Fighting Coronovirus: China to build a 1,000 bedded hospital in 10 days
Beijing: To treat patients at the epicentre of a deadly coronavirus outbreak that has stricken hundreds of people in the country, the China government has decided to build a second hospital in Wuhan city within 10 days. The hospital will have a capacity of 1,000 beds spread over 25,000 square metres (270,000 square feet)
The fast-spreading virus continues to wreak havoc in the country and abroad with 41 people dead and more than 1,300 infected, dampening the Chinese New Year celebrations. The confirmed cases for the first time crossed the 1,000 marks and rose sharply to 1,287 as of Friday with 237 people in critical condition battling for their lives in China, the National Health Commission said recently, reports PTI
Almost all provinces, including Beijing, are reporting a steady rise in the number of cases mostly of people who travelled from Wuhan, the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak. The pneumonia situation had resulted in 41 deaths, including 39 in central China''s Hubei province and one in north-eastern province Heilongjiang. Additionally, a total of 1,965 suspected cases have also been reported, the health commission said
The city of more than 11 million people has been centralising its treatment of the new virus by isolating patients in 61 clinics and designated hospitals. As reports surfaced of bed shortages in hospitals designated to deal with the outbreak, the government decided to build another 1,300-bed makeshift hospital in Wuhan in the next 15 days in addition to the 1,000-bed hospital being built in the city in 10 days, state-run People''s Daily reported. The new facility is aimed at "alleviating the shortage of medical treatment resources and improving the ability to care for patients", adds AFP,,
The feverish pace at which the hospitals are being built indicates that China apparently is preparing to treat far more patients considering the speed at which the virus is spreading.
The virus has spread to Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Nepal, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, Vietnam and the United States as of now.
40 military doctors were being brought in to help with intensive care at the Wuhan Pulmonary Hospital. Also, China''s National Health Commission has dispatched 1,230 medical staff to Wuhan to combat the novel coronavirus outbreak in the region.
The city is currently under lockdown.
The virus has triggered a cause of concern for India too as many of the 700 odd Indian students studying in universities of Wuhan and Hubei provinces are still stuck up there. The Indian Embassy has established hotlines to keep close contact with them.
At present, there is no cure for the virus which has pneumonia-like symptoms and is contagious among humans.
Travel advisory to travellers visiting China:
Travellers to China should follow simple public health measures at all times as under:
- Observe good personal hygiene
- Practice frequent handwashing with soap
- Follow respiratory etiquettes - cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing
- Avoid close contact with people who are unwell or showing symptoms of illness, such as cough, runny nose etc.
- Avoid contact with live animals and consumption of raw/undercooked meats
- Avoid travel to farms, live animal markets or where animals are slaughtered
- Wear a mask if you have respiratory symptoms such as cough or runny nose
All travellers to China (in particular Wuhan city) to monitor their health closely.
If you feel sick and have fever and cough:
- Cover your mouth while coughing or sneezing
- Don't plan travels if sick
- Seek medical attention promptly
If you feel sick on flight, while traveling back to India:
- Inform the airlines crew about illness
- Seek mask from the airlines crew
- Avoid close contact with family members or fellow travelers
- Follow the directions of airline crew while disembarking
If you feel sick on flight or at the time of disembarkation:
- Report to airport health authorities/immigration
- Follow the direction of the airport health officer
If you feel sick within a span of one month after return from China
- Report the illness to the nearest health facility and also inform the treating doctor regarding your travel history.
Following is the information on how the disease spreads and what the symptoms are.
The coronavirus (CoV) is a large family of viruses that causes illnesses ranging from the common cold to acute respiratory syndromes, but the virus that has killed four people in China is a novel strain not seen before.
Common symptoms of the novel coronavirus (nCoV) strain, which has infected more than 300 people since the outbreak in Wuhan in December, include respiratory symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said.
In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure, and even death.
According to the WHO, the CoV is a large family of viruses that cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV).
"Initial available data indicates that the novel Coronavirus-2019 (2019-nCoV) appears to cause less mortality than SARS CoV and MERS CoV. The disease manifestation ranges from asymptomatic to severe," G Arunkumar, director of the Manipal Institute of Virology, told PTI.
"As per the available limited information, initial transmission appears to be zoonotic origin, though the source is yet be identified. There is report of human to human transmission in the press but needs to be confirmed by authentic sources," he said.
The discovery of a novel strain of the virus in China has compelled nations to quarantine passengers from the country and issue travel advisories, while prompting the WHO to convene an emergency meet on the matter.
Countries around the world have sounded an alert following the confirmation of the first case of human-to-human transmission of the deadly infectious disease.
Cases have been detected in Thailand, Japan and South Korea.
India has instructed screening of travellers from China at airports in Delhi, Mumbai, and Kolkata via thermal scanners.
The Emergency Committee on the novel #coronavirus (2019-nCoV) will ascertain whether the outbreak constitutes a public health emergency of international concern, and what recommendations should be made to manage it, WHO tweeted on Tuesday ahead of the meeting.
How are coronoviruses spread?
Coronaviruses are zoonotic, meaning they are transmitted between animals and people, according to the WHO.
Several known coronaviruses are circulating in animals that have not yet infected humans.
On December 31, 2019, the WHO China Country Office was informed of mysterious cases of pneumonia detected in Wuhan City in China's Hubei Province.
The novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) was identified as the causative agent by Chinese authorities on January 7.
The WHO has offered guidance to countries on how they can prepare for it, including monitoring the sick, and treating patients.
This includes protocols for testing samples, treating patients, controlling infection in health centres, maintaining the right supplies, and communicating with the public about this new virus.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), human coronaviruses most commonly spread from an infected person to others through the air by coughing and sneezing, close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands.
The viruses can also spread by touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your hands, the CDC said.
In pregnant women, the more severe versions of MERS and SARS coronaviruses can be serious. According to a case study published in 2014 in The Journal of Infectious Diseases, a woman infected with MERS had a stillbirth.
Till date, there is no vaccine to protect against this family of viruses.
However, based on currently available information, the WHO does not recommend any restriction on travel or trade.
Countries are encouraged to continue strengthening their preparedness for health emergencies in line with the international health regulations, the WHO said in a statement.
It said standard recommendations to prevent infection spread include regular hand washing, covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, thoroughly cooking meat and eggs.
WHO also advises that people should avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.