Things to Know About the Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Updated March 18, 2020, Wednesday
The globe has been warned of this coronavirus disease. Since the outbreak of the said virus, many things had changed.
Coronavirus Disease affected not only the lifestyle of people. It also affects the economy, society, and culture affected around the globe.
All health agencies are doing their best to find out its origin, and how to treat the infected people.
They are making their move to reach out to people and help them by educating how to prevent the virus.
Let’s take a deeper knowledge of what Coronavirus Disease 2019 is, and what it can do to us.
Table of Contents
What is Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)?
Coronavirus is known before as a novel coronavirus (nCoV). Now it changed into coronavirus disease 2019 abbreviated as COVID-19.
According to research, the virus is almost the same as MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV.
Both are of a severe virus while coronavirus is mild but spreads faster.
It ranges from a common cold and becomes more severe if the infected person has poor health.
The said virus has never been found in humans and it is zoonotic. This means that it can transfer between animals and people.
Several known coronaviruses are circulating in animals but not yet infected any humans.
Where did Coronavirus come from and how did it start?
Chinese scientists did deep research to find out what animal is the carrier of the virus.
The research made shows that it could be the ‘ant-eating Pangolins’. The basic genetic analyses of it were the expert’s basis for the research.
but the said research does not yet prove. It is still a contender, but they have to dig-in to the data to study more.
How does coronavirus transmit?
Coronavirus disease or COVID-19 is a new illness. The transmission of the said virus from person-to-person is still said to be unknown. But the experts are doing their best to know it.
Viruses that are the same with a cough might spread through cough droplets. It does not prove yet if it can spread through things like packages or foods.
But, researchers believe that the virus transmitted through fluids in our respiratory system.
It could also spread through sneezing without covering the mouth. It could disperse droplets into the air.
Also, touching or shaking hands with a person who might be infected by the virus can transfer the virus.
There’s also a virus that can spread through contact with feces. This virus is the Feline Coronavirus or FCoV.
But the case is still unclear if it can be applied to human coronaviruses.
People who are most likely at risk are young children, people aged 65 years or older, and pregnant women.
What are the Symptoms of COVID-19?
Symptoms of coronavirus disease are colds, cough, high fever, and shortness of breath.
It also includes runny nose, fatigue, and sore throat. But it doesn’t mean that if you have this illness, you already have the virus.
The symptoms usually set in from two to four days after infected by the COVID-19. All are mild, but it may vary from person-to-person. For some form of virus, it could be fatal.
In some cases, the virus can cause pneumonia. In the most severe cases, it can lead to organ failure. Since it is viral pneumonia, antibiotics are no help for it.
Coronavirus is of different levels in which antiviral drugs for flu will not work. Only the strength of a person’s immune system can help us recover from COVID-19. Patients who died of coronavirus are all in poor health conditions.
How does coronavirus disease is treated?
As of today, there’s still no specific medicine or vaccine for coronavirus disease 2019. Yet, there are ways to help the body relieve symptoms.
It is mentioned that only people with strong immunity can recover from COVID-19.
You better eat foods that will help you boost your immune system or drink vitamins.
If it’s a severe case, the treatment will be of high care including treatment to support the vital organs.
How to prevent Coronavirus Disease 2019?
Coronavirus Disease 2019 cases in the Philippines is now increasing. It’s a red flag to all Filipinos.
To help us avoid getting infected, here are some ways to prevent COVID-19:
If possible, people should avoid going to crowded places and contact with sick people. Avoid going to markets and places where there are live or dead animals handled.
Do the general rules on hand hygiene and food hygiene.
Do the proper hand wash with soap and water.
Use an alcohol-based disinfectant solution (60% alcohol). Before you eat, after you use the toilet, and/or after any contact with animals. If possible, avoid contact with droppings. Do these often for at least 20 seconds.
Face masks can help us prevent infection from sick people. But, it doesn’t give the assurance to prevent protecting uninfected people.
Help boost your immune system to fight against the virus.
The Philippines amidst Coronavirus Disease 2019
The pandemic outbreak had affected thousands of people. Aside from humans, COVID-19 affected the country’s economy and society.
Philippines’ Number of Cases
People are now alarmed due to the increase in affected individuals.
Last January 30, 2020, the first case of coronavirus happened.
It was confirmed that there were two infected persons. One of them is a 38-year old woman who arrived from Wuhan.
Later, the Philippines has the first death record outside China last February 1, 2020.
More two cases of COVID-19 followed last March 7, then increased into six which includes one death.
As of March 9, infected patients in the Philippines are now totaled into 24.
By March 11, the number increased to 33. Out of 33, two patients are fully recovered, while one patient is in serious status.
Days passed and the number of cases jumped quickly.
March 14, the Department of Health reported 13 new cases. To total, the Philippines has now 111 cases. By Saturday, they reported an eight COVID-19 death record.
As of March 19, 2020, 13:40 GMT, the Philippines has now 217 total cases. With 17 deaths, eight fully recovered, and one critical. The rest active cases are under validation.
The Philippines government declared a health emergency a week ago. This is because of the increasing number of infected people.
March 16, 2020, the Philippine government declared the COVID-19 alert system into RED Sublevel 2. The said level means there’s already one confirmed local transmission of COVID-19.
The government will release funds to Local Government Units (LGUs) and healthcare officials. This is in case there will be a report of another COVID-19 case.
Philippines’ Economy Growth
The spread of the virus is now hitting every nation’s economy.
Years between 2010 and 2018, the economic growth of the Philippines sustained at 6.3%.
But in H2 2019, it went down to 5.5%. For the full year of 2019, the World Bank estimated economic growth of 5.8%.
The estimation is expected to change when coronavirus hits. Because of the pandemic, it is expected to lower down the economic growth in the year 2020.
China is the Philippines’ top trading partner and the biggest importer in the country.
According to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), the total trade of China is 18.8%.
The import account is approximately 20% of goods from China and is followed by Korea and Japan which is at 10% each.
The Central Bank of the Philippines noted that the COVID-19 will give a big impact on the economy.
Philippines’ Tourism affected by Coronavirus (COVID-19)
The tourism industry of the Philippines is the major contributor to the economy. It contributed 12.7% in the year 2018.
While in the first ten months of 2019, seven million foreign tourists visited the country. This is according to PSA records.
The majority of the tourist population recorded were Chinese tourists. There’s a total of 1.49 million Chinese tourists visited the Philippines.
The said report is according to the Department of Tourism (DOT).
The tourism official also expected to attract four million Chinese tourists in 2022. This is before the COVID-19 outbreak.
Since the virus cannot be contained, other countries already closed borders with China.
Many had banned travels. The way that can prevent people from infecting people.
The same as the Philippines. It banned travels from China, Hongkong, and Macau.
Philippine Government: Enhanced Community Quarantine
President Rodrigo Duterte addressed the nation about the COVID-19 outbreak last March 12, 2020.
During the address, President Duterte declared a “general community quarantine” in the National Capital Region. It will take effect from March 15 until April 14.
The quarantine will affect on March 15 until April 14, 2020.
As explained by Executive Secretary Salvador on media, community quarantine has two levels.
The first level is the “general community quarantine” in which people are still free to move. But it is only limited to access the necessities and work.
The uniformed personnel and quarantine officers will also be present on checkpoints.
The second level is the “enhanced community quarantine”. This state is similar to the total lockdown of the community.
During this period, the government will implement a home quarantine to all households. There will be a suspension of transportation. Also, they will impose regulations on food and health services.
Moreover, there will be intensive uniformed personnel to enforce quarantine measures.
Before quarantine took effect, the Local Government Units in Metro Manila implemented curfews. The curfew hours will start from 8 pm to 5 am.
President Duterte said that the land, domestic air, and sea travel will be closed. But there are some exemptions.
Ninoy Aquino International Airports will continue to operate during the quarantine period. But there are restrictions.
The public transportation will still operate during the period.
This includes LRT, MRT, and PNR. But all must follow the “social distancing guidelines”.
The government offices will continue to operate as long as they maintain the skeletal workforce.
Yet, gatherings including church masses and classes in all levels are all suspended. The suspension will be until April 12.
The lives of Filipino’s are at stake that’s why the government needs the cooperation of all. Also, to understand the reason for doing this. It will be a disaster if the government will delay these measures.
Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19
What if I have come with a contact who has coronavirus? What should I do?
Health experts working and examining people who have been contacted by people who have coronavirus.
If you have been in close contact with an infected person, you can have COVID-19 lab testing.
You can do self-monitoring. And if you have the symptoms, consult any of the health centers or rural health units.
Is it risky to travel? What if I traveled from countries with COVID-19 cases?
If you plan to travel, better to get medical advice first. If you have traveled from affected countries in the last 14 days, do self-monitoring.
If you experience symptoms similar to COVID-19, contact a healthcare specialist and undergo lab tests.
You should avoid contact with other people until you have contacted a healthcare specialist.
Can we get the virus from our pets?
There is no evidence that pets can be infected with coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
If you have contact with your pets, wash your hands with soap and water after. Or use alcohol if you don’t have soap.
It is better to do this to protect us against common viruses that can pass between us humans and pets.
Is it true that face masks can protect us against COVID-19?
Wearing a mask can help reduce the risk of spreading the virus.
But it does not prove yet if it is effective in preventing us from coronavirus.
But in some cases, wearing face masks are riskier. It’s because of the wrong sense of security and it increases contact between our hands, mouth, and eyes.
Will I get the virus from food?
There’s still no evidence that we can get the virus from food. What we should do is to always wash our hands in soap and water or use alcohol/sanitizers before and after we eat.