Coronavirus (COVID 19) Cases Overview
Coronaviruses are large family of viruses that majorly causes the illness such as common cold to most severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute respiratory Syndrome (SARS). However, the (Coronavirus Disease) COVID-19 is a new strain of coronavirus identified in 2019 and not been previously identified in humans.
Causes and Symptoms of COVID-19
The major cause for the coronavirus disease 2019 is not clear however, the disease transmitted from one person to another person through direct contact such as touching of infected persons and then touching hands to mouth, nose, and eyes, body fluids like cough droplets, and touching of articles previously touched by infected persons. The major symptoms of the coronavirus include cold, cough, fever, and shortness of breath and other symptoms include aches, runny nose, sore throat, tiredness, and others. Moreover, researchers found that digestive issues such as diarrhea could be the first sign of (Coronavirus Disease) COVID for many patients.
Coronavirus Disease – 2019: Epidemiology
The first known case of COVID-19 was identified from Hubei province in China in November 2019 and currently the diseases spreading across the globe. In January 2020, the first known death with COVID-19 was identified in China. As of 7th April 2020, more than 1.4 Mn cases identified as positive across the globe, of which 82 thousand deaths occurred due to disease and approximately 0.3 Mn people recovered from COVID-19. At global level, United States has 28.0% of coronavirus cases followed by Spain with 9.9%, Italy with 9.5%, France with 7.6%, Germany with 7.5%, China with 5.7%, Iran with 4.4%, and UK with 3.9% of coronavirus cases. According to recent statistics, the incidence rate of the disease decreased in China however, it is gradually increasing in Europe, Iran, and USA countries. Initially the mortality is highest in China with approximately 3,300 deaths and it was surpassed by Italy, Spain, USA, France, UK, and Iran. The deaths are raising at a faster rate in the United States by 7th April there were around 12,841 deaths. Countries are focused to lock down the public places, transportation, and mass gatherings to control the disease.
Table 1: Top 25 Countries with highest cases of COVID-19 as of 7th April 2020
|Country||Total Cases||Total Deaths||Total Recovered||Active Cases||Total Tests|
Coronavirus Disease – 2019: Disease Diagnosis
Most of the public and private organizations are focus on R&D activities for the diagnosis of COVID-19. For instance,
- On 5th March, Quest Diagnostics launched coronavirus (COVID-19) test service that helps the detection of nucleic acid in respiratory specimens of patients meeting CDC’s clinical criteria for COVID-19 testing
- On 10th March, Genematrix received CE-IVD certification for its new coronavirus test kit, Neoflex COVID.
- On 11th March, Biomerieux announced the forthcoming launch of 3 different tests for the detection of COVID-19. The tests include SARS-COV-2 R-GENE®test, a real-time PCR test, a fully-automated test based on the BIOFIRE FILMARRAY tests designed to run on FILMARRAY® 2.0 and FILMARRAY® TORCH platforms, and BIOFIRE® FILMARRAY® Respiratory Panel 2 which delivers the results in 45 minutes
- On 11th March, Hologic, Inc. received advanced development support for its molecular diagnostic test from U.S. Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) for the detection of COVID-19
- On 13th March, Hackensack Meridian innovation center launched a diagnostic tool to accelerate COVID-19 test results
- On 13th March, the USFDA approved the Roche’s Cobas 6800/8800 diagnostic systems for the detection of novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2)
- On 13th March, Bio-Rad launched SARS CoV-2 Standard to support laboratory assay validation of coronavirus (COVID-19) testing
- On 16th March, Thermo Fisher Scientific received the EUA to detect the Covid-19 virus by using Applied Biosystems TaqPath Assay technology and is designed to provide results within four hours.
- On 17th March, Roche Diagnostics India received the test licence for SARS CoV-2 diagnostic test.
- On 18th March, Abbott, Inc. received FDA Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the company’s molecular test for novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The tests are used on the company’s m2000 RealTime System
- Everlywell planned to launch at home test kits for COVID-19 diagnosis on March 23rd 2019
- On 19th March, BGI Genomics’ subsidiary BGI Americas launched Real-Time Fluorescent RT-PCR testto detect SARS-CoV-2 in USA
- On 22nd March, FDA approved EUA for Cepheid’s Xpert Xpress SARS-CoV-2, a rapid molecular diagnostic test for qualitative detection of SARS-CoV-2
- On 27th March, US FDA issued Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) for the Abbott’s molecular point of care test that can diagnose the COVID-19 within five minutes and negative results in 13 minutes
Apart from above-mentioned companies, most of the companies submitted the Emergency Use Authorization request for the diagnosis of COVID-19.
Coronavirus Disease – 2019: Treatment
Currently there is no antiviral drugs are available to treat COVID-19. However, various anti-viral drugs and other medications are preferred to prevent the symptoms of COVID-19 such as cough, cold, and fever, among others. The current medications used for the COVID-19 treatment are
- In February 2019, National Medical Products Administration of China approved the Anti-viral drug Favilavir for the treatment of COVID-19
- According to World Health Organization, Remdesivir may have the best shot at treating COVID-19.
- Combination of anti-HIV drugs Lopinavir and Ritonavir are using for the treatment of COVID-19
- Physician and scientists announced that use of hydroxychloroquine along with an antiviral medicine may cure the COVID-19
Coronavirus Disease – 2019: Vaccines and Therapeutics – Overview
Most of the market players are involved in the development of vaccines and therapeutics for the treatment of COVID-19. For instance,
- I-Mab Biopharma developed TJM2, a neutralising antibody, for cytokine storm in patients suffering from a severe case of coronavirus infection. The drug targets the human granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), which is responsible for acute and chronic inflammation.
- Medicago developing drug candidates against COVID-19 after having produced Virus-Like Particles (VLP) of the coronavirus. Company entered into collaboration agreement with Laval University’s Infectious Disease Research Centre to develop antibodies against SARS-CoV-2
- Airway Therapeutics is exploring its novel human recombinant protein AT-100 (rhSP-D) for the treatment of coronavirus
- Tiziana Life Sciences is developing its monoclonal antibody TZLS-501 for the treatment of COVID-19.
- OyaGen developing OYA1, an antiviral drug for the treatment of COVID-19
- BeyondSpring developed BPI-002, a small molecule agent indicated for treating various infections including COVID-19. BPI-002 ability to activate CD4+ helper T cells and CD8+ cytotoxic T cells and generating an immune response in the body.
- Altimmune, US-based clinical-stage Biopharmaceutical Company completed the design and synthesis of single-dose intranasal Covid-19 vaccine for the treatment of Coronavirus disease.
- Inovio Pharmaceuticals collaborated with Beijing Advaccine Biotechnology Company to advance the development of the former’s vaccine, INO-4800, as a novel coronavirus vaccine. Company initiated the pre-clinical testing for clinical product manufacturing
- APEIRON Biologics and University of British Columbia developed APN01 for the treatment of COVID-19
- Takeda Pharmaceutical Company plans to develop a plasma-derived therapy against coronavirus.
- Peking University First Hospital sponsored the clinical trials for Favipiravir combined with Tocilizumab for the treatment of Coronavirus
- In March 2020, Phase 1 clinical trials for the COVID-19 vaccine was initiated in USA.