Health & fitness

Is Nigeria ready for the Coronavirus? + Facts about the novel virus (Updated)

Is Nigeria ready for the Coronavirus, the epidemic that kicked up in China in December 2019 but has now moved on into the world by January 2020? By the end of the first month of 2020, the whole world is now in a state of near panic. Will it reach Nigeria? If it does, are we prepared to tackle it?

We now have the answers to some of these questions as Nigeria confirmed its first case of the novel virus. In light of the developments, this article has been updated to reflect what is currently known regarding the spread of the viral infection worldwide and the world’s response to it.

Use this link to jump to the section on the latest in coronavirus or you can read the whole article for a chronological account of the history of the virus.

As of the morning of 4 February 2020, there have been  427 confirmed deaths as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak, most of the death but two occurred in mainland China. There are over 17,00o0 confirmed cases of the infection but there could well be up to 100,000 cases according to some epidemiological models, the New York reports. As a measure to curtail the spread of the disease, many countries have suspended flights to China and deny entries to visitors departing from or transiting through Mainland China. However, Coronavirus has been detected in all Chinese provinces and in at least 25 countries.

Will the Coronavirus infection spread to Nigeria?

Learn all you need to know about the coronavirus and why Nigeria and Nigerians should be concerned. Also, find out truths from trusted sources about Coronavirus.

What is Coronavirus?

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) website:

“Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.”

Coronavirus belongs to the family of Coronaviridae. The other member of the family are a group of virus genus called Torovirus. Coronavirus and Torovirus make up the family of Coronaviridae

Coronavirus is transferrable from animals to humans, making it a zoonotic virus. To date, only two types of Zoonotic virus have been discovered. These are SARS-CoV transmitted from civet cats and bats to humans – and MERS-CoV transmitted from dromedary camels to humans. However, the article clearly states that some are probably in circulation in animals that have not yet infected humans.

The recent outbreak of Coronavirus originated in China. Very little is known about this latest virus.  It is given the scientific name 2019-nCoV, which means “novel coronavirus.”

The Wall Street Journal mentions that seven strains have actually been found in the Coronavirus that affects humans. Two of them are what cause SARS and MERS while about four cause cold common cold.

How did Coronavirus start?

Coronavirus outbreak is reported to have started in China. Despite stating that the outbreak started in China, there is no verified reason for this recent massive outbreak. However, the transmission is traced to a large animal and seafood market in Wuhan, China. It is still not certain if the consumption of these animals caused the spread of Coronavirus.

Nigeria Coronavirus

 

You may also read: Coronavirus cure in sight as Australian scientists recreate deadly virus

The Chinese government had after a lukewarm response cordoned off the area as well as started a massive quarantine exercise of affected people. The measures are thought by many to have started a little too late as the virus has spread beyond the borders of Wuhan to other regions of China. It has also spread to other countries and the outbreak is being considered as a pandemic by the WHO as the Coronavirus has been detected in 25 countries with over 17,000 confirmed cases and 427 confirmed deaths

First, it is important to consider the known symptoms to know what to look out for.

Symptoms of the Coronavirus

According to the WHO, the common symptoms of Coronavirus include:

  1. Respiratory symptoms
  2. Fever
  3. Cough
  4. Shortness of breath and
  5. Breathing difficulties.
  6. In more severe cases, the infection can cause pneumonia,
  7. Severe acute respiratory syndrome,
  8. Kidney failure
  9. Eventually death.

Although it does not necessarily mean that anyone who has one of these symptoms is infected. Yet, it is important that if there is cause to believe that the virus has reached an area, then the symptoms should prompt a compulsory check-up because it is better to be certain (even if it is means a positive test result) than to live in uncertainty and risk infecting others. If the test comes out positive, the person can seek treatment.

Further, many of the publications and articles that have been released about Coronavirus is based on the little knowledge available. Noting is set in concrete yet. It is advised that people seeking information do so from trusted health experts and authorities.

How to prevent Coronavirus

The WHO article, which is our major source provides some steps that one can take to prevent getting infected. As we have stated repeatedly, not a lot has been established about the coronavirus. To be on the safe side, follow the instructions published on the Health Authority page.

Standard recommendations to prevent the spread of coronavirus

  1. Regular handwashing
  2. Covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing
  3. Thoroughly cooking meat and eggs.
  4. Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing

How does Coronavirus spread?

Another source, a science journal called Live Science claims that the common ways the Coronavirus 2019 spreads are via:

  1. Air (from viral particles from a cough or sneeze)
  2. close personal contact (touching or shaking hands)
  3. An object or surface with viral particles on it (then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands)
  4. Rarely from faecal contamination.

What is the incubation (gestation) period for the coronavirus?

The gestation period, also known as the incubation period of coronavirus is the period between the time of infection and the manifestation of the first symptoms of the infection. According to data compiled by Worldometer, the incubation period of the coronavirus is estimated at 2-14 days with 5.2 days average. Below are different estimates of the incubation period of coronavirus, 2019-nCo, as compiled by Worldmeter

  1. 2 and 10 days: World Health Organization (WHO)
  2. 10 to 14 days: China’s National Health Commission (NHC)
  3. 2 to 14 days:  United States’ Center for Disease Control CDC
  4. 3 to 7 days, up to 14 days: DXY.cn, a leading Chinese online community for physicians and health care professionals

What treatment is available for coronavirus?

According to the Nigerian Center for Disease Control, there is no specific treatment yet for coronavirus. However, many of the symptoms can be treated. The Center states that is based on the patient’s clinical condition. In addition, supportive care for infected persons can be highly effective.

Meanwhile, many research centres are working to develop a vaccine for the virus with promising results. It is reported today by Fortune that a vaccine is ready to be tested on human subjects in Wuhan, where the infection started. The vaccine is said to have been developed by Gilead, a US-based biotech company in partnership with Beijing’s China-Japan Friendship Hospital. The vaccine is actually an antiviral drug called remdesivir.

Yesterday, health officials in Thailand had reported successfully cured a 71-year-old patient of coronavirus using a cocktail of anti-virals used to treat flu & HIV. They tested negative to coronavirus 48 hours after the administration of the drug. Doctors combined the anti-flu drug oseltamivir with lopinavir and ritonavir, anti-virals used to treat HIV.

Which countries have confirmed cases of Coronavirus?

Many people have inquired about which countries have confirmed cases of the coronavirus. This is not a state of paranoia but actually a healthy reaction to this kind of epidemic. It is wise to be aware of what is coming if it ever comes.

According to an Aljazeera post on 3rd January 2020, there have been cases spread through countries in the Asia-Pacific region as well as Europe, North America and the Middle East.

Asia

Coronavirus Asia

  1. 1In China alone, about 17,205 people are already infected with the coronavirus.
  2. By 3rd of February 2020, India had three confirmed cases of coronavirus. The third positive case of the coronavirus was reported in India’s southern state of Kerala, the country’s health ministry said. All three are students who returned from Wuhan, according to local media. The first case, reported on  30 January, was a student at Wuhan University who returned to Kerala.
  3. On the 1st of February 2020, Japan‘s health ministry reported three new cases, taking the number of infections in the country to 20, including two cases of human-to-human transmission in the country.
  4. Taiwan has confirmed 10 cases, including two Chinese women in their 70s who arrived in the country as part of a tour group.
  5. Thailand has reported 19 infections, including its first case of human-to-human transmission.
  6. Malaysia confirmed its eighth case of coronavirus infection on 30th January 2020. All eight patients are Chinese nationals.
  7. Nepal said on January 24 that a 32-year-old man arriving from Wuhan had tested positive to coronavirus. Also read: World Health Organization declares Coronavirus an international medical emergency
  8. Philippine health officials confirmed the first death from coronavirus outside China on 2 February 2020. The man who died was the 44-year-old partner of a woman who was diagnosed with the coronavirus on 30 January. She remains in stable condition in the hospital.
  9. The news post also stated that Cambodia confirmed its first case of coronavirus on 27th January 2020. The authorities also revealed that the patient was a 60-year-old Chinese national in the coastal city of Sihanoukville.
  10. Singapore on 1st February 2020 announced two new infections, bringing the city-state’s total to 18.
  11. On 2nd February 2020, South Korea reported three new confirmed cases of the infection, bringing the total to 15 cases in the country.
  12. Vietnam reported three new cases of the coronavirus on Monday, 3 February 2020 taking the country’s total confirmed cases to eight. The latest patients were on the same flight from Wuhan to Vietnam and had close contact with the people who had already tested positive for the virus, authorities said.
  13. Sri Lanka confirmed its first case of coronavirus on 27th January 2020.

Australia

  1. Australia has confirmed 12 cases of the virus as of 2nd February 2020: Four in New South Wales, four in Victoria, two in South Australia and two in Queensland. Most of these patients had arrived in the country from Wuhan or Hubei province.

Europe

  1. Finland also has a Chinese tourist case who was admitted to the hospital for tests and later confirmed as having been infected with the coronavirus. The patient is said to be a 32-year-old woman from Wuhan.
  2. France has six confirmed cases of coronavirus in France. It was the first European country to be affected. The most recent was a doctor who contracted the virus after treating patients. France’s health minister also admitted that it is likely that there will be more cases and that authorities are surveying everyone the patients had come into contact with since arriving in France.
  3. Germany confirmed its 10th case of coronavirus on 2nd February 2020 after two people evacuated from China tested positive. Some previous test confirmed cases include a 33-year-old man who lives in Munich and is an employee of a company where six of the people with previously confirmed cases work. The other infected person is the child of one of the employees. Doctors confirmed on 30th January 2020 that two Chinese tourists had tested positive for the coronavirus in Italy.
  4. Russia reported its first two cases of coronavirus on 31st January 2020.
  5. Spain reported its first case on 31st January 2020 in a man on the island of La Gomera in the Canaries. He was one of five people isolated after coming into contact with an infected German man.
  6. On January 31, Sweden‘s Public Health Agency said a woman had tested positive for coronavirus and was being kept isolated at a hospital in southern Sweden.
  7. The UK confirmed its first two cases of coronavirus on 31st January 2020 in two patients from the same family in England.

Middle East

  1. The UAE confirmed its fifth case on 1 February in a Chinese national who came from Wuhan. The UAE authorities previously said at least four Chinese nationals from one family had been confirmed to have coronavirus.

North America

  1. The US confirmed 11 cases of the virus on 2 February 2020. There are six cases in California, two in Illinois, one in Arizona, one in Massachusetts and one in Washington state.
  2. Canada has confirmed four cases of the coronavirus as of 2nd February 2020. Hong Kong reported that 14 people are known to have been infected, with hundreds of suspected cases reported.

Is there any case of coronavirus in Africa?

At the time of writing, there has been no confirmed case of the coronavirus in Africa. However, as of 3rd February 2020, there were suspected cases in Ivory Coast, Kenya, Ethiopia and Botswana. However, according to a news post on African News, only the patient from Ivory Coast tested positive to the virus while the tests of the others came out negative.

  1. So far, there is only one case of confirmed coronavirus in Africa and that is in Ivory Coast.

See also: All you need to know about deadly Coronavirus as first person is tested in Ivory Coast

This does not, however, mean that African leaders should relax. Many have taken the initiative to be proactive and take steps to both prevent the introduction of the virus into the country as well as ways to stop spread in the event of an outbreak.

Is Nigerian prepared for the coronavirus?

Nigeria Coronavirus

The Conversation, a news outlet published an informative article on 28th January 2020, of the preparation of the Nigerian government to tackle coronavirus as provided by Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu. He is the chief executive officer/national coordinator of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control. The post states:

“The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control has established a ‘coronavirus preparedness group’ that includes representatives from Port Health Services of the Federal Ministry of Health and other stakeholders. It meets daily to review the situation globally, assess the risk of spread and improve on Nigeria’s level of preparedness based on new findings and insights.”

Since awareness and recognition is one of the first moves, this is quite commendable. But this is not all as the article continues:

“At the points of entry, screening has been heightened, particularly for passengers coming from China. This includes temperature checks, specific questions on known symptoms of the novel coronavirus and travel history.”

Furthermore, the Nigerian Minister of health, Osagie Ehanire, at a meeting broad-based in stakeholder forum in Abuja on Saturday, 1 February 2020, stated that Nigeria had the capacity to detect, assess and respond to the virus should the virus spread to Nigeria.

“While the risk of importation exists, we can assure Nigerians of the nation’s capacity to detect, assess and respond to this and any other public health threats at the point of entry,” he said.

He also assured that the Federal Government had voted funds to increase services of the ministry’s Port Health Services Unit. He disclosed that the government was in touch with 16 Nigerians in Wuhan, the epicentre of the epidemic in China’s Hubei province.

Meanwhile, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has also provided a public health advisory to Nigerians on what to do if they suspect that there is a case of coronavirus as well as how to protect themselves.

The country has focused on strengthening our emergency coordination, surveillance, public health laboratory and risk communications capacities. It continues to build on this to ensure that citizens are better prepared in the event of an outbreak.

Some of the specific advice by the Nigeria Center for Disease Control on limiting the spreading of coronavirus to Nigeria

  • Nigerians should avoid all non-essential travel to China
  • Travellers from Nigeria to China, are advised to avoid contact with sick people, animals (alive or dead) and animal markets.
  • Passengers (from China) without symptoms on departure but become unwell in transit are advised to self-report to the Port Health Services on arrival.
  • The Port Health Services unit of the Federal Ministry of Health has heightened screening measures at points of entry. In addition to automated thermal screening at points of entry, travellers from China to Nigeria, are asked questions upon arrival by about symptoms of illness and travel history.
  • Passengers from China to Nigeria are advised to self-isolate; that is to stay indoors and avoid contact with other people.
  • Anyone experiencing any symptoms should call the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control immediately on 0800-970000-10 (Toll free call centre).

The NCDC also offers the following advice to citizens to reduce the risk of the spread of coronavirus and protect themselves

  1. Regular handwashing with soap under running water.
  2. Cover your mouth and nose properly with handkerchief or tissue paper when sneezing and/or coughing. You may also cough into your elbow if a handkerchief is not available.
  3. Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.
  4. Avoid self-medication, report to the nearest health facility when you experience any of the coronavirus symptoms.
  5. Healthcare workers are always advised to observe standard infection prevention and control measures when attending to patients and take a travel history.
  6. Travellers from China who show no symptoms on arrival, but who have a fever and cough within 14 days of arrival in Nigeria, should contact NCDC on 0800-970000-10; SMS: 08099555577; WhatsApp: 07087110839; Twitter/Facebook: @NCDCgov; Email: info@ncdc.gov.ng

What Nigerians learned from the Ebola outbreak

In 2014, many African countries had suffered from the Ebola outbreak. Although the casualties in Nigeria were not as heavy as other affected countries, health figures claim to have learned valuable lessons from that trying time.

One of these is that it is necessary to build systems in periods of safety or ‘peacetime’. This would come in handy during the scramble of another outbreak.

For example, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu claimed that they have strengthened the capacity at the country’s National Reference Laboratory to provide a molecular diagnosis for all epidemic-prone diseases and highly infectious pathogens such as the Ebola virus.

He further explained that:

“For coronavirus, the capacity to test depends on laboratory equipment, primers specific for pathogens and technical expertise. At the moment, we are receiving advice from the WHO on gaining access to the primers to be used for this ‘new’ virus. Our National Reference Laboratory is the system in place for diagnosis of pathogens such as the coronavirus.”

While the above is ongoing, they have also supported 22 states to establish emergency operations centres. These will likely serve as coordination platforms and they are networked to the national incident coordination centre. Each state is better prepared to coordinate within and across their borders in the event of an outbreak.

In December 2019 already, health agencies had completed the training of rapid response teams in all states in Nigeria. The Physician claims that “all 36 states have a team ready to be deployed in the event of an outbreak.”

However, the work is not over. Dr Chikwe concluded by saying:

“The Ebola outbreak taught us a lot of lessons, including the urgent need for overall health system strengthening. This has improved in many countries, but with a lot of room for improvement.”

Is Coronavirus as deadly as Ebola?

In preparation and to help further understand the coronavirus, we compare it to the Ebola virus. According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, the Ebola virus that affected West African countries majorly was deadly. A report from this authority says:

“The impact this epidemic had on the world, and particularly West Africa, is significant. A total of 28,616 cases of EVD and 11,310 deaths were reported in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. There were an additional 36 cases and 15 deaths that occurred when the outbreak spread outside of these three countries.”

From the statement, it is clear that the Ebola outbreak of 2014 killed almost half of the people that got infected. In comparison, the Coronavirus called the 2019-nCoV, have killed about 362 people as of when this article was written according to an updated Live Science report. This despite infecting about 17,400+ people.

However, this may not be good news as experts think it may be because it takes longer to kill. Yet, it is less deadly than the Ebola from what we have read about it.

What can Nigerians do about the coronavirus 2019-nCoV?

The government is already doing its best according to the reports we have heard. However, citizens also have roles to play.

  • It is important to keep up to date with the latest information on the coronavirus.
  • Ensure that the information you read is from trusted websites and sources.
  • Avoid spreading false or unverified information.
  • Follow safety instructions.

Update 29 February 2020: Developments in Coronovirus spread and the world’s response

On 11th February 2020, the WHO officially named the Coronavirus finally COVID-19. This decision was reached to enable people to differentiate between this new virus and the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).

They reached the decision in order not to spread the fear that the deadly SARS outbreak of 2003 has made a comeback. Since then, many developments have occurred. Let us look at some of the most important ones.

China COVID-19 Infection Spread

By 31st January 2020, China had confirmed over 9,000, which continued to increase. On 1st February 2020, the death toll in China had risen to a troubling 259 out of 11,791 confirmed infections. These figures were released by the Chinese health authorities to Aljazeera.

On 3rd February, China reported 57 new deaths, increasing its death toll to about 361. The number of cases kept spiking all day all over the country. The next day, on 4th February, China announced that the death toll had risen to 425 people and that the number of infected people stood at 20,438 in the country.

When it became evident that there was no immediate cure in sight for the virus, many countries started to evacuate its citizens from Wuhan by 5th February 2020. China reported that there had been 490 deaths far and 24,324 confirmed cases of the infection.

The death toll in mainland China rose to at least 563, with more than 28,000 cases confirmed by 6th February.

Li Wenliang, the doctor credited for being the first to let the world know about the outbreak of the coronavirus, died on 7th February 2020. That same day, Hong Kong introduced prison sentences for anyone that breaches its quarantine rules.

Also, Mainland China confirmed that 636 people had died from the virus. Confirmed cases of the infection rose to 31,161 in China alone. Experts and researchers suggested the pangolin may have been one link in the chain of animal-human infections.

A US citizen was confirmed to have died in Wuhan. Also, a Japanese man in his 60s with suspected coronavirus infection also died in a hospital in Wuhan, according to a statement from the Japanese foreign ministry said.

By 8th February, the death toll in China had reached 722, and 34,546 people were confirmed to be infected. The next day, 9th February 2020 the death toll in China surpassed that of the 2002-03 SARS epidemic, with 811 deaths recorded and 37,198 infections.

The World Health Organization (WHO) sent an investigative team of experts to China. Meanwhile, by 10th February 2020, 908 people were reported to have died in China with a total of 40,171 infections. It became the new deadliest day as 97 new deaths were reported that day. However, this record would be broken the next day.

Since the beginning of the menace, President Xi Jinping appeared in public visiting a hospital in Beijing in an attempt to instil confidence in the citizens.

Meanwhile, deaths in China reached 1,016, with 42,638 infections recorded on 11th February 2020. The death toll in mainland China hit 1,113, with 44,653 infections recorded on 12th February.

Death toll in mainland China went up to 1,300, with nearly 60,000 infections recorded on February 13.

China also reported 121 more deaths on 14th February, thus taking the total number across the mainland to nearly 1,400.

February 15 saw the death toll in mainland China surge past 1,500, with 66,492 infections confirmed cases. Meanwhile, the 3rd speech by Chinese President Xi Jinping, published by state media, indicated the government knew about the threat of the virus well before the public alarm was raised.

Meanwhile, death rates kept increasing. By 16th February, authorities reported that 1,665 people had died in mainland China with 68,500 cases of infection reported.

However, by 18th February 2020, China’s daily infection figures drop below 2,000 for the first time since January according to reports. The country’s health commission released a figure showing 72,436 infections on the mainland and 1,868 deaths.

China’s daily infection figures drop below 2,000 for the second straight day on 19 February 2020, with the country’s health commission reporting 74,185 infections on the mainland and 2,004 deaths.

The very next day, China reported the death toll had risen to 2,118 while the total number of cases reached 74,576. The country’s health commission reported that daily infections had dropped to the lowest in almost a month. This data, authorities got by only counting cases confirmed by genetic testing in Hubei, which experts say is more difficult to test.

On 21 February, in mainland China, the death toll reached 2,236 as the confirmed cases of the infection rose above 75,400.

There seemed to be some progress in the containment of the spread of the virus in mainland China as the number of new infections fell significantly with 397 new cases reported on 22nd February.

However, the death toll in China rose to 2,595 among 77,262 confirmed cases by 23 February. China reported that cases continued to increase, with 518 new infections and 71 new deaths confirmed by 24th February.

 

COVID-19 in other parts of Asia

The first death outside of China was reported in the Philippines and the deceased was a Chinese man from Wuhan, the epicentre of the virus. He had died on 2nd February.

On 6th February, authorities in Malaysia reported the first known human-to-human transmission in the country. As of February 12, there were 175 people infected onboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship, docked at Yokohama, the Japanese health ministry said.

On 13th February, the official Korean Central News Agency reported that North Korea had imposed a month-long quarantine on all foreign visitors and others suspected to have COVID-19.

On 16th February, Taiwan recorded its first Coronavirus death of a taxi driver in his 60s. The next day, Japan confirmed 99 new cases of the virus on board the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship.

Iran reported two deaths from the coronavirus just hours after confirming its first cases on 19th February. Meanwhile, Japan confirmed its first death from the virus on the same day.

On 20th February, South Korean authorities reported their first death from the coronavirus. South Korea reported its second death the next day and 100 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus, bringing the total to 204.

By 21st February, Israel reported its first confirmed case of the coronavirus after a woman who returned from a cruise ship tested positive.

On 22nd February, South Korea saw its largest spike in a single day with 229 new cases of the virus.

The same day Iran confirmed a fifth death among 10 new infections. Also, the death rate from the coronavirus kept increasing forcing other neighbouring countries to close their borders by 23rd February.

On 24th February, Kuwait, Bahrain, Iraq, Afghanistan and Oman all reported their first cases of the virus. Also, the number of cases in South Korea spiked to 833 cases with seven deaths.

Meanwhile, on 25th February, Iran’s deputy health minister, who had a day earlier given a press briefing concerning the outbreak, confirmed that he too had coronavirus. The country’s official number of infections stood at 95 cases with 15 deaths.

South Korea’s confirmed that cases had risen to 977 by 25th February.

European and American infections

While European COVID-19 victims started to pop up in Europe around 31st January 2020, they were still relatively few then, compared to China that had over 9,000+ confirmed cases at the time.

Also, there were new cases springing up in places like Australia, Canada, Germany, Japan, Singapore, the US, the UAE and Vietnam by 1st February.

The first case was confirmed in Belgium in a person who was repatriated from Wuhan on 4th February.

The number of people infected with the virus living in Europe had reached 30 by 6th February.

By 14th February, France reported Europe’s first death from the virus. The Chinese man who had died in a hospital in Paris had been an 80-year-old tourist.

The United States started preparation to evacuate its citizens from a cruise ship quarantined at a Japanese dock.

By 20th February, Russia announced a ban on Chinese citizens from entering the country.

In Italy, the region of Lombardy reported the first local transmission of the virus with three new cases bringing the total in the country to six infections on 21st February.

Italy reported its first two deaths on 22nd February. Italian officials confirmed the third death on 23 February. This led the local authorities to end the Venice Carnival early and suspend sports events in an attempt to control the spread of the virus as Italy became Europe’s worst-hit country.

A seventh death was reported in northern Italy on 24th February waking up all of Europe to the reality of the virus. Italy’s number of infected reached 229 by 25 February.

On 26 February, the global death toll neared 2,800 with a total of about 80,000 confirmed infection cases reported globally.

Norway, Romania, Greece, Georgia, Pakistan, North Macedonia and Brazil all detected their first cases of the coronavirus.

By 27 February, Estonia, Denmark, Northern Ireland and the Netherlands reported their first coronavirus cases. The number of infections passed 82,000 worldwide, including more than 2,800 deaths.

Also, Italy, which is the most hit in Europe saw an increase in infections as it leapt to 650, with 3 more deaths thus taking the number of dead people to 17.

On February 28, Lithuania and Wales reported their first coronavirus cases, with Netherlands and Georgia reporting their second cases.

Africa COVID-19 infections and scares

Since the coronavirus began spreading, the African continent had initially been exempted from the epidemic. However, there had been some initial scares.

For example, cases of COVID-19 infection were initially suspected in Ivory Coast, Kenya, Ethiopia and Botswana. However, after several tests, the health experts confirmed that the suspected patients were all negative.

On 14th February, Egypt reported a case of the virus. Yet, this turned out to be negative after other tests.

The first official confirmed case of COVID-19 in Africa was on 28th February 2020. The virus was confirmed in an Italian man who had just returned from Italy to resume work in Lagos, Nigeria. The man tested positive after being in the country for three days.

This debunked the rumour that the virus could not survive the harsh weather condition of Nigeria. However, the states and federal authorities swung into action immediately. The patient was placed under quarantine and other measures to track down those he had been in contact with.

This led to the shutting down and quarantine of the two companies the Italian contract worker had visited. The two companies are Lafarge cement factory in Ogun State and Agip Saipem office in Banana Island.

Is there a cure for the Coronavirus?

In the face of this kind of widespread epidemic, no one is sleeping with their two eyes closed. Thus, the world’s scientific communities have been researching on how to both cure the coronavirus as well as how to stop its spread. It is important that readers understand that in situations like this, rumours of miraculous as well as ridiculous cures would arise.

Therefore, ensure to verify whatever it is you hear first. However, there has been some mild breakthrough in the race to eradicate the coronavirus.

On 19th February, stories made the round that the old malaria drug Chloroquine had some positive effect on COVID-19, the name of the rampaging coronavirus. While scientists and researchers have not anonymously named it ‘the cure’, they all agree that it has some ‘curative effect’.

As Metro explains it:

“… groups of patients administered chloroquine phosphate fared better than those in the trials who hadn’t.”

It further mentioned that such things as their fever and lungs became healthier and some even recovered quicker.

Also, on 28th February 2020, a group of scientists in Israel alleged that they have found the vaccine for the coronavirus. However, they claim that it would take up to three months for it to be ready. They had reportedly tested the vaccine on infected birds and gotten positive reactions.

However, the above vaccine reports have not been confirmed by verified sources yet. Also, you should know that vaccines are used to prevent you from catching the virus in the first place and not to cure it. The best option is to prevent catching the virus in the first place by following published guidelines from health authorities.

Conclusion

More and more details will be provided about the virus in the coming days. One important fact to note is that the world’s best medical minds are concentrated on finding a cure. Until then, stay safe and follow tips to stay in good health.

Also, stay alert and be watchful. Report suspected cases to appropriate health authorities. Stay safe.

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