Coronavirus

  • COVID-19 Fact Sheet

    Coronavirus is a disease that causes damage to the respiratory tract when it is attached to the cells in the lining of the lungs causing damage to it. When the virus enters the body, the patient begins to experience mild symptoms of dry cough, shortness of breath, fever, headache, muscle pain and tiredness compared to ordinary flu.

    Key facts

    • Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome( SARS-Cov).
    •  This disease is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person.
    • It is also a new strain discovered in 2019, which has not been [previously identified in humans.
    • WHO reports of no official vaccines yet for COVID-19; neither is there a cure, even though there are potential treatments, these are not definitive.
    • The best way to prevent being infected is to take necessary preventive measures.

    Prevalence

    • Covid-19 has affected 222,643 thousand people globally, with older people more susceptible to the disease.
    • Reports place the death toll at 9,1115 with over 84506 recovered patients.
    • Coronavirus is now pandemic which has killed over 9.115 persons with 84506 recoveries made. 
    • There are mild cases and severe ones as well. The mild ones are due to the response of the body’s immune system and its ability to contain the virus. ( mostly in young adults).

    Causes & Symptoms

    The disease Covid19 is caused by the virus designated, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). So far, health experts suggest respiratory droplets from an individual to be a prominent method of transmission. It can also be transmitted if a person touches the surface that houses the infected droplets and then touches any sensitive openings of the body, i.e. mouth, nose and eyes. So far, these are the known symptoms:

    • Respiratory illness
    • Fever
    • Dry cough,
    • Sneezing
    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
    • Body Aches
    • Runny nose
    • Sore throat

    How does it spread?

    1. Coronavirus spreads through direct contact: Respiratory droplets of “an infected” person or by touching surfaces that are contaminated.
    2. The symptoms include coughing, sneezing, etc.
    3. Wear a mask if: infected or display respiratory symptoms (coughing or sneezing) to protect others; if not, there is no need to wear a mask. 
    4. There is no cure yet.

    “How can my family and I stay safe?”

    1. Wash your hands frequently: Regular and thorough handwashing with soap under running water at intervals is an essential way to prevent being infected. Health institutes have surmised the “happy birthday” song is the duration it takes for handwashing. 
    2. Regular use of hand sanitizer: WHO also advises we utilise alcohol-based sanitizers; this is especially important in scenarios where we cannot practice frequent handwashing. Note, this is a simple alternative (where necessary) and not a replacement to basic hand hygiene (handwashing). Some people choose to utilise both methods; this is not compulsory.
    3. Maintain social distancing: Avoid at all cost anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness like coughing and sneezing, cold or general flu-like symptoms. The rationale behind this being that the flu droplets from such person may contain the virus, and you risk infection from inhaling said droplets.
    4. The deliberate effort of not touching eyes, nose and mouth: Your hands’ unavoidably touches many surfaces and can pick the virus up. The contaminated hands if not washed, can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth, which is easy access for the virus to enter the body.
    5. Practice excellent and continuous respiratory hygiene: Make sure to practice good respiratory hygiene that is, covering your mouth with a flexed elbow when sneezing or coughing, or with a paper tissue and dispose of immediately.

    Are you feeling sick with flu-like symptoms? Do not panic. Stay home and seek urgent medical attention.

  • Four more cases of Coronavirus confirmed in Ghana

    Ghana has confirmed four more cases of the COVID-19. This was announced by the Director of Public Health at the Ghana Health Service, Dr Badu Sarkodie at a press briefing on Sunday, March 15, 2020.

    “This brings to a total of six confirmed COVID-19 cases in Ghana, there are no deaths and this is the situation as at March 14, 2020. All the 6 cases were imported into Ghana,” Dr Sarkodie said.

    The new cases include a female student of the University of Ghana who had returned from the United States of America.

    The first two index cases, imported from Norway and Turkey, were announced on Thursday, March 12, 2020. 

    Travel To Ghana Discouraged

    The Minister for Information, Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, at the press briefing disclosed that travellers from countries with over 200 COVID-19 cases will not be allowed into the country.

    “All travel to Ghana is strongly discouraged until further notice. Any traveller, except for Ghanaian citizens and persons with Ghana residence permits, who within the last 14 days, has been to a country that has recorded at least 200 cases of COVID-19, will not be admitted into the Ghanaian jurisdiction. Airlines are instructed not to allow such persons to embark. Border posts are instructed not to allow such persons into the jurisdiction,” he said.

    Persons who are otherwise allowed into the country will be mandated to self-quarantine for 14 days.

    “There will be a mandatory 14-day self-quarantine for persons who are otherwise allowed to enter the Ghanaian jurisdiction,” the minister said.

    COVID-19 Dedicated Website 

    Mr Nkrumah announced a dedicated website to update the public on the outbreak. The website will be updated every six hours to keep Ghanaians informed.

  • Uber Services Have NOT been suspended in Accra

    Uber Services in Suspended in Accra until further notice – Viral WhatsApp Message.

    Uber Services are still available in Accra and other parts of the country. 

    Full text

    The Director of Public Health, Ghana Health Service, Dr Badu Sarkodie in a press briefing on Sunday, March 15, 2020, announced that the number of Covid-19 cases has increased to six. Later that evening, the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo addressed the nation on measures taken to control the spread of the virus. They include the Ministry of Transport working with transport unions and public and private transport operations to ensure enhanced hygienic conditions in all cars and terminals.

    On the same day, a message started circulating on WhatsApp stating that Uber services have been suspended in Accra until further notice. It purports to be a press release from the Uber Drivers Association. The message titled “UBER SERVICES SUSPENDED IN ACCRA UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE” was signed by Alex Joy Vifa who was noted as the Secretary for the association. A contact number, 0550359901, was included in the message.

    According to the message, the decision to suspend Uber services in Accra was taken due to the spread of the coronavirus in Accra.

    “This decision was taken due the spread of the deadly Coronavirus (COVID 19) in Accra. As at Sunday, 15th March 2020, Ghana has recorded 4 new cases of Coronavirus. In that regard, a total of 6 cases have been recorded so far,” the release said.

    “Our services that we render to our riders in Ghana always expose us to the deadly disease. It is also a fact that we are not adequately prepared to detect, manage and prevent the spread of the disease. All these make drivers and riders vulnerable and susceptible to the COVID 19. We will put our lives and that of riders in danger when we continue our services,” it continued.

    News portals such as bbcghana.com have proceeded to make news articles based on the viral message, with a headline stating that Uber services have been suspended in Accra.

    Verification

    Dubawa could not speak to Alex Joy Vifa of the Uber Drivers Association for verification as the number advertised in the release is incorrect.

    The Country Manager for Uber Ghana, Ms Jessica Poku, has, however, in a thread on Twitter clarified that the viral message circulating is incorrect. She said the Uber application has not been suspended. It is still available throughout Ghana and is operating normally.

    Ms Poku also noted that the nature of Uber services allows drivers to form associations. Therefore, the message could be from a group of drivers who have decided to withhold their services.

    “This could be, for example, a group of 5 drivers who take a decision not to drive, and draft a message to send out. The application has not been suspended and is operating as normal at this time. You may open the app at any time to confirm same”

    Ms Poku

    This was again confirmed to Dubawa by an officer at the Uber Support Centre, Mr Hamand Khan. 

    “In Ghana, the services are not suspended at all. Riders are sending requests for Uber and our partners are accepting the Uber ride,” Khan said.

    Mr Khan added that plans of suspension of services if any would be communicated to riders either through email or through a suspension notice in their Uber app.

    “If there is any plan of suspension of Uber in Accra, clients will receive an email or will see a suspension notification in their uber app directly. So if you receive any forwarded message from any third party, I will recommend you to contact us and verify that the information is from us,” Khan said. 

    Mr Nathan Akoto of Hailing Apps, an app which has drivers from Bolt, Uber and Yango on their platform says their drivers are working.

    “As far as we are concerned we’ve not had any corroboration. We tried the numbers that were put out there but none of them went through. But our drivers are working. You can just try ordering it and you will see for yourself.” Akoto said.

    Dubawa also spoke to Mr Mark Agyei, an Uber driver in Accra who said they are currently working and have received no directives from their association to suspend services in the national capital.

  • Dettol has not been tested on the COVID-19

    Dettol can help in fighting coronavirus – viral social media posts

    Dettol has been tested on, and found to kill coronaviruses such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). However, the manufacturer of Dettol, Reckitt Benckiser Group plc(RB), says it has not yet tested its products on the novel coronavirus and could not confirm whether Dettol is effective against the new coronavirus strain.  

    Full Text

    An image circulating on WhatsApp shows a bottle of Dettol with the caption “Imagine Dettol can help in fighting coronavirus and we’re ignorant of it. It’s written on the container zoom and read.” 

    Source: WhatsApp

    Similar versions of this image have been posted on Facebook; here, and here claiming similar discoveries with hundreds of shares across the platform. 

    According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause a range of illnesses including common colds, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV) and others. On the other hand, this new strain of the virus is one that had not previously been identified in humans.

    In recent developments, The WHO has characterized COVID-19 as a pandemic. This was announced by the Director-General of WHO, Mr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, in his opening remarks at the Mission briefing on the COVID-19 on March 12th, 2020.

    Verification

    A Facebook post by Reckitt Benckiser Group plc(RB), producers of Dettol on January 31st, 2020 states that the product has not been tested on the novel coronavirus and they, therefore, cannot confirm yet whether or not Dettol may be an effective disinfectant against the virus. 

    “RB has become aware of speculation about Dettol products and the novel 2019-nCoV coronavirus. As this is an emerging outbreak, RB, like all manufacturers, doesn’t yet have access to the new virus (2019-nCoV) for testing and, as a result, are not yet in a position to confirm levels of effectiveness against the new strain,” the post said. 

    Dettol has however been tested on and found to kill some members of the coronavirus family including MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV.

    “Our products have been tested against other coronaviruses (such as MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV) and have been found to kill those. Although 2019-nCoV is a new strain, this virus is very similar to other coronaviruses. We continue to work with our partners to ensure that we have the latest understanding of the virus, route of transmission and will test our product range once health authorities make the strain available,” the producers of Dettol said.

    Conclusion

    Currently, no specific cure has been found for the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. Studies are ongoing and more information surfacing daily about the virus’ pattern of infection in humans.  

  • Video claiming Negative Coronavirus Cases In Ghana Is DATED

    The Two Cases Of Coronavirus In Ghana Proved Negative – Viral Video

    The video is not new. It was part of a news item published by Citi TV on February 6, 2020, when two suspected cases tested negative.

    Full Text

    The Minister of Health, Mr Kwaku Agyemang-Manu announced Ghana’s index COVID-19 cases yesterday March 12, 2020, at a press briefing. He stated that the two confirmed cases are imported from Norway and Turkey.

    A day after this, a viral video started circulating on social media. It carries the logo of a television station in Accra, Citi TV. In the video which shows an interview with the media, Dr Daniel Asare, the Chief Executive Officer of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, is heard saying the two suspected cases of coronavirus both tested negative.

    News portals such as occupygh.com and Opera News have proceeded to make news items on 13th March 2020 disproving the two cases which were confirmed by the Mr Agyemang-Manu yesterday based on the viral video.

    Verification

    Citi TV has in a publication, clarified that the video is dated. It was an interview conducted over a month ago.

    “The video in circulation is from an interview conducted on February 6, 2020, when the first two suspected cases were tested and proved negative,” a statement from Citi TV reads.

    DUBAWA’s checks show the video was part of a news item by the media organisation which was published on 6 February 2020, when two previous suspected cases of the coronavirus in Ghana tested negative.

    Citi TV has asked for the video to be disregarded, as it is misinforming the public on the two current confirmed cases in the country.  Citi TV added that they have not had an interview with Dr Daniel Asare since the Minister of Health confirmed the two cases on 12 March 2020.


  • Herbal Bitters Have Limitations… Not A Coronavirus Cure

    Twitter users said Adutwumwaa Bitters cures coronavirus.

    Adumtwumwaa Bitters does not cure coronavirus. Producers of the medicine, Adumtwumwaa Herbal Industries Limited, have emphatically stated that their product cannot and does not cure the deadly virus. The World Health Organization (WHO) says there is no cure, vaccine or specific antiviral medicine to prevent or treat coronavirus at the moment.

    Full Text

    Ghana is one of the lucky African countries which is yet to confirm a case of the coronavirus. Till date, health authorities confirm no live instances of the virus as all 41 suspected cases have tested negative.

    Still, the Ghanaian economy’s connection with China where the outbreak originated and the country’s proximity to other Sub-Saharan African countries with confirmed cases such as Nigeria, have put officials on high alert. The possible outbreak of the coronavirus has therefore generated conversations both on traditional and new media.

    In recent days, discussions about the COVID-19, especially on social media, have included several claims; one being that “Adutwumwaa Bitters”, produced by Adutwumwaa Herbal Industries Limited is the cure for the novel coronavirus.

    This assertion left many with several reactions as this mainstream product has been on the Ghanaian market for more than three decades.

    On that same day, another user @penyah_enoch tweeted the picture, but this time the caption attributed the cure to Ghana.

    https://twitter.com/penyah_enoch/status/1234504860705443840

    Meanwhile, these tweets come nearly five days after the claims started making rounds on Twitter and other social media platforms. On February 28 2020, twitter user with the handle @Ankamagyimi tweeted:

    https://twitter.com/Ankamagyimi/status/1233323984084783104

    Verification

    First, Dubawa arranged a phone interview with parties closest to the assertion. The manufacturers of the medicine, Adutwumwaa Herbal Industries Limited, when contacted debunked the claim. Subsequently, Yaw Afrifa, a member of the company’s Public Relations Unit, forwarded the image below to us.

    In the meantime, the World Health Organization (WHO), the institution leading the world’s response on the COVID-19, says there is no cure yet for the disease. In the Q&A section of its website, the WHO indicates that as of date, there is no vaccine and no specific antiviral medicine to prevent or treat it. 

    CONCLUSION:

    The evidence from the extensive research disproves the claim that Adutwumwaa Bitters cures coronavirus. This, however, does not mean all hope for a cure is Sisyphean. Scientists around the world are working towards developing a vaccine for the prevention and treatment of the disease.

  • There Is No Known Cure or Vaccine for COVID-19; Even Though Research Persists

    Vaccine available for prevention of coronavirus – WhatsApp message.

    The World Health Organisation says there is currently no vaccine for the treatment or prevention of the COVID-2019. However, health authorities are investigating possible vaccines through clinical trials with expected results soon.

    Full Text

    Following the outbreak of what is now officially called the COVID-19, numerous claims regarding drugs or treatment methods, have been in circulation on social media. Examples include the efficacy of garlic and chloroquine as cures for the COVID-19, which have been debunked by fact-checkers.  

    The latest claim, in the form of a screenshot DUBAWA received on WhatsApp, suggests a coronavirus vaccine may be available for the prevention of the disease. 

    The screenshot bears a picture of a vial with the inscription “Coronavirus Vaccine”. The text accompanying it reads: “That’s a great news in the world, To God be the glory. Business will soon start again especially to those travelling to China. Meanwhile, people’s reactions on the breaking news will tell you how important the coronavirus vaccine is to the whole world. Some of their comment are s follows:”

    Verification

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) is yet to confirm the availability of a coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine. According to information on its website, there is currently no vaccine for the prevention of the disease.

    “To date, there is no vaccine and no specific antiviral medicine to prevent or treat COVID-2019,” the website reads. 

    However, researchers in Hong Kong, the United States of America, Australia, China and other parts of the world are racing to find a cure, drug or vaccine for the COVID-19. Possible vaccines are under investigation and are being tested on animals to ascertain their efficacy.  

    We carried out several image searches on the screenshot received and came up with zero results. However, we traced the photo of the vial here. It carried the caption “Scientist holding a lab bottle with the text of coronavirus written in blue gloves and needle standing on the black table blurred background.” 

    We also observed the vial has featured in some news stories; which have focused on possible vaccines and the efforts scientists are making to develop a cure for the coronavirus. 

    Preventive Measures

    For now, the necessary preventive measures, as highlighted by the WHO and the Ghana Health Service (GHS), are your best bet against contracting the disease. Here are some of the things you can do to stay safe: 

    • Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.
    • Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
    • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth.
    • Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene; this means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.
    • Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance. 
  • Sub-Saharan Africans Are NOT Blessed With Coronavirus Resistant Skin or Blood

    Chinese Doctors confirm African skin resists Coronavirus infection, says newswatchnigeria.com and other sites

    There is no evidence to suggest “black people’s” immunity to the virus, or conversely “white people’s” vulnerability to it. The World Health Organisation (WHO) already stated that anyone in proximity to an infected person is at risk of contracting it (COVID-19). 

    Full Text

    The major outbreak of the coronavirus in Wuhan China has caused pandemonium with countries setting measures in place to curb its spread. Other than tackling the epidemic, the media now faces an onslaught of resultant misinformation.

    WhatsApp Screenshot

    Recently, a blog post said that Chinese doctors have confirmed that Africans have skin layers that are immune to the deadly covid-19.

    Other African platforms also published the story; platforms like CityScrollz, GHGossip, Kenyan Bulletin, Nairaland, CameroonIntelligenceReport amongst others.

    According to the post, a Cameroonian college student studying in China who contracted coronavirus quickly recovered “because of his blood genetic composition, which is mainly found in the genetic composition of Subsaharan Africans.”

    Verification

    Coronavirus, which was renamed Covid-19 recently by the World Health Organisation (WHO), is a virus that infects humans; leading to an upper and sometimes lower respiratory tract infection. 

    Does it mean Africans are safe? NO

    Findings suggest otherwise. While the premise is correct, the claim is baseless; just another conclusion circulated by online blogs. Moreover, no credible news platform published it. Besides that, no health authority announced this alleged discovery.  

    Isolated Incident

    Nonetheless, it is accurate that a 21-year old Cameroonian, Kem Senou Daryl studying in China became ill and was hospitalized shortly after contacting coronavirus. He was the first African in China to contract the disease and report a full recovery.

    Reports have it that the young man who was under a 14-day quarantine in the university dormitory said:

    “No matter what happens I don’t want to take the sickness back to Africa.” 

    Initially, he suffered from a fever, dry cough and flu-like symptoms; then was in isolation for 13 days in a local Chinese hospital. The doctors in the hospital administered antibiotics and HIV retroviral medication on Daryl for two weeks, after which he began to show signs of recovery. The hospital cleared Dary after the doctors conducted a CT scan and found no traces of the illness. The Chinese state also covered his medical care.

    Possibly authentic image, still

    Dubawa also performed reverse image verification on the pictures attached to the claim. Results revealed that they did not exist before February. Yet, to reiterate what we’ve established, it is an isolated incident!

    Black or White? Don’t Matter

    There is no evidence that black people were or are less susceptible to the disease. Anyone regardless of race who comes into close contact with an infected party is at risk. 

    If indeed it is true that people from African backgrounds are more resistant to coronavirus than others, one should expect it to be a significant news story. Instead, we found the story only on a handful of online blogs, calling its trustworthiness to question.

    PesaCheck interviewed a Medical practitioner, and the Doctor in a fact-check they published said:

    Excerpt from PesaCheck

    Conclusion

    While Senou was the first African to contract the virus and recuperate from it, one cannot attribute his recovery to just genetics or a superior immune system. His healing was instead a function of medication administered, according to new reports. Although, according to Dr Kitheka, a healthy immune system does play a role in recovery.

  • Is COVID-19 Causing a Mass Conversion to Islam?

    Twitter posts suggest a multitude are converting to Islam in China for fear of COVID-19 outbreak.

    Both videos concerning the purported mass conversion occurred at least a month before the COVID-19 outbreak. Chinese officials confirmed the latter to be on 31 December 2019. Thus, the viral video cannot be related to Coronavirus.

    Full Text

    Following the World Health Organisation’s declaration of COVID-19, as an international health emergency, and prior, the release of relevant and inconsequential information regarding the issue has stayed constant. Some may say, the proliferation of misinformation even outweighs credible intel.

    More so, social media is likely one of the biggest propagators of false narratives related to Coronavirus; among which comes fabrications connecting the disease with religion.

    Last week, a video surfaced on Twitter allegedly showing hundreds of Chinese citizens converting to Islam. The claim further said that Chinese people are switching to Islam in fear of Coronavirus as none of the followers of Islam was affected by the virus.

    The post reads “Chinese converting to Islam after realizing that no Muslim was affected by #Coronavirus #COVD19 in the country.”

    https://twitter.com/AzareBappha/status/1229382825314586629

    Verification

    Firstly, Fact Crescendo, verification platform traced the video to a 2019, 30 June upload. The platform used verification tool- Yandex Reverse image search. The resulting YouTube video headlined in Arabic, translated in English as, “People enter the religion of Islam, Glory be to God.”

    Further, findings led to yet another YouTube video uploaded on 7 November 2019 with the headline “MashaaAllah hundreds converted to Islam in Philippines.”

    Conflicting Dates

    From the above, it is clear to see that both incidences are unconnected. Both videos concerning the purported mass conversion occurred at least a month before the COVID-19 outbreak. Chinese officials confirmed the latter to be on 31 December 2019. Thus, the viral video cannot be related to Coronavirus.

    Besides, there is no official research or record present that would suggest that the disease is related to any religion or community for that matter.

    This Fact-check is an edited version of the original by Fact Crescendo, verification platform. 

  • Chloroquine Does NOT Cure Coronavirus!

    Social media posts claim Chloroquine, an antimalarial drug can cure  #COVID19.

    No health authorities have certified Chloroquine as a cure for coronavirus. WHO, the foremost authority on the subject, according to the Director-General of the body, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, says while the organisation is currently conducting a number of drug trials, it does not expect a result before three weeks. More so, the “malarial Chloroquine used in China was not one of the drugs.”

    Full Text

    Recently, the most trending tweets featured the hashtag CHLOROQUINE

    The thread indicates that Chloroquine which is an anti-malarial drug and autoimmune disease drug is a proven cure for covid-19 (Coronavirus).

    We traced what may be the source of this dialogue to Verified Twitter page, China Science.

    Similarly, news site, Coinspeaker published a report saying: China Approves Favipiravir as Potent Treatment against New Coronavirus COVID-19 Strain.

    Verification

    Dubawa currently awaits a response to emails sent to representatives of the WHO, CDC and  NCDC.

    Dubawa checks found not only Chloroquine Phosphate as the only purported remedial treatments for coronavirus, but reports also named Favipiravir and Remdesivir.

    Global Times China and China Science on their verified Twitter handle attested to the fact that Chloroquine Phosphate an anti-malaria treatment drug has proven effective in treating Covid-19. The tweet says:

    Treatment not definitive

    It is essential to note the phrase “clinical effects” does not necessarily indicate a definite cure; but rather a potential solution to the virus. The post surmises Chloroquine Phosphate as a likely remedy to Covid-10, not a confirmed treatment.

    A report by Clinical Trials says Chloroquine yields positive data in Covid-19 trial.

    Another report says a group of researchers who have researched (Vitro cell research) on the disease outbreak, tested several antivirals in the lab for effectiveness against covid-19. The result was that Remdesivir stopped the virus from replicating in a lab dish. Further, the group found that Chloroquine was effective in preventing the infection from spreading in human cells in the lab. The researchers gave their feedback in a report published by the journal Cell Research.

    Their findings conclude that Remdesivir and Chloroquine are highly effective in the control of covid-19 infection in vitro (laboratory-controlled conditions).

    Excerpt from site

    Research Efforts

    Interestingly, a report by BBC News Pidgin noted the group found Remdesivir and Chloroquine as capable of blocking the virus infection at low-micromolar concentration. BBC Pidgin even released the names of the Chinese researchers:

    • Manli Wang
    • Ruiyuan Cao
    • Leike Zhang
    • Xinglou Yang
    • Jia Liu
    • Mingyue Xu
    • Zhengli Shi
    • Zhihong Hu
    • Wu Zhong &
    • Gengfu Xiao 

    In the report, a medical expert says the research findings are not strange to science; still, the claims of the Covid-19 response group will need higher authorities such as WHO for authenticity and mainstream application.

    New Turn in Events

    On 20th February, CNBC published a report claiming that the World Health Organisation expects preliminary results from two clinical trials. The story went on to state that these trials scheduled in three weeks are potential treatments for the virus.

    It stated that one trial combines HIV drugs Lopinavir and Ritonavir; while the other is testing U.S.-based biotech Gilead Sciences’ antiviral Remdesivir.  The Lead for clinical management in the WHO Health Emergencies Programme, Dr Janet Diaz said that there are currently no proven therapies for the new virus. Additionally, she said there is no proof to claims by some scientists that Chloroquine, can be a potential treatment for the infection.

    Similarly, Guardian (international edition) says that Doctors are looking into HIV and Ebola drugs for coronavirus cure, but results are not expected before March.

    Potential treatment

    Pointing to Remdesivir, one of the drugs under trial, The Guardian notes that Gilead, the manufacturers, had tested Remdesivir during the Ebola outbreak in the Republic of the Congo in  2018, with only limited cheering results; although it accepts that for now, the drug holds a pole position in the race for a solution to Covid-19.  “The new trial of remdesivir will be “gold standard” and investigate how well it works in moderately and severely ill patients compared with others given a placebo,” reports the Guardian.

    Meanwhile, WHO which has set a three-week result timeline for drug tests its research and development experts are executing, clarifies that the anti-malarial Chloroquine used in China was not one of the drugs in trials, according to its director-general, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. 

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