When asked about the potential spread of the coronavirus or 2019-nCoV, to the United States, President Donald Trump said it would work fine and they will have total control over it. While the President is not wrong, it is true that the country is unprepared though not defenseless for the disease. The coronavirus has originated from Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province in China which is a prominent transportation hub. Wuhan is bigger than New York in terms of area and population. Just like the city in which it broke out, the U.S. is unprepared for the worst.
The Past Experience
The world is not seeing an epidemic for the first time. It has already seen SARS in 2003 and MERS in 2012. Many other and these epidemics have already killed and affected a lot of people and they seem to be attacking once in a decade. Today’s coronavirus is known to be lethal and transmissible – a deadly combination. SARS had spread so fast that it affected 8000 people and killed about 800 in just eight months. It was quite contagious but not so lethal. On the other hand, MERS had killed 850, affecting nearly 2500 which is quite deadly. Talking about the coronavirus of 2019, it is spreading with a speed so high that the rate of confirmed cases increased by 60 percent in a day. The virus has spread out of China and reached Thailand, South Korea, Japan, Singapore and the U.S. It has already affected more than 78,000 people and killed over 2400 and the number is increasing day by day.
The 2019 outbreak of coronavirus has not just threatened global public health but also the global economy. And it is fully up to a powerful country like the United States to utilize resources and knowledge to find a solution that can keep the population protected against further exposure. Ignorance and resistance are enemies to human health just like the virus itself. These traits have proved to be dangerous to humanity in previous instances of AIDS and coronavirus and can do that again. Mother nature warns us from time to time and now is the right time to keep ourselves armed against the upcoming threat.
As China fights with the coronavirus, the economic damage spreads around the world. China’s economic growth will slow down to 4.5 percent in the first quarter of 2020. According to the International Energy Agency, the global demand for oil has been affected greatly because China is the biggest importer of oil. Factory shutdowns resulting in a slowed flow of products from China affect different businesses across the world including big companies like Nissan and Apple. China being the second-largest economy and a big trader, the economic effect of coronavirus threatens global economic growth.
Apple is facing a problem because its manufacturing partner in China is facing a delay as people remain at home due to fear of infection. Many carmaking companies also closed the factories because they could not get parts from China on time. A number of sporting events and trade shows in China and other parts of Asia have been canceled or postponed. The economic effect of the virus outbreak also hit the travel and tourism industries. Resulting from flight cancellations, the global airline revenue falls by $4-5 billion in the first quarter.
Drugs and Treatment
First of all, the focus should be on discovering a drug or a combination of treatments that not only cure people infected with coronavirus but also protects others from infection. Some of the most reputed companies are engaged in finding the treatment and vaccine. These new drugs should be able to work even before the patient knows he is infected. The challenge is to find something that not only treats the infected ones but also protects others. Talking about funding for the medicine, it all comes down to the government to take the initiative. Just like the programs initiated for the treatment of cancer and HIV, the government should introduce co-operations between pharmaceutical companies and laboratories to discover, develop and introduce newer drugs that fight coronavirus. The United States possesses sufficient tools to make this possible. It can successfully prepare to stay protected against the outbreak with proper plans and initiatives.