• Anusha

Antidote for corona

Updated: Jul 28

Scientists and medical fraternity are racing against time to find a vaccine and a therapeutic solution to the infection that originated in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in December 2019.

But there is no specific treatment for disease caused by a novel coronavirus. However, many of the symptoms can be treated and therefore treatment based on the patient's clinical condition.

WHO Unites the Nation and Scientists to get an antidote to fight against a deadly disease called coronavirus

Testing for the virus treatment

There is a diagnostic test that can determine the infection which was developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, based on genetic information about the virus provided by the Chinese authorities. Once coronavirus infection is confirmed, the patient gets treated getting enough oxygen, managing his or her fever, and using a ventilator to push air into the lungs are told to rest and drink plenty of fluids. Most people with mild infections recover in about two weeks. More than half of those who have been infected globally have already recovered.

A number of drugs are currently being tested as potential treatments, including an antiviral medication called remdesivir, which appears to be effective in animals and was used to treat the first American patient in Washington State. The National Institutes of Health is testing the drug on the infected patients in a clinical trial in Nebraska. The drug’s maker, Gilead, has also begun trials at various sites in Asia.

How long will it take to develop a vaccine?

A coronavirus vaccine is still months away — and perhaps years. While new technology, advancements in genomics, and improved global coordination have allowed researchers to act quickly, vaccine development remains an expensive and risky process.

After the SARS outbreak in 2003, it took researchers about 20 months to get a vaccine ready for human trials. (The vaccine was never needed because the disease was eventually contained.)

By the time of the Zika outbreak in 2015, researchers had brought the vaccine development timeline down to six months.

Scientists at the National Institutes of Health and several companies are working on vaccine candidates.

Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said a preliminary clinical trial might get off the ground in as little as three months. But researchers would still need to conduct extensive testing to prove a vaccine was safe and effective.

Protection from Coronavirus

The best thing you can do to avoid getting infected is to follow the same general guidelines that experts recommend during flu season because the coronavirus spreads in much the same way. Wash your hands frequently throughout the day. Avoid touching your face, and maintain a distance — at least six feet — from anyone who is coughing or sneezing, wearing a face mask, “if you have symptoms of respiratory illness, wearing a mask reduces the risk of infecting others.”

If the virus is exposed to a temperature of 26-27 degree it will be killed, as it does not live in hot regions. Also drinking hot water and sun exposure will do the trick and stay away from ice cream and eating cold is important. Gargle with warm water and saltwater kills the tonsils’ germs and prevents them from leaking into the lungs.

Recovery time for the coronavirus disease

Using available preliminary data, the median time from onset to clinical recovery for mild cases is approximately 2 weeks and is 3-6 weeks for patients with severe or critical disease.

More than 100,000 people have recovered

The strategy for India is outlined briefly as follows:

  • Travel Restrictions:

The virus has entered the community such restrictions are only mildly effective. Only transmission-reduction interventions will provide the greatest benefit to mitigate the epidemic. The restrictions have the psychological effects that the government is doing something for the safety of its citizens. (Effectiveness of Travel Restrictions)

  • Social Distancing:

To beat COVID-19, social distancing is a must. (Social distancing a must)

We need to stay at home and venture out only in case of essential needs like food and medicines. Avoid gatherings, greet from a distance, wash hands regularly, and stay a meter apart from people.

Undetected cases were responsible for 86% of new infections in China, and infections dropped precipitously after social distancing measures were put in place there.

  • Nation to go under lockdown:

Most parts of the nation have now commenced lockdown. We may have to “shelter-in-place”, going by the current evidence. It may take some months before the virus is contained or a vaccine is developed before we can assuredly abandon precaution and resume life as it was before the inception of the pandemic which has changed in socio-economic sphere and thoughts about what the world might look on the other side of the curve is unnerving, to say the least.

It’s the time around Prime Minister’s address to the nation on coronavirus. The mood of the people seems positive and upbeat giving hope that India as a community shall put up a disciplined and sustained fight to counter the pandemic as well as economic challenges.

  • Map and engage Health infrastructure and personnel at all levels:

We need to know the medical facilities, availability of beds, personnel, and equipment including critical care- both public and private and requisition necessary reservation to meet surge capacity in demand for treatment of COVID-19 cases in the eventuality of it spreading on large scale.

It is suggested that quarantine and isolation, which require a high degree of discipline and monitoring (given many instances of patients running away from hospitals) may be placed under Director-General Armed Forces Medical Services (DGAFMS), with Ministry of Health and Family Welfare providing all logistic support when required.

  • Stock PPE and other essential supplies:

Doctors and nurses have made fervent appeals for adequate provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to governments in countries facing big surges in COVID-19 infections, with some having died when constrained to deal with patients without adequate protection. Some months back, such a scenario would have sounded surrealistic to almost all, but now the world is facing such a reality and struggling to cope with it.

Social distancing, isolation, and quarantine being vital to stop the transmission of COVID-19 transmission, prolonged stays at home are inevitable. While disrupting the work and educational engagements of millions, it might induce affective and psychological distress if younger and active people are not gainfully engaged. People may face a range of negative feelings, distress related to restricted movement, irritability, boredom, some hopelessness, restlessness, and difficulty concentrating.



The Nation offers strategic help to combat COVID-19

Every country is struggling to contain the explosion of the disease. Though nations have pledged to help each other, the fact is that every country is struggling to do the best for its own people. Masks, gloves, personal protection equipment, and ventilators are all in short supply worldwide and countries are buying up as much as is available in the world market. Leaders are naturally committed to dousing the home fires first before turning to help others. Yet, smart leaders are also reaching out and hoping to make their voices count.

“We must all join the chorus of humanity in the fight against the virus and win the ultimate victory. The virus is a threat to each of us and we must unite as one person,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said recently. The disease does not respect national boundaries, color, race, or status.

According to Johns Hopkins University's date, 88,538 people have died due to coronavirus and nearly 1.5 million people have been infected. The US has the highest number of infections in the world at 431,838, followed by Spain (148,220) and Italy 139,422.

India gets a request from 30 countries for hydroxychloroquine

India is all set to join World Health Organizations’ multi-country “solidarity trial” aimed at testing four-drug combinations, including chloroquine, to treat COVID-19. On March 29, the Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency use authorization for hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine for COVID-19 treatment.

The Country is trying to do the best for its own people first smart leaders like Narendra Modi in this time of crisis and hoping to gain anticipating that it will work, given initial positive results,

Trump has bought more than 29 million doses of hydroxychloroquine for the potential treatment of COVID-19 patients. The country has a production capacity of 40 tones of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) every month, implying 20 crore tablets of 200 mg each. And since the drug is also used for Eauto-immune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, manufacturers have good production capacities that can also be ramped up.

Though nations have pledged to help each other, the fact is that every country is struggling to do the best for its own people. Masks, gloves, personal protection equipment, and ventilators are all in short supply worldwide and countries are buying up as much as is available in the world market. Leaders are naturally committed to dousing the home fires first before turning to help others. Yet, smart leaders are also reaching out and hoping to make their voices count.

Both leaders said that India and the US would jointly fight the Covid-19 pandemic. But the main purpose of the call was to ask India to allow the US to import some amount of the malaria drug, hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), which is manufactured here. A day before India had banned the export of this drug as it was proved to work well with some patients of Covid-19. However, on April 7, India decided to help neighboring countries and a few others, meaning the US, by allowing the export of HCQ. The government made sure that there are enough stocks for the country before making the decision. But Trump said he could retaliate if India does not send it HCQ gives a new perspective to these ties.

India has always maintained the international community must display strong solidarity and cooperation…In view of the humanitarian aspects of the pandemic, it has been decided that India would license paracetamol and HCQ in appropriate quantities to all our neighboring countries that are dependent on our capabilities. We will also be supplying these essential drugs to some nations who have been particularly badly affected by the pandemic.”

In the pharmaceutical industry, India has enough stocks to meet both domestic and foreign supplies. But then, India’s altruism in the pharma sector is well-known. The pharma industry has done great service to the poor of the world by manufacturing AIDS drugs at half the cost of western countries. Despite some pharma companies being hauled up by the US Food and Drug Administration for the supply of substandard drugs, the majority of them have done a major service to help African countries fight the AIDS epidemic which at one time was a major threat to the world.

Meanwhile, the UN General Assembly (UNGA) adopted a resolution sponsored by 187 countries, including India, to intensify global cooperation to defeat the pandemic. The resolution was the first document to be adopted by the UNGA and is titled “Global Solidarity to fight the Coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19)”

The deadly Covid-19 virus started in China but having come out of it, the country is now taking the opportunity to restore its international reputation. Many critics believe that the authorities in Wuhan hid the actual dimension of the epidemic for a long time. It was only when it got out of control that China began giving out all the facts and figures. China controlled the epidemic well by cracking the whip to impose a lockdown and practice social distancing. In fact, social distancing learned from China, is now being replicated across the world to fight the virus.

China is sending aid to Europe and the US. Chinese equipment and medical teams have been sent to Italy, one of the worst affected. The China Red Cross Foundation set up an International Humanitarian Assistance Fund against Epidemics, to raise funds and help nations affected by the virus. On March 29, the first aircraft loaded with 80 tonnes of supplies reached New York from Shanghai. The plane carried 1.3 lakh N95 masks, 17 lakh surgical masks, and 50,000 protective clothing for frontline health workers. Chinese billionaire Jack Ma distributed equipment to the US, countries in Europe, and Pakistan. China had also helped Iran, South Korea, and Pakistan to battle the disease. It is hoping to rev up its factories to meet the urgent demand for medical equipment. Unfortunately, it is about the only major country where people are back at work.

The race for a vaccine against Covid-19 is on in laboratories across the world. US, Germany, and China are in the race for this. The US expects a vaccine by the end of the year. In India too, efforts are on. Any vaccine or drug which is successful will be shared across the world, though first use will be for the country which produces it.





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