Climate, immunity, incompetence? Indonesia’s zero recorded coronavirus cases raise questions

first_img“We recommend that outbreak surveillance and control capacity should be rapidly strengthened in those locations lying below the 95 percent [prediction interval] lower bound to ensure cases are detected if occurring and avoid the emergence of self-sustained transmission,” researchers said in the study.The questions range from whether Indonesia’s humid, tropical climate somehow protects it, whether Indonesians’ immune systems play a factor and whether Indonesia even has the capacity to detect the virus that causes flu-like symptoms.Read also: Indonesia should have confirmed coronavirus cases by now: StudyMuch of the concern has been directed toward the competence of the Health Ministry’s laboratory, the only one authorized to run tests on suspected cases, in detecting the new virus, 2019-nCoV.The ministry has repeatedly brushed off these concerns. Its communicable disease prevention and control director, Wiendra Waworuntu, said on Thursday that the lab had received 2,000 primers for testing from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in January.The ministry’s lab has tested 50 specimens as of Friday; 49 of them tested negative while the remaining test was still awaiting results.Wiendra said Indonesia had learned from its previous encounters with outbreaks, including the 2002-2003 Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak. During the SARS epidemic that killed 774 people in 17 countries, Indonesia recorded only two probable cases according to WHO data.A 2011 study conducted by the University of Hong Kong and published by open-access publisher Hindawi showed that the high temperatures and high relative humidity in Indonesia might be the reason it did not have nosocomial outbreaks of SARS. The case was possibly different in Singapore and Hong Kong, where there was an intensive use of air conditioning, as transmission occurred in well air-conditioned environments.Read also: Indonesia prepares for the worst in coronavirus outbreakThis was because the study found that “high temperature at high relative humidity had a synergistic effect on inactivation of SARS coronavirus viability while lower temperatures and low humidity support prolonged survival of the virus on contaminated surfaces”.While acknowledging that there was still much to be learned about the new strain of the virus, R. Wasito, a veterinary professor at Gadjah Mada University who had previously studied coronaviruses, said the novel virus might not last long in Indonesia due to exposure to heat and the sun.There was also the possibility, still in need of scientific evidence, that stress during winter season might weaken one’s immune system thus making transmission easier, he said. China is currently in the winter season, which usually lasts until March.While the novel coronavirus came from the same family as SARS, WHO representative to Indonesia Navaratnasamy Paranietharan told The Jakarta Post via email on Thursday that the two outbreaks could not be compared as “many factors of the 2019-nCoV are still unknown”.Vivi Setiawaty, the head of a biomedical research center at the ministry’s Health Research and Development Agency (Balitbangkes), argued it was too early to determine the virus’ characteristics.She said that although viruses would be inactivated at temperatures between 50 and 70 degrees Celsius and that more cases were confirmed in countries with cooler weather, there had also been confirmed cases in tropical countries with similar weather to Indonesia. The Philippines, for instance, had recorded the first death from the novel coronavirus outside of China.Vivi emphasized the role of people’s immune systems in countering the virus while also attributing the zero cases in Indonesia to the country’s preparedness in preventing the outbreak.Health Ministry disease control and prevention director general Anung Sugihantono mentioned three factors influencing disease transmission, namely the agent – the virus itself – the host and the environment, with the last two factors still leaving many unanswered questions in the effort to understand, scientifically, why Indonesia had not recorded any cases.”When we talk about hosts [of the virus], the immune system against the novel coronavirus is different from one person to another, one ethnicity to another. This is what we’ll be studying further, whether these factors have led to no cases being found in Indonesia,” Anung told journalists on Thursday.”In terms of environment, we live in a tropical country and the people commonly have activities outdoors. Where these have influences in virulency must also be reviewed scientifically,” he added.The ministry, Anung said, was also actively looking into deaths from pneumonia amid the outbreak, claiming there had been no significant increase in such deaths. However, he did not immediately provide data.The novel coronavirus can cause severe pneumonia or breathing difficulties for some people, according to the WHO.Anung acknowledged that any fault in the detection processes could lead to different lab test results, adding that the ministry was continuously evaluating each step in the detection processes, such as in diagnosing patients, taking samples for lab tests and using test kits and equipment.Chairul Anwar Nidom, the chair of Airlangga University’s Avian Influenza Research Center, called on the government to facilitate good coordination between the central government and regional administrations.”From my experience during the avian influenza outbreak, there were too many meetings and seminars. Viruses can be very dynamic, and so the key is coordination,” he said.He suggested the government appoint a leading sector to orchestrate efforts at all levels of administration.The ministry said it had continuously worked alongside local health agencies to monitor people who had traveled to countries affected by the virus. It said it would also train local medical and lab workers on the novel coronavirus, opening up the possibility of the expansion of lab testing into other areas.Editor’s note: The article has been updated with information on a study by Harvard University researchers.Topics : Almost a month after the first novel coronavirus case outside of China was confirmed in Thailand on Jan. 13 and amid the virus’s subsequent spread to a number of other countries, Indonesia seems to remain free of the fast-spreading illness.While the fact that there are zero known cases in the country has brought relief, it has also raised questions about what sets Indonesia apart from countries with confirmed cases, especially as 85 cases had been recorded across six neighboring Southeast Asian countries as of Friday.A study by a group of researchers from Harvard University suggests that Indonesia should have confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus by now, given the high number of airline passengers traveling between the country and Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak in China. The study, carried out by researchers at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, revealed that Indonesia’s zero confirmed cases “may suggest the potential for undetected cases in these locations given the expected connection before travel control measures were implemented”.However, the study has not been peer-reviewed. It was published on pre-print server medRxiv on Wednesday.The findings are based on estimated air travel volume from Wuhan to international destinations and a generalized linear regression model to predict imports of novel coronavirus cases across 26 locations.With an average daily number of passengers of about 100, the model showed that Indonesia should have confirmed one to 10 infections with the novel coronavirus.last_img read more

Cricket News Kedar Jadhav, Shahbaz Nadeem Give India B Deodhar Trophy Title With Win Over India C

first_imgNew Delhi: Kedar Jadhav’s aggressive 86, Vijay Shankar and Krishnappa Gowtham’s aggressive cameos of 45 and 33 respectively in the death overs as well as Shahbaz Nadeem’s brilliant haul of 4/32 gave India B a convincing 51-run win over India C as they clinched the Deodhar Trophy title at the JSCA cricket stadium in Ranchi on Monday. Jadhav, who has been a forgotten man for the Indian cricket team ever since the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 and Nadeem, who impressed on debut combined to put up a magnificent performance that summed up India B’s dominance in the tournament. Jadhav’s knock was crucial after India B suffered a bad start after opting to bat.Ruturaj Gaekwad fell in the first over to Ishan Porel while skipper Parthiv Patel and Baba Aparajith fell after getting off to a steady start. However, at the other end, Yashasvi Jaiswal held firm at the other end and played confidently as the match progressed. Jaiswal benefited from a dropped catch by Diwesh Pathania and he made the bowler pay by hitting him for a couple of boundaries. Jaiswal notched up his fifty with a big six off Mayank Markande but he fell in the quest of quick runs to Axar Patel.However, Jadhav held firm and continued the good work which Jaiswal had done and he signalled his intentions with a six off Markande. The 79-run stand between Jadhav and Nitish Rana laid the foundation for India B’s big score. Jadhav mixed aggression and caution and he continued to target Markande by getting to his fifty with two sixes off the legspinner. When Rana fell, Vijay Shankar ensured the momentum was sustained and Markande continued to bear the brunt of the punishment when Shankar slammed a six.Shankar upped the ante with two fours off Jalaj Saxena and he slammed a six and a four off Pathania as India B went rampant in the death overs. Jadhav hit his fourth six off Markande as the bowler finished with figures of 10-0-79-0. Shankar fell for 45 but the 49th over bowled by Pathania was carnage as Gowtham slammed two fours and three sixes as the over went for 31 runs. Ishan Porel got the big wicket of Jadhav for 86 to pick up his fifth wicket but Gowtham’s blitz ensured India B reached 283/7, with the last five overs yielding 72 runs.Also Read | Incredible – Defending Vijay Hazare Trophy Champions Mumbai Dumped Out After No Result Vs ChhatisgarhThe onslaught in the final overs affected India C and they started badly, losing Shubman Gill, Virat Singh and Suryakumar Yadav cheaply. The collapse of four wickets for 21 runs ensured India C did not recover and despite the best efforts of Priyam Garg, India C were behind the rate. When Siraj got the wicket of Garg for 74, Nadeem ran through the lower order to end with four wickets. Axar Patel, Jalaj Saxena and Mayank Markande did not go for the win and they played out the overs to give India B a confident win. For all the Latest Sports News News, Cricket News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps.last_img read more


first_imgChloe Magee.Donegal Badminton star Chloe Magee has incredibly won her TENTH, yes you read that correctly her TENTH All-Ireland singles title. The Raphoe native represented Ireland at the Olympics in London in 2012.This weekend, Magee won her tenth All-Ireland title which is an absolutely incredibly achievement. She also won the mixed doubles national title with her brother Sam for the ninth time.Her boyfriend, Finn Harps FC star Packie Mailey wrote the following on his Facebook timeline, “Big shout out to the champ (Chloe Magee) who won her 10th National Title in singles this weekend in Dublin.“Not only that herself and Sam win their 9th National doubles title. Massive achievement for all her hard work in which she continually strives to improve with a big year ahead.”Well done Chloe and Sam on an incredible achievement.  AMAZING CHLOE WINS HER TENTH ALL-IRELAND BADMINTON TITLE was last modified: February 7th, 2016 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more