ACTNews, JAKARTA – In late December 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) received reports of people suffering from symptoms similar to pneumonia in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. At that time, the cause was unknown. Later, the virus that causes this illness is named 2019 Novel Corona Virus or 2019 nCoV.
On Thursday (1/30), The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared that the Wuhan Corona Virus outbreak was a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). Quoted from from Kompas, with this status, a coordinated international response is needed to deal with it.
As of Saturday (1/2), AFP noted that there were nearly 12 thousand people infected with the corona virus, and 259 of them died. The local Chinese government has quarantined millions of its citizens. Preventive efforts have also been carried out in various countries. A total of 21 countries have reported the findings of 2019 nCoV cases.
Doctor Rizal Alimin from the Aksi Cepat Tanggap (ACT) Medical Team said that the corona virus is similar to SARS and MERS viruses that spread several years ago. These three viruses attack respiratory tract and can cause death.
"They have three similar characteristics. These three viruses attack the lungs, so they also have similar symptoms. Its first symptom is high fever, dry cough, and shortness of breath. In severe conditions, it can cause pneumonia, and this can cause death," said Rizal.
The researchers believe the virus was originally transmitted from animals, especially bats. However, Doctor Muhammad Riedha, who is also from the ACT Medical Team, was not sure if the cause is due to consuming animal meat because it is an airborne virus.
Passenger aircraft received masks from the ACT action at Terminal 3 of Soekarno Hatta Airport on Friday (31/1). (ACTNews / Adi Ilman Hawari)
"The possibility of it being transmitted through food is small because this virus is transmitted through coughing or sneezing. We have no idea how it spreads, but it is possible that the animal can also suffer from the symptoms such as coughing and flu, and it then spread from animals to humans, and from humans to humans. Hence, there are two ways of transmission of this virus: from animals to humans, and from humans to humans," explained Riedha. The two doctors advised the public to keep clean, wear masks when sick, and not hesitate to see a doctor when sick.
Responding to this outbreak, ACT took preventive measures by distributing masks at Terminal 3 of Soekarno Hatta International Airport, Tangerang, on Friday (1/31).
"We consider it necessary to provide free masks and to educate the Indonesians who arrive at this airport because this airport is the entrance to our country. Out there, people are becoming more aware of this virus. Even the WHO, January 30, said that the corona outbreak is currently an emergency," said Anca Ardiansyah, Head of ACT Jakarta ACT Regional Program Team.
2,000 masks were distributed to the passengers who arrived in the airport. In addition, five boxes of Waqf Drinking Water were also distributed at the location. ACT also deploys its ambulances.
"We are doing this activity for two days. We have received permission from the Port Health Authority (KKP) to distribute masks today and tomorrow (1/2). From this terminal, many people who just came from Umrah and vacation abroad enter this country," said Anca.
Umar Ali, one of the passengers who were leaving for Saudi Arabia that day, received a mask from ACT. Umar responded positively to this action as a prevention of the spread of the corona virus.
"I think this is amazing, Alhamdulillah, and Insha Allah, hopefully there will be more distribution to overcome this problem because it's very important to avoid harmful thing. Thank you very much ACT, and Insha Allah, this will also be useful for others," said Umar.