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HEALTH/SCI/TECH ANALYSIS

Urgent Needs For Cure For New Coronavirus Lead People To Misinformation

English: Images combined from a 3D medical animation, depicting the shape of coronavirus as well as the cross-sectional view. Image shows the major elements including the Spike S protein, HE protein, viral envelope, and helical RNA. Date 27 January 2020 Source: https://www.scientificanimations.com/wiki-images/ Author: https://www.scientificanimations.com
(The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not reflect the views of Citizen Truth.)

“Ginger tea, yoga, etc are symptomatic treatment methods – they’re good in helping boost your immunity. But it’s not a proper cure. A proven cure for Coronavirus has not been found yet.”

The New Coronavirus (2019-nCoV), also known as the Wuhan Coronavirus (with similar symptoms to those of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)) has taken more than 800 lives globally so far. The outbreak, which started in Wuhan, China, has triggered global panic and raised the questions about whether vaccines and medicines for the new illness have been discovered.

 

Researchers around the globe are busy developing the best and most effective vaccines. While growing panic has led people to believe the information on the virus’ cure without verifying it first, forcing the World Health Organization (WHO) to partner with tech firms to tackle misinformation online, especially that related to the cures for the virus.

 

Rising Princes of Ginger and Garlics Due To New Coronavirus

 

A broadcast message in Whatsapp group went viral saying that consuming garlic and ginger can cure the New Coronavirus infection. Many appeared to believe this claim and ordered the foods without verifying what they read.

 

Indonesia’s Head of Food Resilience Agung Hendriadi said as local outlet Detik quoted that the surge in garlic’s price is due to the distribution problem caused by the spread of new Coronavirus.

 

“Not only import, the virus has also halted export. We hope that the problem will be solved,” he said on Sunday.

 

Rising import costs due to Wuhan Coronavirus have also sparked an increase in ginger and garlic as well as other spices’ prices in Bangladesh. 

 

“Rising import costs and decline in import from China have caused a surge in the prices of ginger and garlic,” Md Shaidul Islam, Shyambazar-based trader said as The Financial Express reported.

 

Herbal Medicine That Sparks Panic And Doubt

 

Last week, Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica (SIMM) and The Wuhan Institute of Virology claimed they had created a liquid medicine made from a mixture of forsythia, a honeysuckle, and a skullcap, the oral liquid named Shuanghuanglian is believed to be able to contain the new virus, as Xinhua reported quoted in Bioworld.

 

The report sparked panic buying both online and at pharmacies as well as criticism and doubt from doctors and the general public. The SIMM then clarified by saying that further clinical studies are needed to confirm the effectiveness of the medicine.

Pssst, while you're here...

 

“I think it’s very irresponsible for a research institute to release a statement only based on a simple in vitro test where they would put the extracted viruses in Shuang Huang Lian liquid and check their survival rate afterwards. Because there are so many reasons why virus couldn’t survive – being away from a host, for example, could lead to the natural death of the virus – so how do we know that it was the TCM that was actually working?,” said Shi Lichen, founder of Beijing Dingchen Pharmaceutical Management Consulting Center.

 

It Takes Months Or Even Years To Develop Vaccines

 

Researchers are busy developing the best vaccines to cure infections caused by the Wuhan Coronavirus. Doctors are also warning not to believe every message circulating in social media about the 2019-nCoV drugs as there is no cure so far for this virus.

 

“Ginger tea, yoga, etc are symptomatic treatment methods – they’re good in helping boost your immunity. But it’s not a proper cure. A proven cure for Coronavirus has not been found yet. The CDC (US-based Centre for Disease Control and Prevention) is looking for a cure but they haven’t found it or a vaccine yet. It’s wrong to say that things like ginger tea or yoga will cure the virus,” Dr Vanesha Varik, chairperson of the infection control department at Aster Hospital in Mankhool said as Khaleejtimes reported.

 

The WHO debunked claim that cloves of garlic can cure the New Coronavirus, saying there is no evidence that kinds of garlic can prevent the 2019-nCoV from infecting humans.

 

“Garlic is a healthy food that may have some antimicrobial properties. However, there is no evidence from the current outbreak that eating garlic has protected people from the new Coronavirus,” the Geneva-based organization said in its myth buster section as Rappler quoted.

 

Gregory Glenn, MD, Head of Research & Development at biotechnology company Novavax explained the numerous steps required to develop a safe and effective vaccine.

 

“There are a number of steps required for developing a safe, effective, preventative vaccine that can be deployed to the market. Traditional vaccine development can take ten years or longer from project initiation to an approved vaccine. However, based on what we already know from our previous successes in developing vaccines against emerging infectious diseases, including against other coronaviruses such as SARS and MERS, we can apply those learnings to nCoV with the potential of dramatically shortening the process,” he told Citizentruth via email.

 

“In the case of Novavax, we have initiated preliminary steps to produce a ‘testable’ nCoV vaccine candidate. Assuming things go as planned, we expect to have such a vaccine candidate for clinical testing in roughly 90 days. We developed vaccine candidates along with similar timelines in the past with both pandemic flu (H7N9) and Ebola vaccine candidates.”

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Yasmeen Rasidi

Yasmeen is a writer and political science graduate of the National University, Jakarta. She covers a variety of topics for Citizen Truth including the Asia and Pacific region, international conflicts and press freedom issues. Yasmeen had worked for Xinhua Indonesia and GeoStrategist previously. She writes from Jakarta, Indonesia.

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