Coronavirus Outbreak — it all started in December 2019. The Chinese Authorities informed the world that a new, threatening virus was spreading through their communities. The virus then began to spread to other nearby countries and throughout the entire globe. Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome-Related Coronavirus 2, COVID-19, and Coronavirus; are some names given to this new virus. What happens when someone gets infected with the virus?
The Disastrous COVID-19
One could argue, that viruses cannot be even classified as living organisms. While many theories suggest the origin of the COVID-19 virus, the exact beginning is yet to be confirmed. The definite duration of the virus’s survival on surfaces, such as plastic, metal, or wood, is still to be verified.
COVID-19 can survive and thrive in living cells, causing a series of health disorders in an infected person, including death. The primary mode of transmission of the virus is through droplet infections. When an infected person coughs, and you come into contact with these droplets, by touching your face, nose, and eyes with droplets-contacted hands, you will also be infected.
What Happens Next?
Upon contact with your eyes, nose, or mouth, the virus starts its journey to the places in your body where it can survive and thrive. The lungs, intestines, and spleen are the top destinations where the virus can initiate its deadly attack.
The Coronavirus is much more dangerous when compared to the general flu virus. The COVID-19 virus can cause adverse health impairments once they enter a living body.
Epithelial Cells in The Body
The cells in the lungs are at the highest risk of getting attacked by the virus. The virus connects to a specific receptor on Epithelial Cells and injects its genetic material. The confused cell then copies the DNA and fills up with more copies of the virus. And the process continues until the Epithelial Cell dies and releases multiplied virus particles into other cells.
It only takes about ten days for the virus to thrive in millions and destroy entire organs. That is how the virus gradually spreads in its victim; we know it, but we do not have a cure for the virus yet! As advanced as the healthcare sector is in this 21st century, it still can’t fight all viruses that come its way, and the diseases continue to take hundreds of lives each day. Did the healthcare sector fail us? As of 20th April 2020, the time when this article was written, the Coronavirus death toll has reached 165,741. Therefore, you can choose the answer to, “Did the healthcare sector fail us?” yourself.
Coronavirus Outbreak as a Global Health Threat
N.B, all the facts given here are till 20th April 2020. The total number of COVID-19 cases reported are 2,418,559. The percentage of the total number of infected people and deaths is (165,741/2,418,559) x 100 = 6.8%. These figures may dramatically change with time. Nevertheless, a 6.8% fatality rate again tells us that we have many areas to improve within the global healthcare sectors.
The above figures are not uniform, meaning the percentage of infected people and deaths are not the same across the globe. For example, if we look at the countries with the highest number of cases reported, their death toll, and recovery rates (refer to the table given below), the statistics suggest that global healthcare and its components, including facilities and treatment, are not consistent. (Statistics from: worldometers.info/coronavirus/.)
|Country||Total number of cases reported so far||Total Number of Deaths||Total Number of Recoveries|
The History of Global Diseases
Unfortunately, this is not the first time the world faced an adverse situation like the Coronavirus, gradually taking human lives. Plague of Athens, from 430 to 426 BC, Black Death, from 1331 to 1353, Spanish Flu, from 1918 to 1920, The Swine Flu from 2009 to 2010, and the Zika virus epidemic, from 2015 to 2016: one after the other, these global diseases have cost millions of lives. Why couldn’t we learn our lessons from the past and get a handle of the situation this time?
We have all the statistics; we know that global diseases can kill millions of people, but diseases are taking many lives even at this very moment. We are one of the most advanced healthcare solutions providers on the planet, but even we wish that we can invent a “Magical Healthcare Solution” that can completely wipe out COVID-19.
Advanced Healthcare for Fighting Mass Diseases
Artificial Intelligence is perhaps the savior here. A similar virus to COVID-19 was the topic in 2003 (according to sciencedaily.com https://bit.ly/2zgwHVl). Almost 17 years have passed since then, and the same virus itself has developed into something more dangerous, but the healthcare sector is on its knees in front of the virus now. The entire medical world, including us (healthcare solutions providers), should overcome this challenge first. Next, we all have to move on to the next step of inventing advanced healthcare for fighting mass diseases before another virus suddenly appears and puts everyone at risk again and claims thousands of lives.
1) Artificial Intelligence
This is our strongest weapon to use against developing viruses or bacteria. Can we discover a trend or pattern of global diseases through A.I. and available data? Some people infected with COVID-19 seem to heal without experiencing severe impairments, but another group of patients suffers until death. Why is it happening that way? Any genetics, blood type, race, or lifestyle determines how the virus affects each person? A.I. undoubtedly can help us with all these so-called patterns and trends.
2) Medication for Viruses
It is a difficult situation because the healthcare workers have to tell patients, “Sorry, no medicine for this virus is available as of yet!” Seriously, why is it that even the 21st century-healthcare hasn’t got any drugs even for the common flu? Scientists and other experts in healthcare need another helping hand to break the trend, “no treatment for this”. Again, A.I. can help us with it.
3) Robotics in Healthcare
Healthcare workers also are now falling victim to COVID-19. Even the doctor who first revealed the virus is no longer with us. Thus, human healthcare workers alone can’t fight this battle. Viruses and bacteria are tiny particles, but humans, made of billions of cells are only mere victims of those tiny killers. And this is where Robotics in Healthcare comes in handy for all (we have an upcoming article under this topic). While China is already using robot healthcare workers, the majority of the infected countries don’t have the technology yet.
4) Advanced Healthcare Equipment
Yes, there is much-sophisticated equipment in hospitals and treatment centers. However, some of these $100k machines can only treat a few patients at a time. Other patients have to wait until the patients get treatment, recover and leave the hospital. In the case of any fast spreading pandemic like COVID-19, managing many patients at once becomes the biggest concern. We need healthcare machines and equipment that can look after many patients at once. For more information on how these pandemics spread, watch this YouTube video (https://bit.ly/2XOHSig).
5) Bigger Emergency Rooms and Affordable Healthcare
One of the major concerns of the entire healthcare sector is this. ICU numbers in many leading hospitals, even in developed countries, are not at a satisfactory level. The whole world knows the importance of having bigger ICU rooms since the 90s, but it is still a concern even after a hundred years; now, we are in the 21st century. It is the responsibility of the country’s government to “buy” million-dollar equipment for ICUs, but can we blame the government for not doing it? Advanced healthcare should come at affordable prices in the future. There’s no point in saying, “we have built a machine that can safely kill cancer cells, and it costs $10 billion”. Not everyone can afford it.
At CSI, we continuously focus on developing advanced healthcare solutions that can keep people safe and healthy. We immensely contribute to the advancement of the healthcare sector, and we hope that the rest of the healthcare sectors does the same. COVID-19 Coronavirus Outbreak: many things have gone wrong that need immediate corrections. Stay safe, everyone! Stay safe, world! Our prayers are with you.