The coronavirus outbreak in Malaysia and globally is getting more critical. Many world leaders and countries are deeply concerned by the alarming levels of spread and severity. The World Health Organization (WHO), who has been assessing this outbreak around the clock, declared that coronavirus (COVID-19) can be characterized as a pandemic!
- What is PANDEMIC?!
- What Are The Symptoms of Coronavirus?
- What Is The Current Status of Coronavirus in Malaysia?
- Is Coronavirus Curable?
- Who is at Most Risk to Get Infected by Coronavirus?
- How To Stay Safe During This Coronavirus Chaos?
- Together We Can Kick Out Coronavirus!
What is PANDEMIC?!
We know the word ‘pandemic’ has caused unreasonable fears and speculation. Many assume pandemic means that the fight is over and we shall be prepared for mass leading to suffering and death. Against the odd, the word pandemic has nothing to do with the characteristics of a disease but is instead associated with its geographic spread.
To put it simpler, a pandemic is a disease that has spread across a large region, for instance, multiple continents, or worldwide! The coronavirus is labelled a pandemic because as of now there are over 118,000 cases of COVID-19 in 114 countries around the world! Yes, the pandemic Covid-19 does trigger a global panic, but the main purpose of doing declaring it as a pandemic is to raise awareness among world nations that severe actions are needed!
These are commonly reported symptoms of the coronavirus:
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- New confusion or inability to arouse
- Bluish lips or face
If you develop any of the above symptoms it is an emergency warning sign for COVID-19! So, get medical attention immediately. Also, this list is not all-inclusive as it only includes the most common symptoms so please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.
As of now, there are 129 confirmed positive coronavirus cases in Malaysia. Though the till date there is no recorded death case but the situation is quite serious! The Malaysian Ministry of Health has confirmed the first sporadic case of coronavirus in Malaysia on 11 March 2020. This is an indication that the disease has spread into the community because the infected person neither travelled to affected areas nor had contact with infected persons.
With the occurrence of a sporadic case, the ministry said it is conducting surveillance to detect sporadic cases by testing samples from patients who have recently travelled to affected countries or had physical contacts with confirmed coronavirus cases. In 600 samples that were tested, one sample was found to be positive for coronavirus in Malaysia! Many offices and school are closed. While malls and other public places in Malaysia are equipped with hand sanitisers to prevent the disease from spreading.
The unfortunate answer is, nobody knows! After conducting some research, the Director-General of WHO Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that globally, about 3.4% of reported Covid-19 cases have died. So, with a rough guess, that’s like 1% morality rate globally but scientists also estimate the death rate is low because not all cases are reported.
But don’t panic, the disease is not as deathly as it is been hyped! It is dangerous but the chances of dying depend on a range of factors. The common factors are your age, sex and general health and the health system you are in. Also bear in mind, the virus is new and nobody saw it coming! Hence, it does take time for a cure to be found, However, once the cure is here the recovery period and the number of death related to the disease will decrease significantly!
Even though the death rates among confirmed cases don’t tell us about the precise risk but its patterns can tell us about who is most at risk. The group of people who are most likely to get infected by the disease if they contract coronavirus are the elderly, the unwell and, maybe, men. Yes, surprisingly the are more number of coronavirus deaths among men compared to women universally.
In a research that was conducted using more than 44,000 cases from China, the death rate was 10 times higher in the elderly compared to the middle-aged. To add to that, those below the age of 30 are less likely to get infected as the death rates were lowest for the under the age of 30 ( 8 deaths in 4,500 cases) Plus, people with diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure or heart or breathing problems are 5x more likely to get infected!
But again, all of these factors interact with each other and we don’t yet have a complete picture of the risk for every type of person in every location. So, don’t panic!
Though, for now, there is no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease in Malaysia but there are a couple of safety measurements you can take to prevent illness. What you and basically all of us can do, is help to protect society! That doesn’t mean you gotta single handly catch the disease, but what we really mean be safe and protected! As, the fewer number of sick people, the less likely more will be infected!
So, for the well-being and safety of all, here are some practical things that you can do to help limit the spread of the coronavirus in Malaysia:
Stay Home and Avoid Physical Contacts
The coronavirus can spread in two ways as stated below:
- Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet)
- Respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
Clearly, you can see the virus spread from one person to another through physical contact. So, perhaps the best way to prevent the illness is to avoid being exposed to it. Try avoiding crowded public areas and have less physical contacts with those infected with coughs or sneeze!
Cover Your Coughs and Sneezes
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Alternatively, you can also use the inside of your elbow. Once you sneezed or coughed, throw the used tissues in the trash. Make sure to wash your hands within 20 seconds after you sneezed or coughed.
Constantly Wash Your Hands
This may sound crazy but make sure to wash your hands with soap and water for at every hour! Especially if you are in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing make sure to wash your hands! Many malls and public places in Malaysia now have soap and water readily available, so it is not an excuse!
Sanitise Your Hands
After washing your hands, make sure to sanitize it before touching your face! Don’t take your face after sneeze and cough without sanitizing it! It best to use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry. Please we can’t repeat this enough, void touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands!
Wear a Face Mask Only If You’re Sick
If you are sick, then make sure to wear a face mask when you are around other people. If you are NOT sick, then you do not need to wear a face mask! Unless you are caring for someone who is sick for example if you are a doctor or nurse then you need to wear a facemask.
*Please be mindful with face mask are they are currently short in supply in Malaysia. Only use one if you’re sick if not they should be saved for caregivers.
All these may seem like small things, but they can have a disproportionate impact on how the virus spreads. This, in turn, could vastly alter the nature of the epidemic from a disaster to something much more easily handled. Everyone, please follow the guidelines set by WHO and do stay safe and clean at all time. Remember, wash your hands!