wuhan: London-sized city in China… now famous origin of coronavirus pandemic
Tara Narayan traces the journey of the coronavirus pandemic in a bid to find a rational understanding of it as also solutions…
DON’T know about you, my dears! But I’ve had enough of all the long drawn out hype and hoopla politics around this so-called monster novel corona virus in our midst. Let’s understand it once and for all and drop all the fear-mongering stress being instilled in us to take a bigger toll on life. What is the coronavirus or coronaviruses?
In life there is bacteria all around us and in us and then there are viruses. Viruses are more insidious, often called “the beast of a thousand faces” (although there are just three main types, that is, influenza A, B, and C), but they have an unlimited ability to mutate into different forms. So while it’s true that a bout with one strain gives you immunity to that particular virus, its mutant offspring can lay you low next year or later in the season. No, antibiotics don’t bring relief, antibiotics simply don’t kill viruses. There is a large group of viruses that are common among animals and in rare cases, they are what scientists call zoonotic, meaning they can be transmitted from animals to humans. These viruses can make people sick, usually with a mild to moderate upper respiratory tract illness, similar to a common cold but also more severe diseases such as MERS and SARS.
Interestingly or not interestingly the coronavirus we are talking about is called “2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCov)” and also the “new China strain of SARS-like virus” – which is just one of the large group of viruses in animals. They can be transmitted from animals to humans and to repeat it they cause illnesses from the common cold to more severe diseases such as MERS and SARS. In this respect one may also remember other epidemics of recent vintage like the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome. There is the MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV; the first was identified in Saudi Arabia in 2012, over 800 died in the Middle East itself and the spread of the viral infection was from dromedary camels to humans.
THE SARS-CoV was identified in 2003 and first infected humans in China in 2002, nearly 650 people in China/Hong Kong died in 2002-2003 and it is thought that the spread was from bats and civet cats to humans, the wet animal markets of Chinese and oriental fame coming under focus with researchers trying to trace the spread of the current Covid19 infection (another description). The coronaviruses have been under considerable laboratory research by Chinese and American scientists with a passion for bats or viruses! Reports are making the rounds that the “new China Strain SARS-like virus” (that is the 2019 coronavirus 2019-nCov) has been created in a Wuhan laboratory and first released in the air there to see what happens.
The rest is history as we have seen with the mercurial or eccentric infection spreading globally and enforcing lockdowns of 50 plus, plus days in country after country. It was really first identified in late December 2019 in Wuhan, China. Although the infection was reported earlier in China/detected in China and Hong Kong with a number of deaths, then cases came up in Japan, Thailand, South Korea. It was traced to the seafood/animal market in Wuhan which is the centre of the latest outbreak in human-to-human transmission as confirmed by Chinese authorities, now perceived as the authorities on the subject of the pandemic and how to treat it – but the story is China is not sharing.
The theory is that the new coronavirus was actually created in a Wuhan laboratory and released in the air for biological warfare purposes and diabolical political and economic one up man ship or so to speak. We know the consequent spread of the novel coronavirus to Europe and America, the world over. All kinds of media investigation is on with China keeping a tight lid on the truth which must not be leaked out! It is leaked out anyway bit by bit with the Chinese people and the medical community itself paying a heavy price for the mega-funded scientific research across the world.
With the spread of the quick-spreading coronavirus infection to Italy, Europe, USA, India, Australia…there was no stopping it. Clearly, there is an ongoing pandemic sweeping the world except for one interesting fact which critics point out – in China itself its capital and commercial Shanghai (so close to Wuhan) no one has contacted the infection and what do you know, not a single Chinese politician! There is definitely more to all the media bandying of “China has unleashed a silent 3rd world war” and must be taken to task. It must not be allowed to take over the economic and political reigns of a world driven by greed, anger, ego and ultimately the cynicism and indifference of just 2 percent of the people who live in their own utopian ambitions of everlasting life for the few and death for the many.
INCREDIBLE SOCIAL MEDIA
WE’VE been reading about and treated to such vile incredible videos over social media of how there exists a Deep State cartel of pharmaceutical businessmen (enjoying a reputation of being global philanthropists) in league with scientific research in America, UK and China to control the reigns of economics and politics interplaying with one another to ensure massive profits going only to certain trusts and foundations.
It is all about charity but it is all about utopian gratifications – and the latest dice on the chessboard is the coronavirus pandemic! Far-fetched or absurd as it may sound, there are many buyers for this yet unproven theory or world-wide “Deep State conspiracy” as it is called.
All this notwithstanding we are today in the grip of a frightening coronavirus epidemic in India with the BJP government at the Centre imposing several lockdowns one after another and we live to see the tragic consequences unfold day by day. Some may remember that it all started even before the visit of President Trump of USA came to an end with the first cases of coronavirus breaking out and the political protests going on in Delhi against the CAA.
Italy and USA are some of the worst hit countries with mortality rates rising by the day with the more malnourished poorer black communities paying a heavier price – although the story now is that everyone may be infected with a mild or more unfortunately a severe form (seeing that the coronavirus has mutated) – after the grim death statistics at least health authorities have now concluded that home quarantine is the best kind of healthcare for those who’ve caught the infection, they are being consulted and treated over telephone and online on how to recover and if the case gets serious they are asked to come to hospital.
IN the countries of the West most patients are recovering at home but the worry now is about many patients’ mental health is being impacted with patients attempting suicide because they feel abandoned at home. Hospitals do not have the resources to take care of patients and community health is suffering. In fact doctors in the USA are worried that death by suicide may yet catch up with death from Covid19.
Coming to Covid19 treatment there is no surety about treatment modes either for the medical community still awaits the vaccine promised by Bill Gates of the Gates Foundation fame (incidentally there’s a movement in the US calling for Bill Gates to be arrested for crimes against humanity). For the time being the novel coronavirus infection is being treated on a patient’s clinical symptoms and doctors prescribe anything from aspirin to antiviral drugs. There are the drugs of faviparavir (Avigan) being used in Japan to treat influenza. Researchers are studying several types of drugs to treat an infection which is in 200 countries. The massive toll is nearly 2.6 lakh plus, 37 lakh positive cases have been identified including almost 50,000 cases in India alone.
Most drugs are repurposed and largely antiviral drugs used to treat other conditions. For instance favipiravir or avigan and remdesivir were used to treat patients suffering from ebola. Gilead’s remdesivir was approved by the US Food & Drug Administration after the drug makers provided date showing the drug helped Covid19 patients. The company is producing the drug for Europe, Asia and the developing world through at least 2022. Favipiravir is said to prevent the virus from replicating in cells. In many cases clinical studies for efficacy of drugs is going on in an emergency basis and favipiravir is all set for trial in India too.
A class of drugs known as HIV protease inhibitors called lopinavir-ritonavir are also being prescribed, the drug combo is said to help decrease HIV in the body so that the immune system works better, lowering chances for getting HIV complications. But a Wuhan study this year doubts that ritonavir/lopinavir combination is effective for Covid19. Then there is the much talked about hydroxychloriquine or HCQ, an antimalarial drug which acquired fame in mid-March when US President Donald Trump described it as a game changer in treatment of the infection. Needless to say nobody is talking about concerns to do with potential side effects of the drugs, some of which reportedly reduce inflammatory responses in rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and porphyria cutanea tarda (PCT).
Plasma therapy too is catching on and showing promise. Here the method used is to draw convalescent plasma, extracted from the blood of recovered Covid19 patients, this plasma contains antibodies that neutralize SARS-CoV-2. A team of scientists at Rome’s Spallanzani Institute have ably isolated antibodies in mice that blocked the virus from infecting human cells.
In the meantime Bill Gates, whose foundation funds vaccine research big time, says it will take nine to two years to confirm a vaccine for coronavirus infection. The trophy race to find an effective vaccine is on. The Gates Foundation which has supported hundreds of vaccine efforts is however currently also under attack by anti-vaccine movements in the US and Europe, in fact many are asking for Bill Gates and his wife Melinda to be arrested for crimes against humanity – for seeking to make vaccines mandatory through political will (something which has reaped huge fortunes for their foundation).
TODAY, many believe that too many vaccines compromise the natural immune system of humankind over time and compromise it so badly that with a new epidemic – the mortality rate is highest with those who are immune-compromised patients in the countries of the West (where something like 30 vaccines are forced or mandatory for newly born infants). A heated movement against mandated vaccines is on and Bill Gates and his cronies who live in an utopia of their own are perceived as the chief culprits from the sound of it.
So there is really no standard treatment for the novel coronavirus infection and treatment can be anything from an aspirin to various anti-viral drugs. Treatment models are never final and nor is the testing and protective hardware being manufactured on war footing for the medical community engaged around the clock fighting the coronavirus war in hospitals and other fronts. Clearly the stay at home and quarantine and get better came after fatigued hospital staff admitted an inability to cope with too many cases, including dealing with the dead body bags stored in refrigeration awaiting incineration (bodies are not returned to family). Coronavirus is here to stay with no end in sight as of now.
ORIGIN OF CORONAVIRUS
EVERYBODY thought that the “Chinese coronavirus” was let loose in Wuhan in China. China is suspected by many of having done a superb whitewashing job to hide the real facts and even denies that the virus originated in Wuhan. It has also rejected media concerns seeking investigation to pin down the origins of coronavirus pandemic.
But now 62 countries including India are all set to sign an upcoming resolution to trace the origin of the virus and its transmission to humans. India in fact is co-sponsor with Australia and the European Union to find out the truth about the details of the pandemic in China. The resolution is all set to be considered at a two-day meeting of the World Health Organisation in Geneva. World Health Assembly is the main decision body making at WHO. The resolution does not mention China or Wuhan where the first case of Covid19 was reported. But with enough reasons now 62 countries are seeking an independent inquiry.
WHO’s Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus is being urged to “identify the zoonotic source of the virus and the route of introduction to the human population, including the possible role of intermediate hosts, including through efforts such as scientific and collaborative field missions , which will enable targeted interventions and a research agenda to reduce the risk of similar events as well as to provide guidance on how to prevent SARS-COV2 infection in animals and humans and prevent the establishment of new zoonotic reservoirs, as well as to reduce further risks of emergence and transmission of zoonotic diseases.”
Beijing is reportedly upset with this move on the part of the alliance of nations which includes Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, the UK, Russia, Canada, Turkey and Ukraine and other countries which support the draft resolution for an independent inquiry. It may be remembered that ever since the pandemic broke around the world China and WHO have come under considerable criticism, for the pandemic’s spread has forced country after country to impose lockdowns for more than two months, something which has led to massive suffering, recession and economic crisis. The question now is will China co-operate on a matter it has hitherto preferred to brush aside as of minor importance?