Coronavirus (COVID-19) update: Busting the myth by looking at the facts

coronavirus picture

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A digital illustration of the coronavirus shows the crown-like appearance of the virus. (UN News)

Finally, some good news about the new coronavirus pneumonia outbreak (COVID-19). According to Reuters, China’s National Health Commission reported a substantial drop of 77% in new coronavirus cases last week, as the number of new cases in China dropped last Wednesday to 394 from 1,749 on the previous day. According to CNN’s most recent report, indeed the coronavirus situation is currently stabilising in China.

In addition, researchers from the University of Queensland (UQ) in Australia have announced their major breakthrough in developing the first coronavirus vaccine. More good news comes from Texas, US, whereby an American genetic engineering company reports it has completed the development of a coronavirus vaccine. Other multinational drug companies like Sanofi and Janssen are entering the race of developing the vaccine. Moreover, China’s Vice Science and Technology Minister Xu Nanping stated that China is starting trials on its coronavirus vaccine in a month’s time from now.

Is the coronavirus more deadly than Ebola, SARS, MERS? On the contrary, COVID-19 has the lowest fatality rate compared to other deadly viruses. According to the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, while the new coronavirus pneumonia has a case fatality rate (CFR) of 2.65%, Ebola has a CFR as high as 50%, MERS has a CFR of 34.4% and SARS has a CFR of 14-15%. Hence, coronavirus shouldn’t be compared even to the rest as the fatality rate is much lower. Unfortunately, the latter isn’t stressed in the news headlines whatsoever, simply because fearmongering and sensationalism is something that other media do for a living. Also, factual data like the low fatality rate of COVID-19 would stop the panic and result in a more realistic approach to the coronavirus outbreak, which could lead pop media to lose pop readership.

Besides, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, the official EU Agency, which provides daily updates on the coronavirus, clearly stipulates about today that “the risk associated with COVID-19 infection for people from the EU/EEA and UK is currently considered to be low to moderate.”

What is the real reason behind this overly exaggeration of the press about COVID-19?

Since the outbreak of coronavirus in December 2019 in China’s Hubei province, the world has been witnessing an increase in coronavirus cases with approximately 80,000 people being infected around the world. China’s government has already taken emergency measures to contain the expansion of the disease like controlling the movement of people in the Hubei province or building a new large hospital to treat the coronavirus cases in a matter of days.

Nevertheless, during the first two months of 2020 the world has been taking some exaggerated measures against China like cancelling/blocking flights to/from China which refer to both transfers of people and goods. And all that despite the fact that the World Health Organization has been adamant that such measures are not recommended.

In addition, the world’s press has been extremely critical over the strict isolation measures taken by China to confine the outbreak. They also blamed China for violating human rights. At the same time in Italy these days entire villages and towns in the northern part of the country are completely quarantined by the Italian government. Consequently, the latter shows that what China does for the Hubei province is nothing more than standard emergency prevention measure to be taken by a country.

Moreover, as a result of fearmongering by the media through the omission of facts like for example the low fatality rate of the coronavirus, people tend to have a racist approach against Chinese citizens who are living or traveling outside China. Isn’t it utterly unfair though and absolutely wrong to assimilate the few dozens of thousands of coronavirus cases with the 1.4 billion population of a country?

As regards the coronavirus’ impact on the second biggest economy of the world, besides the opportunistic approach by many markets to capitalise on this emergency with hostility, it seems that the economy is not dearly affected as gamblers would hope. In particular, the Ambassador of China to the EU has been recently reassuring on the matter: “With business activities deferred and demand for services reduced, there is some impact on the Chinese economy. Yet the impact is limited, short-term and manageable. The epidemic will not change the positive prospects of the Chinese economy in the long term, the huge market demand offered by the 1.4 billion Chinese people, nor China’s commitment to reform and opening-up. There is no need for global investors to worry too much.”

All in all, while the coronavirus is surely a new challenge for the world in 2020, it is much needed that the world’s media maintain a balanced approach, discussing the coronavirus outbreak objectively without tactically losing interest from positive evolutions and news like the vaccination development achievements, the low fatality rate of the disease or the drop in the cases in China or effective responses. The latter is necessary to avoid that people panic. Besides, WHO has established a specific website to inform people and media about the coronavirus, which is based on facts, a sine qua non for journalism as it should be.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

COVID-19 pandemic: The war inside our heads

Asking for more restriction on intra EU immigration: Unproductive and politically dangerous

Coronavirus: a Disease that spreads as fastly as its fake news

Can the Tokyo Olympics help bring the world together?

European research priorities for 2021-2027 agreed with member states

The Eurogroup protects Germany and blames others

Myanmar military target civilians in deadly helicopter attack, UN rights office issues war crimes warning

The price of centralization of human resources for health

Children of ISIL terrorists likely held in ‘secret detention facilities’, UN human rights office warns

EU: Divided they stand on immigration and Trump hurricanes

COVID-19 and the pursuit of financial inclusion in Pakistan

Coronavirus: Commission launches data sharing platform for researchers

Infringement – Commission takes Italy to Court for its incomplete regime of access to genetic resources

Human rights champions from across the world receive top UN prize

Germany may have a stable and more cooperative government

How income-sharing agreements can improve access to education

Lagarde discusses the European Central Bank’s policy revamp with MEPs

Macro-Financial Assistance: Europe’s way to control Ukraine?

ECB asks for more subsidies to banks

COVID – ACT III, When do I get off the stage?

SRHR and Ending HIV : Can one be achieved without the other ?

Sign language protects ‘linguistic identity and cultural diversity’ of all users, says UN chief

Who really cares about the 26.2 million of EU jobless?

19th EU-China Summit: A historical advance in the Chino-European rapprochement

‘Foreign children’ in overwhelmed Syrian camp need urgent international help, says top UN official

EP survey: EU recovery funds should only go to countries respecting Rule of Law

FROM THE FIELD: West Africa’s wishful gold diggers

Moving from commitment to action on LGBTI equality

Tokyo 2020 Olympics: from cardboard beds to recycled medals, how the Games are going green

Commission’s action plan: financial world mandatory links to environmental targets

Fostering intergenerational solidarity and cooperation through age-friendly environments: the right answer to Europe’s demographic challenge

The Eurogroup+ is born to govern the EU Banking Union

European Youth Forum demands immediate action & binding agreement on climate change

How to create a transparent digital economy and rebuild consumer trust

Coronavirus reinforces the importance of empathy

To all far-right partisans who exploit Charlie Hebdo atrocity: a peaceful reply given by a peaceful student

For how long and at what cost can the ECB continue printing trillions to keep euro area going?

What is the European Super League and how would it work?

State aid: Commission approves German scheme for very high capacity broadband networks in Bavaria

To feed 10 billion people, we must preserve biodiversity. Here’s how

Ramped-up emergency preparedness, part of ‘changing the DNA’ of the UN’s health agency

New Report Offers Global Outlook on Efforts to Beat Plastic Pollution

How African countries can benefit from plan to reform global tax

Destabilizing Lebanon after burning Syria; plotting putsch at home: King and Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia

COVID-19 is an unmissable chance to put people and the planet first

Take care of your borders and then expand them

The Juncker Plan at work: bringing investment back on track in Europe

Africa-Europe Alliance: European Commission committed to a sustainable African agri-food sector

Mindfulness: a freedom we can still have in the pandemic

If you live in a big city you already smoke every day

Employment and Social Developments in Europe: 2018 review confirms positive trends but highlights challenges, in particular linked to automation and digitalisation

Safer products: EP and Council close deal to beef up checks and inspections

Coronavirus global response: EU Humanitarian Air Bridge to Iraq and new funding

Top UN Syria envoy hails ‘impressive’ start to historic talks in Geneva

UN rights chief slams ‘unconscionable’ US border policy of separating migrant children from parents

EU-US resume trade negotiations under the spell of NSA surveillance

The world’s economy is only 9% circular. We must be bolder about saving resources

How many websites are there?

State aid: Commission approves €650 million Polish support to LOT in context of coronavirus outbreak

Nepal faces a crisis as COVID-19 stems the flow of remittances

More Stings?

Trackbacks

  1. […] 24, 2020 ChinaNews China, EU, European Union Coronavirus (COVID-19) update: Busting the myth by looking at the facts  The European […]

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s