New Zealand has 1 Covid-19 death. Here's what they're doing Newsroom Since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak, New Zealand has identified over 1,200 Covid-19 cases but suffered only one confirmed death. CNN's Ivan Watson investigates New Zealand's strategies to curb the pandemic.Source: CNN
South Korea listened to the experts
(CNN)South Korea, the US and the UK all reported their first Covid-19 cases around the same time: on January 20, January 21, and January 31, respectively. How things unfolded from there, unfortunately for the US and UK, has been strikingly different.
Today, South Korea is reporting less than 100 new cases a day, the UK is reporting around 4,000 new cases a day, and the US is reporting around 30,000. But while numbers in South Korea have fallen, in the US and UK they have been rising exponentially (around 20,000 new cases a day a week ago, about 8,000 new cases a day a week before that). We don't yet know if the exponential rise in the US has been halted or not, or whether the figure will plateau at around 30,000 new cases a day.
Nonetheless, the great success story is South Korea, and we know how they did it: they tested.
Italian town's success suggests testing, containment key to COVID-19 fight - Rachel Maddow looks at the strategy used by the Italian town of Vò to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus, using very aggressive testing to identify asymptomatic carriers of the virus.
Raw Story: Here's Why Singapore's Coronavirus Response Worked - And What We Can Learn From it
Singapore’s response to the coronavirus has been held up by many around the world as a model. As of this week, the country has had 266 total cases (with zero deaths), and its infection rate is much slower than the rest of the world.
The first thing that helped with its response was it was ready before the outbreak even occurred because of the SARS outbreak of 2002-03.It was aware then that its infrastructure wasn’t ready for an outbreak of this kind. So, in the years since, isolation hospitals were built, more negative pressure rooms were created and legislation was put in place.
Then, on December 31, when the world first became aware of coronavirus in China, Singapore started to get prepared. By the time the World Health Organisation declared a public health emergency at the end of January, it was ready.
CNN: Beijing is promoting traditional medicine as a 'Chinese solution' to coronavirus. Not everyone is on board
As scientists race to find a cure and vaccine, China is increasingly turning to its traditional remedies. As of late last month, more than 85% of all coronavirus patients in China -- about 60,000 people -- had received herbal remedies alongside mainstream antiviral drugs, according to the Ministry of Science and Technology.
"We are willing to share the 'Chinese experience' and 'Chinese solution' of treating Covid-19, and let more countries get to know Chinese medicine, understand Chinese medicine and use Chinese medicine," Yu Yanhong, deputy head of China's National Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine, said at a press conference last week.
But even in China, where TCM has a large number of adherents, the government has been unable to quell its skeptics -- like Xiong. Abroad, the herbal remedies could face even more skepticism from Western medical experts, who have long questioned their safety and effectiveness.
There is no known cure for the coronavirus which has killed more than 4,000 people, sickened over 115,000 and spread to 75 countries and regions worldwide.
Scientists are working to find ways to stamp out the deadly virus. But for now, the mainstream antiviral treatments focus on relieving the symptoms -- and that's where China believes its ancient remedies can help.
"By adjusting the whole body health and improving immunity, TCM can help stimulate the patients' abilities to resist and recover from the disease, which is an effective way of therapy," she said, adding that traditional medicine had helped fight viruses in the past, such as the SARS pandemic in 2002 and 2003 that killed hundreds in China.
So far, more than 50,000 novel coronavirus patients have been discharged from hospital, and the majority of them used TCM, Yu said, citing it as evidence for the efficacy of using Chinese and Western medicine in tandem
In a clinical trial of 102 patients with mild symptoms in Wuhan, patients with combined treatments compared with the control group of patients receiving only Western medicine, Yu said. Their recovery rate was 33% higher, she added.
In another study of more serious cases, patients receiving combined treatments also left hospital sooner than the control group and had greater levels of oxygen in their blood and a higher lymphocyte count -- an important indicators of the health of recovering patients, according to Yu....
TCM treatments are not just being carried out in Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak.
In eastern Zhejiang province, more than 95% of coronavirus patients had been given traditional medicines as of late February, according to the state run Global Times.
In Beijing, that ratio stood at 87%. Among those who had received TCM, 92% had shown improvement, said Gao Xiaojun, a spokesperson for the Beijing Health Commission.
"Traditional Chinese medicine has played an active role in improving the recovery rate and lowering the fatality rate among patients," he told a press conference late last month.
However, Yanzhong Huang, a senior fellow for global health at the Washington-based Council on Foreign Relations, said the claimed improvement rate of 92% should be taken with a pinch of salt.
"You have to be mindful that 80% (of the coronavirus patients) are mild cases. Even if they don't do anything they might eventually recover," he said.
Artemisinin is a globally recognized remedy for malaria derived from sweet wormwood, a plant used in TCM. Tu Youyou, the Chinese scientist who turned to ancient Chinese medical texts to find artemisinin, was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 2015.
The safety and effectiveness of TCM is still debated in China, where it has both adherents and skeptics. Though many of the remedies in TCM have been in use for hundreds of years, critics argue that there is no verifiable scientific evidence to support their supposed benefits.
"Almost all TCM products in China do not go through the rigorous procedures Western modern medicine typically goes through. That's partly why people don't trust TCM in the Western world," Huang said.
Skepticism over its safety and effectiveness persisted after the World Health Organization gave its first-ever endorsement of TCM in 2018 -- by including the ancient practice in its influential book classifying thousands of diseases.
Some in the biomedical community say WHO overlooked the toxicity of some herbal medicine and the lack of evidence that it works, while animal rights advocates say it will further endanger animals such as the tiger, pangolin, bear and rhino, whose organs are used in some TCM cures.
For the coronavirus, the WHO originally advised against using TCM on its website, saying those with Covid-19 should avoid "taking traditional herbal remedies."
But that line was later removed.
"On 4 March at an editorial meeting of the news and risk communications teams in Geneva, a decision was made to remove that line as it was too broad and did not take into account the fact that many people turn to traditional medicines to alleviate some of the milder symptoms of COVID-19," the WHO said in a statement published on its official account on WeChat, a popular Chinese social media site.
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Note: Fox News continues to do the opposite of facts and listening to the experts;
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