What happens if the coronavirus breaches Asian megacities?

WION Web Team New Delhi, India Feb 06, 2020, 02.16 PM(IST) Edited By: Bharat Sharma

Test tube with Corona virus name label is seen in this illustration taken on January 29, 2020. Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

In fact, the spread of the novel coronavirus may be impossible to contain once it breaches other megacities in Asia

Asian megacities outside of Mainland China are poorly equipped to contain the rapidly spreading novel coronavirus, as per a leading epidemiologist at the University of Hong Kong.

In fact, the spread of the novel coronavirus may be impossible to contain once it breaches other megacities in Asia.

Also read: Coronavirus: Death toll climbs to over 560 in China; 10 more infected on Japan ship

Gabriel M Leung, one of the World Health Organisation's leading scientists has said that the prevalence of local cases in large Asian cities is increasing. Additionally, these involve people who had never been to Mainland China before falling ill.

"The big question, which will be settled within the next week or two, is whether these local transmission stains are sustained. It's very difficult to stop the establishment of local sustained transmission", said Leung.

Many scientists believe that such transmissions could lead to self-sustaining outbreaks in cities around the world.

ooo

The Lancet, a leading weekly peer-reviewed medical journal published a paper on the potential domestic and international spread of the n-Cov outbreak.

In it, experts have envisioned two scenarios if the virus is not successfully contained: it joins the family of four coronaviruses that affect millions of people in the winter-spring season. Together, the four are responsible for an estimated one-quarter of all colds

Or it becomes a seasonal-flu-like coronavirus which could very well become another seasonal pathogen that causes pneumonia.

p

The death toll in the coronavirus rose to over 560 with the number of infections surging to 28,000 in China as officials in Wuhan said they faced a shortage of hospital beds and equipment to treat the patients.

 

The virus which has already spread to twenty countries reached a  cruise liner in the port of Yokohama south of Tokyo where ten more people tested positive with nearly 3,700 people on the ship facing two weeks quarantine on the Diamond Princess.

(With inputs from agencies)