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Bio100 Assignment

[Type the company name]
Coronavirus and the Effects
on Humans and World
Assignment 1
Submitted by
Name; Sarhan Sayeed
ID: 1910453
Submitted to
Zareen Tasnim Tapti
17th March 2020
1. Introduction…………………………….. 3
2. Cause………………………………….... 3
3. History………………………………….. 4
4. Prevention……………………................. 5
5. Social Impacts………………………….. 6
6. Economical Impacts……………………. 7
7. Conclusion……………………………... 10
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Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by severe
acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV2). The disease was first
identified in 2019 in Wuhan, China and has since spread worldwide, causing the
2019-20 coronavirus pandemic. Regions affected by major outbreaks include
mainland China, Italy, Iran, South Korea and the United States.
Common symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath. The majority
of cases have shown mild symptoms, some progress to severe pneumonia and
multi-organ failure. The infection is usually spread from one person to another
through respiratory droplets produced during coughing and sneezing. Time from
exposure to visible symptoms is generally between two and 14 days. There are 3
main routes that the disease my take turn. Firstly, it might take form if a mild
disease, resembling other common upper respiratory diseases. The second path
leads to pneumonia that is an infection of the lower respiratory system. The
third path, the most severe, is a rapid progression to acute respiratory distress
syndrome (ARDS), which is a type of respiratory failure.
Figure 1: Microscopy image showing SARS-CoV-2
As mentioned above the disease is caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2 which is
primarily spread between people via droplets from coughs and sneezes. The
virus is thought to have an animal origin. It was first transmitted to humans in
Wuhan, China in December 2019, and the primary source of infection became
human-to-human transmission by early January 2020. On 14 March 2020, South
China Morning Post reported that a 55-year-old from Hubei province could
have been the first person to have contracted the disease. Gene sequencing
analysis strongly suggests the virus originated in bats and was transferred to
humans. Researchers pinpoints COVID-19’s likely origin to a “wet market,” or
live animal market, in Wuhan, China, as they belief such interspecies pathogen
transfer are very common in wet market, which are common in parts of Asia.
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SARS, discovered in 2003, originated at a wet market similar to the one now
suspected to be the origin of COVID-19 as SARS, resulted from virus
transferring from bats to civet cats and then humans. Other claims and theories
about the origin of COVID-19, includes that the virus was brought by the U.S.
Army in Wuhan, which is not proven and not supported by research into the
Figure 2: Wet market in Wuhan, China
During the early stages, the number of cases doubled approximately every seven
and a half days. In early and mid-January 2020, the virus spread to
other Chinese provinces, helped by the Chinese New Year migration, with
Wuhan being a transport hub and major rail interchange in China; infected
people quickly spread throughout the country. On 20 January, China reported
nearly 140 new cases in a day, including two people in Beijing and one
in Shenzhen. Later official data shows that 6,174 people had already developed
symptoms by 20 January 2020. On 13 March, the WHO declared Europe to be
the new centre of the pandemic, after the rate of new cases in Europe surpassed
those recorded in other regions of the world apart from China. By 16 March
2020, the total number of cases reported around the world outside China had
exceeded that of Mainland China.
Among those who died from the disease, the time from development of
symptoms to death was between 6 and 41 days. As of 17 March 2020, over
188,000 cases have been reported worldwide; over 80,000 have recovered and
more than 7,400 deaths have been attributed to COVID-19. According to
China's NHC, most of those who died were elderly – about 80% of deaths were
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in those over 60, and 75% had pre-existing health conditions
including cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.
There is no available vaccine, but research into developing a vaccine has been
undertaken by agencies however, people can take other measures to stay safe.
Strategies for preventing transmission of the disease include overall good
personal hygiene, keeping hands clean, avoiding touching the eye, nose, or
mouth with unwashed hands. Health organizations advise people to cover their
mouth and with a bent elbow or tissue when coughing or sneezing. The use of
surgical masks has been recommended as they can limit the volume and travel
distance of expiratory droplets.
Social distancing or avoiding crowded places are also recommended to prevent
transmission; methods include quarantines, closing of schools, workplaces, etc.
Self-isolation at home has been recommended for those diagnosed with
COVID-19 and those who suspect they have been infected. Additionally,
individuals those have recently travelled to a country with widespread
transmission have been asked by the government health agencies to self
quarantine for 14 days, since the outbreak of the virus many governments
advice against all travel to countries and areas affected. China has since banned
the trading and consumption of wild animals. All governments need to follow
China in taking direct action against coronavirus. Hospital intensive-care must
be expanded temporary hospitals must be built; and respirators, protective gear
and mask must be mass produced and made available to all who need them.
Beyond that, public health authorities must be given the resources and funds
they need to disinfect factories and other public spaces. Large-scale testing of
the population is particularly important. The identification of each case can save
multiple lives.
Attempts to relieve the symptoms may include taking regular cold medications,
drinking fluids and resting. Depending on the severity, oxygen therapy,
intravenous fluids and breathing support may be required. The use of steroids
may worsen outcomes. Several compounds, previously approved treatment of
other viral disease are being investigated.
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Figure 3: Coronavirus awareness poster
Social Impacts
More than 510 million children and youth are not attending school because of
indefinite country wide school closures mandated by governments in attempt to
slow the spread of COVID-19, it carries high social and economic costs. The
disruptions they cause affect people across communities. Due to school
closures, UNESCO recommends the use of online education and platforms that
schools and teachers can use to reach learners. Another fallout of the disease is
the cancellation of religious services, major events in sports, the film industry
and other events such as music festivals. Saudi Arabia has temporarily banned
foreigners from entering Makkah and Medina, two of Islam’s holiest pilgrimage
sites. Several major sporting events were cancelled or postponed including
UEFA Champions League, Premier League and NBA. The outbreak has been a
concern for the 2020 Olympics which is scheduled to take place in Tokyo.
Xenophobia and racism toward the people of China have heightened, as
incidents of fear and suspicion have been observed in numerous countries,
particularly in Europe, North America and the Asia-Pacific region. Although,
there is plenty of support for the Chinese, both on and offline towards those in
affected areas, but many residents of Wuhan and Hubei have reported
discrimination. Citizens in several countries such as Malaysia, New Zealand,
Singapore and South Korea have signed petitions to ban Chinese people from
entering their country.
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Economical Impacts
COVID-19 has been a major crisis worldwide not only because of the fatality of
the disease but also because of the domino effect it has on other sectors.
Coronavirus affects both sides of the economy: supply and demand. The
outbreak has caused massive panic causing supply shortages, as there is globally
increase usage of equipments to fight the outbreaks, panic buying and disruption
to factory operations. Several localities such as the U.S, Italy and Hong Kong
witnesses panic buying that led to shelves being cleared of grocery essentials
such as food, toilet paper and bottled water. Tourism is one of the worst affected
sectors due to travel bans, closing of public places including several travel
attractions. Private companies have closed their shops and tourist attractions
such Hong Kong Disneyland and Shanghai Disneyland. As of March 2020, the
International Air Transport Association estimated that the airlines industry
could lose between, $63 to $113 billion of revenues due to the reduced number
of passengers. Flight schedules have already been decreased to levels even
lower than they were after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. That means
fewer days of work for pilots, crews and mechanics. On March 16, British
Airways said it would cut flying capacity by at least75% in April and May.
Other UK airlines, including Virgin Atlantic and EasyJet also announced drastic
cuts. There are also hotels where people stay. In Asia, the cancellation rate of
hotel rooms over the last few months is 90 percent which means fewer people to
stay and they likely mean fewer people to clean rooms or work in hotel
kitchens. The UN’s International Civil Aviation Organization forecasts that
Japan could lose $1.29 billion of tourism revenue due to drop in Chinese
travelers while Thailand could lose $1.15 billion.
Besides tourism several businesses are dealing with lost revenue and disrupted
supply chains due to China’s factory shutdowns. China is the world’s second
largest economy and leading nation in trading, so a massive economical crisis is
predicted. China is also the world’s biggest oil, and with coronavirus hitting
manufacturing, the International Energy Agency predicted the first drop in
global oil demand in a decade. On 9 March, oil prices lost as much as third of
their value; the biggest daily rout since the 1991 Gulf War as Saudi Arabia has
slashed its oil prices to other buyers and will be maxing out its production, as
will Russia, as the two major producers go into an all out price war for greater
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market share. Demand for oil decreased worldwide directly due to travel bans
and self isolation as people are traveling less to other countries or even within
their own country.
Global stock markets fell on 24 February due to a significant rise in the number
of COVID-19 cases outside mainland China. On 27 February, due to mounting
worries about the coronavirus outbreak, various U.S. stock market indices
including the NASDAQ-100, the S&P 500 Index, and the Dow Jones Industrial
Average posted their sharpest falls since 2008, with the Dow falling 1,191
points, its largest one-day drop since the 2008 financial crisis.
The shortage of products and parts from China is affecting companies around
the world, as factories delayed opening after the Lunar New Year and workers
stayed home to help reduce spread of the virus. Apple’s manufacturing partner
in China Foxconn, is facing a production delay. Some carmakers including
Nissan and Hyundai temporarily closed factories outside China because they
could not get parts.
The pharmaceutical industry is also bracing for disruption to global production
as China is the largest and sometimes only global supplier for the active
ingredient of some vital medications. Today about 80% of pharmaceuticals sold
in the U.S are produce in China. China is not only the dominant global supplier
of pharmaceuticals, but it is also the largest supplier of medical devices. The
active ingredients for medicines that treat breast cancer and lung cancer are
exclusively made in China. Additionally, China controls such a large market
portion of heparin, a blood thinner used in open-heart surgery, kidney dialysis
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and blood transfusions that disruptions of production can put the lives of
thousands on the line. About six weeks into international recognition of the
epidemic in China, there were already shortages of vital protective equipment in
both China and the U.S. and what happens when everyone runs out of protective
equipment. As the coronavirus spread illness, death and catastrophe around the
world, it can be argued that the pharmaceutical companies are profiting
handsomely as medicines and other equipments are flying of the shelves. Major
pharmaceutical companies are currently in the race to come up with the vaccine
to coronavirus as it is a major opportunity to make huge investments. The
ability to make money off of pharmaceuticals is already uniquely large in the
U.S., which lacks the basic price control other countries have, giving drug
companies more freedom over setting prices for their products than anywhere
else in the world.
Figure 4: Employee working at a pharmaceutical company in Tianjin, China
Cancellations of major sports tournament were a major hit. No games mean no
ticket sales and reduced media payments. For the first time in nearly two
decades, the $160 billion sports world has gone dark. The consequences of
cancelling play are wide ranging, one of them is potentially serious financial
consequences for athletes, teams, leagues and organizations, and tens of
thousands of people who work at sporting events. Cancellation of major
sporting events such as Premier League and NBA will have major impacts on
revenues of the neighborhood bars and restaurants every game day.
China is one of the largest markets for U.S. products, especially electronics and
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fashion. For example, about 47% of Qualcomm’s annual revenue and 28% of
Intel’s income come from China, making it the most important region for both
chipmakers. China is also the second largest market for iPhone-maker Apple,
and the outbreak has caused its sales to decrease. Many cities and provinces
around world have told business to stay closed, and residents to stay off the
streets, this has resulted in deserted shopping centers with closed stores,
including fast food companies and fashion retailers, such Nike, Starbucks and
McDonald’s causing billions of lost revenue.
Coronavirus continues to spread, highlighting the need to minimize its impact
and slow the rate of new infections. The healthcare system will be the key to
minimizing further impact. Italy, hit hard by the virus, demonstrates the
challenges faced when thousands of cases hit hospitals in quick succession. On
a community level, individuals can do their part through diligent handwashing,
minimizing travel, working remotely and cancelling large gatherings. The rapid
spread of COVID-19 has demonstrated the importance of building resilience to
face various threats, from pandemic disease to extremist violence to climate
insecurity, and even, yes, rapid technological change. The pandemic is also an
opportunity to remind ourselves of the skills we need in this unpredictable
world such as informed decision making, creative problem solving, and perhaps
above all, adaptability. To ensure those skills remain a priority for all, resilience
must be built into our educational systems as well.
1. The Guardian, https://www.theguardian.com/international
2. World Health Organization, https://www.who.int/
3. Reuters, https://www.reuters.com/
4. Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page
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