As of 12 May 2020, 4,425,094 people have been infected with SARS-CoV-2 with deaths reaching 297,723.Doctors are desperately looking for an effective drug, and there have been a number of candidates on trial; one of them, remdesivir, is probably the most exciting of all. This is the drug developed for the Ebola epidemic in 2015, but it was found to be less effective in clinical trials than in in vitro studies. Is remdesivir the panacea for COVID-19?
Science is often viewed as the bastion of rationale and objectivity. True meritocracy is therefore expected from a sector that advocates for evidence over tradition. Despite this, the existing scientific workforce is yet to be representative of the increasingly diverse society in the Western world.
This week the Ministry of Education Malaysia (MOE) released a guideline and standard operating procedure (SOP) regarding school management and measures to control the spread of COVID-19. The guidelines have been endorsed by the Ministry of Health Malaysia (MOH) and the National Security Council (MKN). This guideline covers all schools under MOE as well as the private educational institutions registered with MOE.
The world is celebrating the World Environment Day for the 46th time. While this day aims to remind ourselves on the importance of environmental protection, we should reflect on how successful we have been in doing so in the last half a decade. The COVID-19 virus, which has infected over 6 million people and has taken more than 300,000 lives to date, certainly gives an alarming signal that humans should put more effort in protecting the environment.
At the initial stages of a new disease outbreak, information about the disease and how it spreads is scarce, limited and often incomplete. Therefore, it is difficult for the government and healthcare authorities to design management policies to contain the outbreak. To overcome this, scientists often rely on mathematical modelling to predict the future trend of a disease and consequently inform the appropriate measures to tackle the outbreak.
COVID-19 has shown that Malaysians don't change behaviours through raising awareness and knowledge - despite the numerous health messaging, advisories by the Government and the Senior Minister (Security Cluster) and constant pleading by the Director-General of Health Malaysia in his daily press briefings. We needed to create policies (i.e. SOPs) and strictly enforce those SOPs to achieve behavioural change.
While the relation between obesity and COVID-19 is not fully known, there are emerging studies pointing to obesity as one of the top underlying condition for people aged 60 years old and under who are hospitalised for the coronavirus. Severe obesity reportedly increases the risk of a major COVID-19 complication known as acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). We asked experts to comment on obesity as a risk factor for becoming seriously ill with COVID-19.
The signatories of this Joint Statement are a group of health professional societies, non-profit organizations, advocates, policymakers and citizens. We hold the strong position that the global fight against Covid–19 will be won only if all stakeholders play their part. Therefore, we urge all global diagnostics, pharmaceutical and vaccine companies, including Gilead, to meet the following recommendations to ensure that all of humanity will have people’s vaccines, people’s medicines and people’s diagnostics.
Children form a small proportion of those who have tested positive in this COVID-19 pandemic. In Malaysia, children aged 0-12 years comprised of 317 out of 6,872 cases identified (4.6%). Although children get infected with COVID-19 and transmit the disease, the vast majority generally do very well or remain asymptomatic; severe illness and death are rare. Recently however there has been concern, as young children infected with COVID-19 have presented with a severe Kawasaki-like disease with some fatality.
As the world grapples with the containment of the COVID-19 pandemic whilst it crushes socio-economic foundations and brings world-leaders to their knees, the question at the back of our minds is how will the story-line end? Dr Dhesi BR opines pragmatic options on flattening the curve should be placed on the table for critical evaluation in finding that postscript for the final chapter in the COVID-19 saga. If possible to flatten and shrink it, ‘squishing the curve’.