Coronavirus – officially named Covid-19 – broke out in China at the start of the year and has since infected almost 74,000 people world-wide, killing more than 1,800. In a desperate bid to contain the outbreak, China has placed huge lock downs on cities across the country.
At present, as many as 150 million people are currently in Quarantine in the country.
However, there are fears that China’s attempts to contain the virus will lead to a global medicine shortage which may lead to the rationing of vital drugs.
The region of Hubei is a major manufacturing hub that produces large amounts of medicine.
Factories in the region have been shut down by the authorities leading to shortages in the supply chain.
German Health Minister Jens Spahn warned last week: “We have seen there might be a possibility of the risk of shortages of supplies due to the coronavirus.
“We know many active ingredients are made in China, particularly in Hubei province.”
The lack of drugs could lead to rationing across the globe.
In India alone, the price of paracetamol has rocketed by 40 percent and other commons antibiotics by 70 percent since the start of the Coronavirus outbreak.
FOLLOW BELOW FOR LIVE UPDATES FROM EXPRESS.CO.UK:
8pm update: Vaccine could take up to a year, warns WHO
A vaccine to protect against coronavirus could take more than a year to develop, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has said.
Speaking at a press conference in Switzerland, director-general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that preparing a vaccine was planning for the “worst situation”.
But he acknowledged that development was a “balancing act” – adding that the imminent focus should be on public health solutions.
He said: “We have to invest in preparedness and really use this window of opportunity to stay away from any serious crisis.
“We have to strike a balance. The vaccine could be the long term, because it could take up to 12 to 18 months. And this is like preparing for the worst situation.”
7.48pm update: Russia to ban entry of Chinese nationals
Russian authorities will impose a temporary entry ban for all Chinese nationals in a bid to curb the spread of coronavirus.
The ban comes into effect on Thursday at midnight Moscow time, according to a decree signed by Russia’s Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin.
The measure was taken due to “worsening epidemiological situation” in China.
7.35pm update: Coronavirus leave pensioners most vulnerable to dying from virus
Coronavirus will kill up to 15 percent of all people over 80 who catch the virus, scientists have warned.
The Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CCDC) has analysed more than 72,000 cases of Covid-19 and found that pensioners are most at risk of dying if they catch the virus.
While those over the age of 80 had a 14.8 percent risk of dying, patients aged between 70 and 79 had an eight percent chance of dying and those in their sixties had a 3.6 percent chance.
Published at Tue, 18 Feb 2020 19:30:00 +0000