China has shared the first close-up images of the deadly coronavirus which has killed at least 26 people. The disease has also infected nearly 830 in Wuhan, China.
The Institute of Microbiology at Chinese Academy of Sciences shared the images Friday; as the country grapples with an unprecedented quarantine of over 18 million people.
The Wuhan Coronavirus or 2019-nCoV is closely related to both the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV); as well as the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). Equally important, the disease has so far spread to Vietnam, Thailand, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong; as well as the United States.
Those infected display symptoms ranging from the common cold to severe lung infections.
Meanwhile, current countermeasures, like the wearing of face masks, mass disinfection and temperature screening of travellers; have thus far been unable to stop the spread.
Global coronavirus resource Big Data platform established in China
In order to speed up research into the disease and other coronavirus strains; authorities in China have established a global coronavirus resource big data platform; complete with “electron micrographs, novel coronavirus nucleic acid detection primers and probe sequences.”
By releasing and integrating the genetic information of pathogens; authorities hope to improve early warning and prevention infectious diseases like that in future.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) says the novel coronavirus is not a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).
This was disclosed yesterday, Thursday, January 23, 2020
Several members of the WHO Emergency Committee considered that it was too early to declare the coronavirus PHEIC; given its restrictive and binary nature.
In a statement issued from its headquarters in Geneva; the UN body said the Committee would reconvene in approximately ten days’ time, or earlier should the Director-General deem it necessary. It said the members expressed divergent views on whether this event constitutes a PHEIC or not.