As the death toll from coronavirus mounts, the public health response is ramping up.
In Seattle, at the University of Washington’s (UW) School of Medicine, researchers at the university’s virology division are busy developing a diagnostic test they hope will be able to detect the virus in possible carriers, in the event that virus continues to spread.
“Right now we don’t perform clinical testing because that’s supposed to be done by public health authorities but in the case that there is more transmission, we have to be ready for that because it does take some time to get these things up and running,” explained Alex Greninger, an assistant professor at the virology division of UW.
“We can ramp this up relatively quickly in sort of weeks to about a month. We’re ready for these things all the time. We had to do this with Zika, we had to do this for enterovirus d68. We’ve had to do this with 2009 H1N1,” he added.
The test, which scientists are hoping will be ready in a matter of weeks, is based on the latest genomic information about the emerging virus.
As the virus spreads, the White House on Tuesday opted not to suspend flights from China to the United States as a way to deal with the coronavirus outbreak, sources briefed on the matter told Reuters.
The Trump administration told U.S. airlines after a meeting that it was not taking the step of canceling flights, airline and government officials told Reuters.
The administration is holding daily meetings on the coronavirus and has considered a wide range of potential options. Two U.S. officials said the administration had not taken any options off the table, including a temporary ban on flights, if public health data supported the move.
The coronavirus that originated in the city of Wuhan has killed 132 people in China and spread across the world, rattling financial markets.
The Centers for Disease Control said on Tuesday the Trump administration was expanding screening for the virus at 20 U.S. airports. (Reuters)
Many more medical teams from across China have been dispatched to Wuhan City, central China’s Hubei Province, to fight against the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak.
The first team of northwest China’s Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, consisting of 135 medical staff members from eight hospitals, left for Wuhan on Tuesday.
The first medical team of northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region is composed of 142 medical workers. As many of them have participated in the prevention and control of the SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndromes) and earthquake relief, this team is rich in emergency rescue experience.
North China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region dispatched a total of 139 medical workers to Wuhan. They left by air on Tuesday afternoon.
“All of us volunteered to go for the fight, as epidemic control is an order. In particular, the severe patients need medical personnel most, so it is incumbent upon us to do so,” said Gong Mei, a chief physician of the Critical Care Medicine Department of the Inner Mongolia People’s Hospital.
Many provincial level regions sent their second batch of medical teams to Wuhan on Tuesday, including east China’s Shanghai Municipality and Shandong Province, southwest China’s Sichuan Province and south China’s Guangdong Province.
The second medical team from Shanghai consists of 146 members, and they left Shanghai for Wuhan by charted plane on Tuesday afternoon.
“I will tell my family the exciting news after I come back. I have not dared to tell them now for fear that they would be worried about me,” said Xiao Wuqiang, a doctor of the Emergency Department in the Shanghai Tongji Hospital.
For the sake of transport security, the China Eastern Airlines has set up seven special counters to transport medical materials onto the plane in an efficient and fast way.
A total of 150 medical workers from Guangyuan City, Zigong City and Suining City gathered at Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport on Tuesday. They are the second medical team of Sichuan to Wuhan.
In addition to personal luggage, the team also carried medical supplies including masks, gloves, isolation suits and medicines.
When they arrive in Wuhan, they will be deployed according to the local government to combat the epidemic.
Shandong sent 138 medical workers in its second medical team to Wuhan.
“After all, I have been doing this for more than 20 years and I have some clinical experience. I’m aware of the risks, but it is time for us to consider for others,” said Han Weihua, head nurse of the Respiratory Severe Treatment Department in the Taian City Central Hospital.
The second team from Guangdong consists of 147 members, and they received training before leaving for Wuhan, so as to keep them safe on the front line.
Filipino fans painted a giant mural of late basketball star Kobe Bryant together with his daughter Gianna inside a neighborhood basketball court in Taguig City on Tuesday (January 28) as a tribute to the late sportsman.
Bryant and his daughter were among the nine passengers killed in a helicopter crash in the Santa Monica foothills near Calabasas, California, United States on Sunday (January 26).
Fans painted the picture to pay tribute to Bryant, both as an athlete and as a father.
They started painting the mural on Monday and completed it overnight.
Basketball is one of the Philippines’ most popular sports, with makeshift courts popping up appearing in many neighborhoods and children frequently seen playing on the streets.
Bryant rocketed to fame as an 18-year-old rookie and played 20 years for the Los Angeles Lakers. Nicknamed the “Black Mamba”, he was named in the NBA all-star team 18 times and won five NBA championships.
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