Need for taking coronavirus seriously

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The death toll from the coronavirus, which gained strength in China at a vulnerable time — the Chinese New Year, a major travel season in the country, has reached more than 300 so far.
Nearly 14,500 cases of infections have been reported till 2 February.
Originating from Wuhan, China, the virus has now spread to Hong Kong, the Philippines, and several other countries, including those in the ASEAN region. The first coronavirus death outside China was reported on 2 February, when a man succumbed to the virus in the Philippines.
The 21st century has been witness to viral outbreaks and emergency response measures, with serious communicable diseases spreading globally, due, in part, to the ease of air travel. The Ebola (West Africa, 2014-2016) and bird flu outbreaks, for instance, proved especially deadly. So was the SARS epidemic of 2003, which also originated in China.
SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome, is believed to be an animal virus that was transmitted to humans mainly through civet cats, a Chinese delicacy sold in restaurants at exotic animal markets in southern China.
The Myanmar health authorities and workers gained a lot of experiences in preventing and responding to possible SARS infections, in terms of quick and coordinated action, in 2003.
Since the outbreak in China, Myanmar health officials have beefed up surveillance at international airports and border checkpoints in 10 townships.
With the coronavirus outbreak in China ratcheting up day by day, the Ministry of Health and Sports has alerted its departments in regions and states to be on the alert for any signs of infections. At the same time, the ministry’s Central Epidemiological Unit is closely communicating with the health teams in regions and states and releasing information related to the virus twice a day on its webpage and the State-run print and broadcast media.
Meanwhile, the health authorities have reinforced their agencies in the regions and states to track those who visited China about 14 days ago.
This is a crucial time to prevent and respond to the virus, and coordination between health workers and the people would be vital to prevent the spread of the deadly new respiratory virus.
Perhaps this outbreak will dissipate, but wishful thinking isn’t a strategy. The risk exists that any such respiratory virus, if not contained, may spread aggressively.
The fact that viruses can spread easily in crowded places, such as festivals and public gatherings, should be seriously taken into account.
Maybe China will be able to restrict the spread of the virus. But, as experts warn, the Wuhan coronavirus has already become a global concern. Health officials and individuals will need to stay alert and take the spread of the deadly virus seriously.

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