564 dead, 28,060 cases of novel coronavirus confirmed in China

A total of 28,060 cases of novel coronavirus have been confirmed in China till yesterday and over 200 abroad. Virus has caused 564 deaths in China and 1 abroad, said China’s National Health Commission. The d numbers follow 73 new deaths and 3,694 new confirmed cases on Wednesday, according to the commission. Meanwhile, there were 261 new recovered cases on Wednesday, bringing the total cured patients so far to 1,153.

WHO has said, the international community has launched a 675 million dollar worth preparedness and response plan covering the months of February to 2nd April to fight further spread of the new coronavirus outbreak in China and globally, and protect states with weaker health systems. Amid this crisis, China has received its first foreign dignitary, Prime Minister of Combodia Hun Sen yesterday. A staunch ally of China, Mr. Hun Sen under whose regime, Combodia has received billions of dollars worth Chinese investment, was received by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi at the airport.

Meanwhile, some positive signs have emerged lately from the ongoing novel coronavirus outbreak after new suspected cases fell for the second straight day. China’s National Health Commission said that 3,971 new suspected cases were confirmed as of Tuesday midnight in the mainland, with 1,957 in the epicenter of the outbreak, Central China’s Hubei Province. There were 5,072 more cases on Monday (3,182 in Hubei) and 5,173 on Sunday (3,260 in Hubei). It has prompted some public health experts to predict that the inflection point for the epidemic may be seen in the near future.

The sharp drop on Tuesday is seen as a signal that strict control measures have gradually yielded positive results. The drop is mainly due to improved detection capability, which allowed suspected cases to be confirmed or excluded in shorter time frames, the spokesperson of China’s National Health Commission said at a press conference on Wednesday. It allowed the confirmed patients to be treated in a timely manner, while the excluded cases can return to their normal life.

The Wuhan Institute of Virology has said yesterday, their researchers discovered that two medicines – Remdesivir and chloroquine may effectively inhibit the development of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in patients. The trial will include 453 critical patients and 308 less severe patients, a medical expert said yesterday.

An antiviral drug, Remdesivir, is officially in clinical trial stage in Wuhan’s Jinyintan Hospital as experts are testing its use in treating patients of novel coronavirus. But at the same time, a controversy has erupted over the intellectual property following Wuhan Institute of Virologyvapplying for the patent usage of a medicine developed in the US. Remdesivir, GS-5734, a medicine developed by US medicine producer Gilead Sciences, is in phase two and three clinical research into its effectiveness against the Ebola virus in Congo.  
In order to protect national interest, the institute said that it applied to patent the discovery of Remdesivir effectiveness to deal with the 2019-nCov and would apply for patents in other countries and regions through the Patent Cooperation Treaty.

The institute called for foreign companies to withhold enforcing lawful patent rights to assist China’s fight against the coronavirus epidemic.

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