The coronavirus is a whisker away from becoming a pandemic for the World Health Organization (WHO).
In truth, it’s already a worldwide threat.
By the time the WHO begins to digest what is going on, things could get much worse.
The press and the authorities have been giving conflicting information, and these five reasons are convincing enough to believe the situation is much worse than we think.
There are constant updates about coronavirus cases globally – everywhere except Africa. This is the continent that still battles with mass poverty, malnourishment, civil wars, authoritarian governments, terrorism and diseases.
Most assume it is something about the African weather that has kept coronavirus at bay. But the reality could be entirely different. The virus could already be spreading in Africa, and we might not know how far it has gone till it’s too late. The continent received its first testing kits Feb. 7.
While other countries have been shutting down air travel to and from China, Africa is still taking in travelers. Fifteen hundred people a day still fly into Ethiopia from China.
The carelessness of government officials and the lack of resources could mean that coronavirus can spread rapidly in Africa.
The ‘Diamond Princess’ ship set sail from China, dropped off an infected person in Hong-Kong, then arrived in Japan before it was quarantined. With 3,600 people aboard, the Japanese authorities saw fit to not let anyone get off.
It turns out they were correct. Out of the 300 people who have been tested, 136 have tested positive for the coronavirus. The high rate of infection encapsulates how quickly the disease can spread.
The closed space and densely-crowded ship served as a perfect environment for mass cross-infection. With conditions similar to what they are in South Asia, the cruise ship is a perfect replica of what has happened in China.
It’s also an indication of what could happen in population-dense countries like India that have worse conditions.
The dark sides of a one-party rule are well known. The Chinese government has been suppressing information to save face and not appear weak. But it comes at a cost.
To contain a pandemic in its early stages, it’s essential to know the true extent of the crisis. Unfortunately, China has likely been lying about the severity of the situation from the word go.
Taking into consideration the amount of contrary information that’s coming out, one cannot help but think China is facing a crisis and trying to downplay it.
When the truth eventually surfaces, it might be too late for the world to react.
History has taught us that the people at the top always downplay a crisis – even when they know it is deadly and could kill millions.
As evidenced from the image above, officials and media downplayed the Spanish Flu in the early 20th century. A type of coronavirus itself, the Spanish Flu eventually wiped out 3.5% of the world’s population.
It’s understandable why organizations such as WHO would downplay a crisis, though. It’s in their self-interest. If hundreds of millions of people start panicking and preparing for an emergency, the world would cease to function.
That being said, history tells us the downplaying is still a cause for concern.
A Chinese official finally recently confirmed a devastating fact about coronavirus: It is airborne.
Not only does it spread from direct contact and droplets from coughs and sneezes, but it can also bind with oxygen and travel much farther than thought before. Zeng Qun, Deputy Head of the Shanghai Civil Affairs Bureau, confirmed it in a press briefing.
Aerosol transmission refers to the mixing of the virus with droplets in the air to form aerosols, which causes infection after inhalation, according to medical experts. As such, we have called on the public to raise their awareness of the prevention and control of the disease caused by family gatherings.
This devastating revelation alone indicates the disease could ripple across vast distances in no time. It’s no surprise that there are scores of videos Chinese officials disinfecting the streets and buildings.
The evidence clearly suggests the disease is more dangerous than what the officials want everyone to believe.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of CCN.com.
Last modified: February 10, 2020 6:00 PM UTC