It feels as though we’re living in a real-life Pandemic movie as the outbreak of the COVID19 seems to get worse every day and everyone’s panic-stockpiling on household items, self-isolating and keeping themselves quarantined. Moreover, the media and news constantly bombard the public with more statistics which leads to more paranoia and fear.
However, amidst all this chaos, there is still some good news to be shared.
According to the World Health Organization last week in China, more than 70% of the 80,000 reported COVID-19 cases have recovered and been discharged from the hospitals.
Last Update: 19 March 2020
Source: China’s National Health Commission
La Serenissima’s hundreds of canals have been emptied of speeding motorboat taxis, transport and tourist boats. The chugging Vaporetti water buses now run on a reduced timetable. Even most of the gondolas are anchored. This brings about less pollution, clearer waters, as well as fishes, ducks and even dolphins, spotted swimming through the canals.
The country of 50 million appears to have greatly slowed its epidemic; it reported only 98 new cases as of 22nd March down from 909 at its peak on 29th February. South Korea had tested over 295,000 people for the coronavirus, reporting over 8,500 infections with 81 deaths. In total, the country has tested over 5,000 people per million citizens, which represents the highest testing rate in the world.
Lockdown instructions by the China government to curb and control the spread of COVIF-19 has brought upon a significant reduction to carbon emissions from cars on the road as well as from factories. In some places, this has resulted in clearer skies. the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) reported that air pollution –mainly nitrogen dioxide emitted from burning fossil fuels – had decreased by 30 percent in China over the last month.
A Dutch news website, NL Times, reports a team of ten scientific researchers from the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam and Utrecht University say they are the first in the world to discover an antibody capable of fending off infection by the Covid-19 variant of coronavirus. Their discovery may lead to a stepping stone to develop a vaccine for the COVID-19 as well as home-test kits for people to test themselves at home for the presence of the virus.
Scientists at the Biological Research Institute are making significant breakthroughs in understanding coronavirus, but a long process of pre-clinical and clinical trials is to follow. Manfred Green, a former vaccine evaluator for Israel’s Health Ministry warned that a proper vaccine development process could take up to 18 months. Green told The Times of Israel, that it could be “very risky” to rush this process, (here).
Experts estimate that Italy’s ageing population may correlate to the deadly nature of the disease within its borders. According to Italy’s national health institute, the average age of those who have died was 81, and many of the deceased had preexisting health conditions. Only one in five coronavirus patients is between 19 and 50 years old, making the older population significantly more impacted by the virus in Italy.
One possible factor for this disparity is that the mortality rate of COVID-19 is significantly higher among the elderly and those with pre-existing health conditions.“If we break it down by age group, our death rates are similar, or even lower, than those reported in China,” Giovanni Rezza, the chief epidemiologist at Italy’s national health institute, said according to The Wall Street Journal. “For better or for worse, we have a very old population.”
Italy has put new measures into place in order to mitigate the spread of the virus – which has infected over 110,000 people globally – including placing the entire country on lockdown and shutting schools, museums, and other public places.
Rihanna, Rita Ora, NBA Stars, Justin Bieber and many other celebs are doing their part in aiding the novel coronavirus relief efforts. Donations in the form of funds and food, many celebrities are using their platform for the greater good.