Coronavirus disease 2019
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The disease was first identified in December 2019 in Wuhan, the capital of China's Hubei province, and has since spread globally, resulting in the ongoing 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic.
- When SARS hit (the Southern China region) 17 years ago (in 2002-2003), Macau was lucky enough that it recorded only one imported case. But now, the (COVID-19) viral pneumonia coincides with the peak domestic travel season for Chinese New Year across China. That huge passenger traffic means the disease could be spread to each of the Chinese province.
- Ho Iat Seng (2020) cited in "Macau multi-stage response to pandemic risk: city chief" on GGR Asia, 23 January 2020.
- At present (26 January 2020), the rate of development of the (COVID-19) epidemic is accelerating. I am afraid that it will continue for some time, and the number of cases may increase.
- Ma Xiaowei (2020) cited in "Wuhan Coronavirus Can Be Infectious Before People Show Symptoms, Official Claims" on Science Alert, 26 January 2020.
- It was important to make the (COVID-19) disease notifiable. Although it did not appear to be as deadly as the previous SARS and MERS strains, there was still much to learn about it.
- Lance Jennings (2020) cited in: "China coronavirus checks: 'Looking for a needle in a haystack'" in RNZ, 27 January 2020.
- I say "possibly" (for the SARS-CoV-2 to more dangerous to humans than the other coronaviruses) because so far, not only do we not know how dangerous it is, we can't know. Outbreaks of new viral diseases are like the steel balls in a pinball machine: You can slap your flippers at them, rock the machine on its legs and bonk the balls to the jittery rings, but where they end up dropping depends on 11 levels of chance as well as on anything you do. This is true with coronaviruses in particular: They mutate often while they replicate, and can evolve as quickly as a nightmare ghoul.
- It's still unclear whether that takes place (that COVID-19 can spread before people show signs of being infected). But if it does, that might explain why the disease is spreading so quickly.
- If the (COVID-19) infected (patient) droplets were sneezed at you by a patient and enters your eyes, they will eventually be washed from your eyes to your nose, as both are connected through what is known as a nasolacrimal duct.
- Paul Kellam (2020) cited in "Medical Experts Claim Wuhan Virus May Be Transmitted Through Your Eyes Or By Touch Alone" on World of Buzz, 31 January 2020.
- China must have realized the epidemic did not originate in that Wuhan Huanan seafood market. The presumed rapid spread of the (COVID-19) virus apparently for the first time from the Huanan seafood market in December (2019) did not occur. Instead, the virus was already silently spreading in Wuhan, hidden amid many other patients with pneumonia at this time of year. The virus came into that marketplace before it came out of that marketplace.
- Daniel Lucey (2020) cited in "Scientists rush to find 'Patient Zero' in a bid to stop the coronavirus" on NZ Herald, 1 February 2020.
- We didn't know until the last 24 hours.
- From observations, the (COVID-19) virus is capable of transmission even during incubation period. Some patients have normal temperatures and there are many milder cases. There are hidden carriers. There are signs showing the virus is becoming more transmissible. These walking "contagious agents" (hidden carriers) make controlling the outbreak a lot more difficult.
- Ma Xiaowei (2020) cited in "5 million left Wuhan before lockdown, 1,000 new coronavirus cases expected in city" on South China Morning Post, 26 January 2020.
- We (France) are going to have patients suspected of having the (COVID-19) virus, there are going to be (more) cases.
- Yazdan Yazdanpanah (2020) cited in: "French carmaker to evacuate expats from virus-hit Chinese city" in Borneo Post Online, 26 January 2020.
- Making it (COVID-19) a notifiable disease would give them (Auckland Regional Public Health Service) more powers to isolate and quarantine people who might have been exposed (to the virus as they enter New Zealand), as well as monitor their health.
- William Rainger (2020) cited in: "China coronavirus checks: 'Looking for a needle in a haystack'" in RNZ, 27 January 2020.
- Fatality rate of the 2019-CoV infection is relatively low, at slightly more than three percent, suggesting the possibility that those who died could have other predispositions. Most (of the patients) would fully recover.
- In general however, those hit by the new (COVID-19) virus are in a less serious condition than with SARS.
- Yazdan Yazdanpanah (2020) cited in: "Here's The Science on How Serious The Wuhan Coronavirus Outbreak Actually Is" in Science Alert, 29 January 2020.
- One thing about this (COVID-19) that's somewhat unprecedented is the speed at which new data is coming out and becoming available for mass consumption. In that article, there's not a lot of detail about when the initial patient returning to China became symptomatic. It's really hard to tell. People don't always accurately report. That's not on purpose or anything, but people aren't so self-aware that they're going to notice a single sneeze, or every little cough, or clearing their throat, or their nose is running and they think it's allergies. There are a lot of reasons why people might not necessarily recognize that they are symptomatic when they actually are.
- Angela Rasmussen (2020) cited in "Talking to a Virologist About How Worried We Should Be About Coronavirus" on Intelligencer, 31 January 2020.
- Our (Government of Hong Kong) primary duty is to care for (COVID-19) patients. Everyone can hold a different political view and different thoughts, as well as different views on the (Hong Kong) government's way of combating the pandemic. But I sincerely hope, amid choppy waters and at a critical moment, we can all put aside our conflicts ... and do our share for patients who need help.
- Anthony Wu (2020) cited in "Hong Kong hospital strike kicks off as top doctor backs mainland China border closure calls amid coronavirus fears" on South China Morning Post, 3 February 2020.
- We have developed an effective treatment plan (to patients contracting COVID-19) based on our experience of dealing with SARS, by employing various life support methods to (achieve) a higher rate of recovery.
- Zhong Nanshan (2020) cited in "China starts clinical trials for new antiviral drug to treat coronavirus" on South China Morning Post, 3 February 2020.
- We need to get a better idea of how many people are discharged from hospital and a better understanding of how many mild cases have been missed (from this COVID-19), while we focused on more severe disease (until this moment (3 February 2020)). When we find that out will depend on China giving us more details, because that's where most cases are, and so far, a decent number of cases outside of China have not seemed as severe.
- This (COVID-19) virus is different from SARS-CoV, which caused severe illness in most infected patients. It appears that many patients have relatively mild illness. These relatively mild cases may recover after one week or so.
- Hitoshi Oshitani (2020) cited in "China’s health officials say priority is to stop mild coronavirus cases from getting worse" on South China Morning Post, 4 February 2020.
- Take a look at the death toll now (as of 5 February 2020 due to the COVID-19 outbreak), there are almost no children. A nine-month-old baby is the youngest known patient, and the baby's still alive. The youngest patients who died are about 30 years old. Most of them have congenital diseases, such as brain disorders, heart diseases, lung diseases, diabetes or cancer. There are patients who are over 80 years old. At first, more than half of them were over 80 years old. Many cases are 89. If you ask me, some 89-year-old people happen to fall and die. So, don't panic about the number of fatalities. A majority of them have congenital diseases, pneumonia or influenza. Their depth of breathing is lower than normal, and there's a possibility that they want to eliminate excess phlegm. This can pose a life-threatening risk. Most fatalities are not young people. There's not much difference from the common influenza. If people who are 89 or 90 years old have influenza, that's not good.
- Yong Poovorawan (2020) cited in "Virologist says measures must be implemented for one year to address coronavirus" on Pattaya Mail, 5 February 2020.
- If people want to pursue accountability (about the lockdown of Wuhan City due to the COVID-19 outbreak and Wuhan City Government below-standard handling of the outbreak) and the public has a strong opinion, we (Zhou Xianwang and Wuhan Communist Party Chief Ma Guoqiang) are willing to step down.
- Zhou Xianwang (2020) cited in "Mayor of Wuhan, epicenter city of coronavirus, offers to resign over outbreak" on New York Post, 27 January 2019.
Effects of the virus outbreakEdit
- Honestly, from the experience of SARS (in 2002-2003), if the (COVID-19 outbreak) situation is so serious, no one will go to a casino (in Macau).
- Ho Iat Seng (2020) cited in "Macau casinos could be closed if risk of Wuhan virus rises: Ho Iat Seng" on Inside Asian Gaming, 23 January 2020.
- We (Government of Macau) don't know if this is the peak of the (COVID-19) disease. I think it could be only after Lunar New Year (CNY) because now people are moving a lot. If there is contagion it is now, during these travels, but maybe the most critical time could be registered after the CNY. That's why we took the hard decision to cancel CNY festivities, to prevent further aggravation of the disease.
- Ho Iat Seng (2020) cited in "Chief Executive advises residents to stay home during CNY or at least wear health masks outside" on Macau Business, 23 January 2020.
- We (Japan) may have more information about the risk of infection and the risk of severity of getting the (COVID-19) virus, so we can prepare. So we can have some precautions for infection control ... but I hope we can conduct the Tokyo Olympics as scheduled.
- Koji Wada (2020) cited in "Japan hopefully has time to build virus defences before Olympics - professor" on The Star Online, 30 January 2020.
- If local (COVID-19) transmission is indeed established, that could be very dangerous, and Hong Kong can become another Wuhan.
- Across the United States, we are seeing workers walk off the job in wildcat strikes in response to the employers’ failure either to shut down the workplace or to make it safe. The strikes are too few to call them a strike wave, but we should be aware that on their own initiative workers are taking what practically is the most powerful action they can: withdrawing their labour. The strikes are taking place in both the private and public sector, in both unionised and non-union workplaces large and small.
- The impact on the (China's) economy (by this COVID-19 outbreak) is gaining weight, especially on transport, tourism, hotels, catering and entertainment. But, the impact will be temporary and will not change the positive foundation of China's economy. Many have tried to estimate the impact (of this COVID-19 outbreak) based on the impact of SARS in 2003, but China's economic power and ability to handle such an outbreak is significantly stronger than in those days.
- Lian Weiliang (2020) cited in "Coronavirus will ‘hit China’s economy but not as much as Sars’" on South China Morning Post, 3 February 2020.
- It was a hard decision (to close casinos in Macau for two weeks after a hotel worker was infected by COVID-19), but we (Government of Macau) must make it for the health of Macau residents. Macau can still withstand economic losses.
- Ho Iat Seng (2020) cited in "Coronavirus: casinos to close in Macau for at least two weeks after hotel worker infected" on South China Morning Post, 4 February 2020.
- Without the mitigation effects offered through quarantine and isolation, the actual progress of the disease in the rest of the world will certainly be much more devastating than the harrowing scenes witnessed to date in China, Europe, and the United States. Moreover, workers involved in informal and precarious labor often live in slums and overcrowded housing — ideal conditions for the explosive spread of the virus.
- Adam Hanieh, This is a Global Pandemic – Let’s Treat it as Such, 27 March 2020, Verso Books
- Social distancing has become the primary strategy to contain the coronavirus outbreak, with countries such as Italy enforcing complete restrictions, and others like India issuing a range of advisories on avoiding non-essential contact, and restricting large gatherings and events. Social media is also abuzz about how to avoid boredom at home. However, there are a variety of occupations, mostly informal, which involve acute social contact and are still running full swing around us.
- Neethi P., How the Coronavirus Outbreak Is Also a Socio-Economic Inequality Issue, 23 March 2020, co-written with Anant Kamath, The Wire
- Pandemics don’t always trigger social unrest, but they can do, by throwing into relief the very inequalities that caused them. That’s because they hit the poor hardest – those in low-paid or unstable employment, who live in crowded accommodation, have underlying health issues, and for whom healthcare is less affordable or less accessible. This was true in the past and remains so today. During the 2009 flu pandemic the death rate was three times higher in the poorest fifth of England’s population than in the richest. Covid-19 is showing no signs of departing from the pattern, which, because of the way the socioeconomic dice fall, also has a racial dimension. But there is something brand new about this pandemic, which has never been seen before in the history of humanity – and that is our unprecedented global experiment in lockdown. These lockdown measures are designed to slow the spread of the disease, relieve the burden on health systems and ultimately save lives – and it looks as if they may be doing that. But they may also be exacerbating social inequalities themselves.
- In India there have been reports of deaths among unemployed migrant workers returning home in search of food; many countries, including the US, have seen workers taking industrial action, and anger has been expressed in rural communities over wealthy city-dwellers retreating to their second homes for the duration. Governments should keep an eye on these developments, in weighing up when and how to lift the lockdown, because even if it’s difficult to argue today that the cure is worse than the disease, the cure might provoke an entirely different malaise – and history teaches us that no society is immune to that. That’s the symptomatic treatment. In the long term, of course, they – and we – should address the dreadful inequality in our societies, which this pandemic is picking apart with a lethal scalpel.