SARS virus in 2002-03 had caused 774 deaths worldwide and was labeled as “pandemic” by the World Health Organization (WHO). With more than 900 deaths in Mainland China alone, Coronavirus has surpassed the damage done by SARS. The total confirmed cases of Coronavirus infection in China has reached an alarming figure of 40,171. With a single-day peak of about 3,900 people infected on February 5, 2020, had shocked the world! 91 more deaths have been recorded in the epicenter of the outbreak, Hubei. These data are in confirmation with the National Health Commission of China.
Director-General of WHO Mr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus confirmed that an expert team has left for Mainland China on 9th February. The expert team is headed by an emergency veteran, Dr. Bruce Aylward, who has handled and controlled several similar emergencies in the past. Dr. Bruce is well known in the medical fraternity for his expertise in the control of epidemics similar to SARS and Coronavirus. The WHO has said that the Coronavirus is stabilizing but has cautioned that the toll figures may shoot up. Michael Ryan, who heads the WHO’s Health Emergencies Program, has said that the stable period of the outbreak may be a reflection of the control measures.
The situation in Hubei, the epicenter of the outbreak is worse. The city has been locked down by the Chinese Government and the residents are facing problems of basic supplies and other facilities. There is a wave of widespread anger and dissatisfaction amongst citizens regarding the crisis control mechanism of their government. Citizens have been directed by the Government of China to wear masks in public.