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The COVID-19 (or also called with other name variations as 2019 Novel Coronavirus, 2019-nCoV or informally Wuhan Coronavirus) is a contagious virus that causes respiratory infection. It is the cause of the ongoing worldwide 2019–20 Wuhan coronavirus outbreak which started from the Chinese city of Wuhan in early December 2019.


Virus characteristics[edit]

  • 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.
  • I say "possibly" (for the COVID-19 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 sings of being infected). But if it does, that might explain why the disease is spreading so quickly.
  • 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.
  • Wuhan Coronavirus has three features: it is an RNA virus that mutates easily, it is more contagious than SARS, and it can spread from an asymptomatic person. This means that even someone who has recovered from the virus can transmit it, making it more difficult to curb its spread.
  • Research shows a (COVID-19) virus on a smooth surface survives for several hours. It can survive for days with suitable temperature and humidity. For example, it is suitable for it to live in a 20°C air-conditioned environment or in 40 to 50 percent humidity. Some researches have shown previously discovered coronaviruses can possibly survive for five days.

Evacuations from and travel restrictions within Mainland China[edit]

Virus containment and fighting efforts[edit]

  • At the time of the SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) virus outbreak (in 2002-2003), we (Government of Macau) also did not prohibit the entry of people from Hong Kong and we refused to think of establishing a quota for entries from the neighboring Special Administrative Region for the time being (due to COVID-19 outbreak).
  • From the perspective of continued understanding of the (COVID-19) situation, it is only at this time that everyone realizes it is so dangerous. If we (the Government of Wuhan) knew at first from the virus spread that it would be so serious, finding effective control and prevention methods of course would be good, but the problem is usually we cannot realize the severity from the outset.
  • We (Centers for Disease Control) are warning that anyone who refuses to cooperate with our quarantine officers or is disrespectful toward them (for the examination of COVID-19) will be strictly punished according to the law. Disease prevention is not a game, so we will impose the heaviest punishment for obstructing public officers in discharging their duties.
  • Those (anyone who returns from Wuhan being isolated for 14 days with all necessary medical attention) are the sorts of measures that will protect countries from the introduction of the (COVID-19) virus and onward transmission. There's always a balance between the draconian measures of public health and what people might want to do, and obviously it's regrettable if people who turn out not to have the virus are quarantined unnecessarily.
  • The public has criticised us (Wuhan government) a lot ... why? It was because some of our work was not done well. What have we not done well? At present, the contradiction between supply and demand of hospital beds has remained conspicuous. Honestly, we are in pain and feel regrettable that a lot of the patients who have been confirmed infected or were suspected to have contracted the (COVID-19) coronavirus were unable to receive proper treatment at hospitals. This problem definitely has remained unresolved.

Virus-infected patients[edit]

  • 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.
  • 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 six months, it's impossible to produce a vaccine against the (COVID-19) coronavirus. It takes a year to develop a vaccine. As for Thailand, we have no staff, no people who are experts in this field. But we expect that China will be able to develop a vaccine within one year. The best we can do is to treat patients based on their symptoms and diagnosis, and develop examination methods which are rapid and accurate.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Vaccines for the virus[edit]

  • If everything moves smoothly, it takes 3-6 weeks to get to the point where you can start testing (the vaccine to treat COVID-19), then you look to see if they can raise an immune response, normally in an animal. You won't start to get human studies until about the beginning of the summer, probably July (2020). But, it's a bit of a moveable feast.

Accountability related to the virus outbreak[edit]

Effects of the virus outbreak[edit]

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • There is (currently) indeed a shortage of surgical masks (in New Taipei due to COVID-19 outbreak). There is a lack of transparency on information about mask manufacturers and distribution. The (Republic of China) central government should clearly tell people how many masks each person can purchase.

Individual virus prevention efforts[edit]

  • I don't think there's any need to panic (because of the COVID-19 pandemic). We manage these things the same as we manage influenza. The sensible thing (to do) at this point is to increase awareness of what is going on overseas. We can't treat the (COVID-19) virus at the present time, so what we can do is use simple personal protection and public health interventions ... should it enter New Zealand.
  • No human-to-human transmission of the (COVID-19) novel coronavirus has been reported in the country (Malaysia, as of 2 February 2020), and thus there is no need for the public to panic and start wearing masks. However, those with such symptoms, must wear the masks to prevent infecting others, as it is also the influenza season. What is more important is to keep on washing hands properly using soap.
  • The confirmed local (COVID-19 infection) cases (in Taiwan so far as of 5 February 2020) are mostly people who were infected overseas before returning to Taiwan and the only two indigenous cases are people who were infected by other members of their household. Therefore, the (Central Epidemic Command) center does not recommend foreign nationals traveling in Taiwan wear masks, but they can prepare masks and bring them on their own if they are concerned.

International encouragement[edit]

External links[edit]

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