citizens to heed to the government calls when it comes to managing the spread of Corona Virus.

For instance, you may think it is easy to convince everyone to wear masks and practice “social distancing” by shutting down shops or doing their daily activities. But only countries who prepare their citizens mentally, or those with naturally-obedient inhabitants can adopt such a culture on a short noticewithout getting grouchy. – 60 Minutes, Australia.

Mandatory preparedness also includes setting up quarantine and medical facilities upfront to deal with any confirmed cases.

Professor Gabriel Leung says Corona Virus emergency readiness is a must-do because “this disease can only be treated if you have the right equipment and medicine.”

The professor also advises people to test for the Corona Virus if they see any possible symptoms. This can also help control the spread of the infection.

US citizens with a medical emergency should call 911. Inform the operator that you suspectyou’ve been exposed to Corona Virus or have COVID-19. If you have a mask, wear it before EMS experts arrive.