The outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) around the world has brought in fear and panic to many especially as the negative news outweighs the positive.
In today’s edition, Celebritiesbuzz.com.gh has curated some of the good news that has not received enough reportage as far as the spread of the virus is concerned.
“Plasma from newly recovered patients from Covid -19 can treat others infected by Covid-19.”
NBC News reported that researchers at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore hope that the answer to treatment will lie in the plasma of people who have recovered from the coronavirus. They are looking at harvesting virus-fighting antibodies from the blood.
This method of treatment is being researched in several countries.
“I’M AN INFECTIOUS DISEASE DOCTOR WHO IS INTERESTED IN HISTORY, I KNEW THE HISTORY OF WHAT WAS DONE IN THE EARLY 20TH CENTURY WITH EPIDEMICS. THEY DIDN’T HAVE VACCINES THEN, THEY DIDN’T HAVE ANY DRUGS THEN — JUST LIKE THE SITUATION, WE FACE NOW. BUT PHYSICIANS THEN KNEW THAT, FOR CERTAIN CONDITIONS, YOU COULD TAKE THE BLOOD OF THE IMMUNE AND USE IT TO PREVENT DISEASE OR TREAT THOSE WHO BECAME ILL.” – DR. ARTURO CASADEVALL, CHAIR OF THE MOLECULAR MICROBIOLOGY AND IMMUNOLOGY DEPARTMENT AT THE JOHNS HOPKINS BLOOMBERG SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH.
The researchers shared their paper on the process in the Journal of Clinical Investigation last week.
“All 7 patients who were getting treated for at Safdarjung hospital in New Delhi have recovered.”
The Hindu reported that the seven have recovered but that they have not yet been released. A total of 15 people tested positive, so it is good to see that nearly half have recovered. The hospital has 100 isolation beds available. Thankfully, they have not filled even a quarter of the available beds!
“Tulsa County’s first positive COVID-19 case has recovered. This individual has had two negative tests, which is the indicator of recovery.”
Similar to the cases in Maryland as listed above, the same has occurred in Tulsa, USA. Oklahoma News 4 shared the news last week.
“A San Diego biotech company is developing a Covid-19 vaccine in collaboration with Duke University and National University of Singapore.”
Biospace shared the news about the collaboration between Arcturus Therapeutics and Duke-NUS Medical School.
“DUKE-NUS HAS BEEN ON THE FRONT LINES IN THE FIGHT AGAINST COVID-19, DEVELOPING THE FIRST SEROLOGICAL TESTS FOR COVID-19 AND WAS AMONG THE FIRST GROUPS TO ISOLATE AND CULTURE THE VIRUS.
THE PARTNERSHIP WITH ARCTURUS THERAPEUTICS COMBINES COMPLEMENTARY STRENGTHS AS WE WORK TOGETHER TO FIGHT THIS GLOBAL OUTBREAK,” SAID PROFESSOR THOMAS M. COFFMAN, DEAN OF DUKE-NUS MEDICAL SCHOOL.
“A network of Canadian scientists are making excellent progress in Covid-19 research.”
The network of Canadian researchers is from Ontario and has managed to isolated and grow copies of the coronavirus as reported by the Montreal Gazette. They have isolated the specific agent responsible for the outbreak of COVID-19.
The isolation of the agent will help researchers in Canada and across the world develop better diagnostic testing, treatments, and vaccines, and to gain a fuller understanding of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).
“3 Maryland coronavirus patients fully recovered; able to return to everyday life.”
Fox 5 reported the good news of the three patients. Montgomery County’s Chief Health Officer Dr. Travis Gayles confirmed the patients were a couple in their 70’s and a woman in her 50’s.
The three patients were the first to test positive for the virus in Maryland, USA. Officials say that the community is remaining on high alert.
“Scientists in Israel likely to announce the development of a coronavirus vaccine.”
The Economic Times reported that the announcement was due, but it has not been made so far. Scientists have, however, made a few strides in understanding the biological mechanism and qualities of the virus.
The Defence Ministry weighed in on the chatter and stated that all processes and plans were being followed and that things like this take time. The Ministry addressed the claims made by Israeli Daily Ha’aretz.
“THERE HAS BEEN NO BREAKTHROUGH IN THE EFFORTS OF THE BIOLOGICAL INSTITUTE TO FIND A VACCINE FOR THE CORONAVIRUS OR TO DEVELOP TESTING KITS.
THE INSTITUTE’S WORK IS CONDUCTED ACCORDING TO AN ORDERLY WORK PLAN AND IT WILL TAKE TIME. IF AND WHEN THERE WILL BE SOMETHING TO REPORT, IT WILL BE DONE IN AN ORDERLY FASHION”, – DEFENCE MINISTRY
“THE BIOLOGICAL INSTITUTE IS A WORLD-RENOWNED RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT AGENCY, WHICH RELIES ON EXPERIENCED RESEARCHERS AND SCIENTISTS WITH GREAT KNOWLEDGE AND QUALITY INFRASTRUCTURES. THERE ARE NOW MORE THAN 50 EXPERIENCED SCIENTISTS WORKING AT THE INSTITUTE ON RESEARCHING AND DEVELOPING A MEDICAL REMEDY FOR THE VIRUS,”
“Italy is hit hard, experts say, only because they have the oldest population in Europe.”
Sardinia, Italy is classed as a Blue Zone, this means the island has nearly ten times more centenarians per capita than the U.S. However, the island is somewhat isolated, so they have had very few coronavirus cases compared to the rest of the country. American-born nurse Tanya Castagna, spoke to the Baltimore Sun saying the hospital where she works has only had 84 cases since the outbreak.
The Daily Mail reported that more than a quarter of Italy’s population is above the age of 65, thus making the country more vulnerable to widespread infection.
“ITALY HAS THE BIGGEST POPULATION OF ELDERLY PEOPLE IN EUROPE, WITH ALMOST A QUARTER OF PEOPLE (22 percent) AGED 65 OR OLDER.
AND THE MEDIAN AGE – THE MIDDLE OF THE AGE RANGE – IS 46.5 YEARS OLD, ACCORDING TO THE CIA – THE FIFTH HIGHEST IN THE WORLD.
FOR COMPARISON, THE UK’S MEDIAN AGE IS 40.6 (18 percent AGED OVER 65) AND THE US’S IS 38.5 (17 percent OVER 65).”
“Good news from South Korea, where the number of new cases is declining.”
Fun fact, South Korea has also implemented drive-through testing! But aside from that, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) reported more recoveries than new cases last week.
News Week reported that the country advised its citizens to continue their social distancing and self-isolation despite the drop in new infections.
“We assess that we’ve put out a big fire but cannot lower our guard yet,” Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon told a briefing, according to Reuters.
The ScienceMag said the sharp drop was because South Korea learned its lessons from the MERS outbreak in 2015. That fighting the previous outbreak meant they were more prepared for this one.
“Cleveland Clinic developed a COVID-19 test that gives results in hours, not days.”
The Cleveland Clinic created an online option for people to speak to their doctors and discuss potential coronavirus infections. The clinic also created a drive-thru system which has seen more people get tested via nasal swobs. After consulting a doctor about symptoms online, they are given the go-ahead to get tested at the drive-through facility.
Fox 8 News shared that there are talks of a second drive-thru testing facility to be established.
The clinic has, however, said they didn’t develop the test. They have just worked in-house to get faster results. Daily they can do 500 tests but hope to do 1000 in a week.
It seems the only stories about the coronavirus infection in Ghana and other parts of reportage as the world grapple to with the pandemic.
“Apple reopens all 42 China stores.”
After having closed all stores for over a month, the tech company felt it is once again safe enough and have opened their stores in China.
BBC reported that while the stores are open, they are operating on special business hours. Company representatives initially spoke with Reuters, informing them the stores would open on Friday the 13th of March.
“A 103-year-old Chinese grandmother has made a full recovery from COVID-19 after being treated for six days in Wuhan, China.”
Daily Mail and The Independent along with a handful of other international publications, reported about Zhang Guangfen’s recovery. The 103-year-old was mostly healthy, having only mild chronic bronchitis as an underlying health concern. The grandmother is the oldest person to recover from the deadly disease that we know of so far.
“Researchers of the Erasmus Medical Center claim to have found an antibody against coronavirus.”
The word to note here is “claim”, the researchers have urged the public to be cautiously optimistic about this. Reported by the Dutch News, the research needs to be sent for peer review, and as of now, they can only speculate if it could work on humans.
Once this process has been completed, the researchers will need to find a large pharmaceutical to buy the antibody and mass-produce it.
“Doctors in India have been successful in treating Coronavirus. Combination of drugs used: Lopinavir, Retonovir, Oseltamivir along Chlorphenamine. They are going to suggest the same medicine globally.”
India had great success in treating people with the virus. Using a combination of drugs, they have found success. The drugs are used for anti-HIV and malaria. The Economic Times in India reported the success with Medical and Health Chief Secretary saying:
“Their symptoms were flu-like so they were initially given anti-malaria and anti-swine flu drugs,”
“All this while, our doctors were in touch with the Indian Council of Medical Research and the Drug Controller General of India. Since the structure of coronavirus is similar to that of HIV to some extent, so they tried a combination of the two anti-HIV drugs,”
“It appears it (the combination of drugs) is working because three patients have recovered. Good thing is that all three patients are elderly and the successful result of the drug on patients of such age is a big thing,” he said.
TechStartUp reported on an academic study that was launched and is showing similar results using anti-malaria medications.
“China has closed down its last coronavirus hospital. Not enough new cases to support them.”
Both the Bangkok Post and New York Post shared the good news about the last temporary hospitals being closed. This was done because the country’s overall new-infection rate is so low, their established hospitals can cope.
While the temporary hospitals have been close, the city of Wuhan is still under lockdown.