Dr. Ika Trisnawati, M.Sc., Sp.PD-KP as the Head of the Viral Airborne Team at RSUP Dr. Sardjito, Yogyakarta, urged people not to panic in dealing with the Coronavirus or COVID-19 because this virus still has a low fatality rate.
She said that when she was giving a lecture at the Faculty of Pharmacy UGM, the Pharmacist Professional Study Program on the Corona Virus and its Handles. According to Ika, the Coronavirus was once a world epidemic with three types known so far. They are SARS-Cov, MERS-Cov, and COVID-19.
SARS appeared in 2002 in China and Hong Kong, then MERS appeared in 2012 and at the end of 2019 following COVID-19. SARS-Cov number of cases reached 8098, 774 people died, and Case Fatality Rate 9.6 percent. MERS-Cov infected less, namely 2,494, but the mortality rate was high enough, it is up to 858 so that the Case Fatality Rate was 34.4 percent.
While COVID-19 recorded as of March 1, 2020, it reached 87,137 cases with the number of deaths reaching 2,981. This death rate looks very high, but when compared with the number of cases, the Case Fatality Rate is only 3.4 percent.
“Therefore, don’t panic; we have data or scientific evidence. It means that this virus is not fatal. However, the virus is easy to transmit to people,” Ika said, in Auditorium Building V UGM Faculty of Pharmacy on Wednesday (4/2).
Ika said that from the available data, the most crucial thing about COVID-19 is the identification of cases, whether they are importers of cases or local transmissions. For instance, in Pakistan, many cases refer to case importers, it means that claims arising from viruses enter from outside.
Ika admitted that the highest number of deaths outside of China was in Korea, Japan, Philippines, Italy, France, Iran, and on the Diamond Princess. The most significant death rate is in China due to the endemic and the virus, which very contagious.
“From the data, the number of patients who died is because they had other previously had diseases. So, before infected Coronavirus, they had been already sick, such as heart disease, kidney failure, liver failure, and others, and their ages are advanced,” she explained.
Meanwhile, for young patients, the mortality rate is meager. Those who are in this productive age category are generally having good endurance.
“This virus is very dependent on endurance. So, people who died are because they had another chronic disease and had aged,” she added.
Ika hopes that people will not panic dealing with this outbreak. She said that panic arises due to ignorance about this virus. Additionally, it also affected by the circulation of issues that are currently developing.
For her, the one which is precisely the most dangerous in Indonesia is the hoax news related to COVID-19. It is not the Covid virus that is dangerous for us, but the hoax news, which is challenging to control instead.
“We have treatment to control the COVID-19; we also can control the patient due to the transmission. However, when we are talking about the hoax of the virus, it isn’t straightforward to control. Some time ago, we had a meeting with the Ministry of Health from the field of information and communication about hoax issues to handle it seriously,” she said.
Dr. Titik Nursyastuti, SpMK., Ph.D., UGM microbiology FKKMK, said COVID-19 began in 2019 with the discovery of pneumonia cases in the Wuhan area and the claims did not appear outside of China for a month. Thailand became the first country affected.
“WHO data shows that almost all continents have been affected by COVID-2019. But till this moment, WHO has not yet declared as a pandemic,” Ika said.
According to her, this virus is unstable. It can’t stand with the heat, it also can’t stand with the chemicals and so on. This virus has so long existed, and people it successfully isolated it in the 1960s.
“From its history, there are also several types of Coronaviruses that infect humans, even though different families. There are Human Coronavirus 229E, OC43, LL63, and so on. But the concern is the three groups of Coronaviruses above causing outbreaks because previously they only cause mild infections, so they do not pay serious attention when an infection occurs,” she explained.
Author: Agung Nugroho
Translator: Natasa A