(Subjects: Religion/Worship, Lightworkers, Food, Health, Prescription Drugs, Homeopathy, Innate (Body intelligence), New Age movement, Global Unity, ... etc.) - (Text version)

“…… Should I use Doctors and Drugs to Heal Me or Spiritual Methods?

"Dear Kryon, I have heard that you should stay natural and not use the science on the planet for healing. It does not honor God to go to a doctor. After all, don't you say that we can heal with our minds? So why should we ever go to a doctor if we can do it ourselves? Not only that, my doctor isn't enlightened, so he has no idea about my innate or my spiritual body needs. What should I do?"

First, Human Being, why do you wish to put so many things in boxes? You continue to want a yes and no answer for complex situations due to your 3D, linear outlook on almost everything. Learn to think out of the 3D box! Look at the heading of this section [above]. It asks which one should you do. It already assumes you can't do both because they seem dichotomous.

Let's use some spiritual logic: Here is a hypothetical answer, "Don't go to a doctor, for you can heal everything with your mind." So now I will ask: How many of you can do that in this room right now? How many readers can do that with efficiency right now? All of you are old souls, but are you really ready to do that? Do you know how? Do you have really good results with it? Can you rid disease and chemical imbalance with your mind right now?

I'm going to give you a truth, whether you choose to see it or not. You're not ready for that! You are not yet prepared to take on the task of full healing using your spiritual tools. Lemurians could do that, because Pleiadians taught them how! It's one of the promises of God, that there'll come a day when your DNA works that efficiently and you will be able to walk away from drug chemistry and the medical industry forever, for you'll have the creator's energy working at 100 percent, something you saw within the great masters who walked the earth.

This will be possible within the ascended earth that you are looking forward to, dear one. Have you seen the news lately? Look out the window. Is that where you are now? We are telling you that the energy is going in that direction, but you are not there yet.

Let those who feel that they can heal themselves begin the process of learning how. Many will be appreciative of the fact that you have some of the gifts for this now. Let the process begin, but don't think for a moment that you have arrived at a place where every health issue can be healed with your own power. You are students of a grand process that eventually will be yours if you wish to begin the quantum process of talking to your cells. Some will be good at this, and some will just be planting the seeds of it.

Now, I would like to tell you how Spirit works and the potentials of what's going to happen in the next few years. We're going to give the doctors of the planet new inventions and new science. These will be major discoveries about the Human body and of the quantum attributes therein.

Look at what has already happened, for some of this science has already been given to you and you are actually using it. Imagine a science that would allow the heart to be transplanted because the one you have is failing. Of course! It's an operation done many times a month on this planet. That information came from the creator, did you realize that? It didn't drop off the shelf of some dark energy library to be used in evil ways.

So, if you need a new heart, Lightworker, should you go to the doctor or create one with your mind? Until you feel comfortable that you can replace your heart with a new one by yourself, then you might consider using the God-given information that is in the hands of the surgeon. For it will save your life, and create a situation where you stay and continue to send your light to the earth! Do you see what we're saying?

You can also alter that which is medicine [drugs] and begin a process that is spectacular in its design, but not very 3D. I challenge you to begin to use what I would call the homeopathic principle with major drugs. If some of you are taking major drugs in order to alter your chemistry so that you can live better and longer, you might feel you have no choice. "Well, this is keeping me alive," you might say. "I don't yet have the ability to do this with my consciousness, so I take the drugs."

In this new energy, there is something else that you can try if you are in this category. Do the following with safety, intelligence, common sense and logic. Here is the challenge: The principle of homeopathy is that an almost invisible tincture of a substance is ingested and is seen by your innate. Innate "sees" what you are trying to do and then adjusts the body's chemistry in response. Therefore, you might say that you are sending the body a "signal for balance." The actual tincture is not large enough to affect anything chemically - yet it works!

The body [innate] sees what you're trying to do and then cooperates. In a sense, you might say the body is healing itself because you were able to give it instructions through the homeopathic substance of what to do. So, why not do it with a major drug? Start reducing the dosage and start talking to your cells, and see what happens. If you're not successful, then stop the reduction. However, to your own amazement, you may often be successful over time.

You might be able to take the dosage that you're used to and cut it to at least a quarter of what it was. It is the homeopathy principle and it allows you to keep the purpose of the drug, but reduce it to a fraction of a common 3D dosage. You're still taking it internally, but now it's also signaling in addition to working chemically. The signal is sent, the body cooperates, and you reduce the chance of side effects.

You can't put things in boxes of yes or no when it comes to the grand system of Spirit. You can instead use spiritual logic and see the things that God has given you on the planet within the inventions and processes. Have an operation, save your life, and stand and say, "Thank you, God, for this and for my being born where these things are possible." It's a complicated subject, is it not? Each of you is so different! You'll know what to do, dear one. Never stress over that decision, because your innate will tell you what is appropriate for you if you're willing to listen. ….”

Monsanto / GMO - Global Health

(Subjects: Big pharma [the drug companies of America] are going to have to change very soon or collapse. When you have an industry that keeps people sick for money, it cannot survive in the new consciousness., Global Unity, ... etc.) - (Text version)
"Recalibration of Free Choice"– Mar 3, 2012 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Caroll) - (Subjects: (Old) Souls, Midpoint on 21-12-2012, Shift of Human Consciousness, Black & White vs. Color, 1 - Spirituality (Religions) shifting, Lose a Pope “soon”, 2 - Humans will change react to drama, 3 - Civilizations/Population on Earth, 4 - Alternate energy sources (Geothermal, Tidal (Pedal wheels), Wind), 5 – Financials Institutes/concepts will change (Integrity – Ethical) , 6 - News/Media/TV to change, 7 Big Pharmaceutical company will collapse “soon”, (Keep people sick), (Integrity – Ethical) 8 – Wars will be over on Earth, Global Unity, … etc.) - (Text version)
"The Recalibration of Awareness – Apr 20/21, 2012 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Old Energy, Recalibration Lectures, God / Creator, Religions/Spiritual systems (Catholic Church, Priests/Nun’s, Worship, John Paul Pope, Women in the Church otherwise church will go, Current Pope won’t do it), Middle East, Jews, Governments will change (Internet, Media, Democracies, Dictators, North Korea, Nations voted at once), Integrity (Businesses, Tobacco Companies, Bankers/ Financial Institutes, Pharmaceutical company to collapse), Illuminati (Started in Greece, Shipping, Financial markets, Stock markets, Pharmaceutical money (fund to build Africa, to develop)), Shift of Human Consciousness, (Old) Souls, Women, Masters to/already come back, Global Unity.... etc.) - (Text version)
"THE BRIDGE OF SWORDS" – Sep 29, 2012 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: ... I'm in Canada and I know it, but I will tell those listening and reading in the American audience the following: Get ready! Because there are some institutions that are yet to fall, ones that don't have integrity and that could never be helped with a bail out. Again, we tell you the biggest one is big pharma, and we told you that before. It's inevitable. If not now, then in a decade. It's inevitable and they will fight to stay alive and they will not be crossing the bridge. For on the other side of the bridge is a new way, not just for medicine but for care. ....) - (Text Version)

Pharmaceutical Fraud / Corruption cases

Health Care

Health Care
Happy birthday to Percy Julian, a pioneer in plant-drug synthesis. His research produced steroids like cortisone. (11 April 2014)

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Most coronavirus infections are mild, says Chinese study

Yahoo – AFP, February 18, 2020

.A medical worker takes a swab for testing from a Chinese paramilitary
police officer in Shenzhen, Guangdong province (AFP Photo/STR)

Beijing (AFP) - Most people infected by the new coronavirus in China have mild symptoms, with older patients and those with underlying conditions most at risk from the disease, according to a study by Chinese researchers.

The disease has now killed nearly 1,900 people and infected more than 72,000 in China since it first emerged in the central city of Wuhan late last year.

A paper published in the Chinese Journal of Epidemiology looked at 72,314 confirmed, suspected, clinically diagnosed, and asymptomatic cases of COVID-19 illness across China as of February 11.

It is the biggest study on novel coronavirus patients since the outbreak began in late December.

Here are the main findings from the paper by the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CCDC):

Elderly, sick at risk:

Some 80.9 percent of infections are classified as mild, 13.8 percent as severe and only 4.7 percent as critical.

The highest fatality rate is for people aged 80 and older, at 14.8 percent.

The study finds that patients with cardiovascular disease are most likely to die of complications from the novel coronavirus, followed by patients with diabetes, chronic respiratory disease and hypertension.

There were no deaths among children aged up to 9, despite at least two cases of newborn babies infected through their mothers.

Up to age 39, the death rate remains low at 0.2 percent.

The fatality rate increases gradually with age. For people in their 40s it is 0.4 percent, in their 50s it is 1.3 percent, in their 60s it is 3.6 percent and their 70s it is 8.0 percent.

Men are more likely to die (2.8 percent) than women (1.7 percent).

The overall death rate from the virus stood at 2.3 percent.

While the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak of 2002-2003 affected fewer people, the fatality rate was nearly 10 percent.

The US Centres for Disease Control says between 26 million to 36 million Americans contracted seasonal flu between October 2019 and February 8 this year, and there were between 14,000 to 36,000 deaths -- a fatality rate of around 0.1 percent.

'Wuhan exposure'

Nearly 86 percent of those who have contracted the illness had either lived in or travelled to Wuhan, where a seafood market that illegally sold wild animals is believed to be the original source of the virus.

The city in central China's Hubei province has been under lockdown since January 23.

Risk to medical workers

A total of 3,019 health workers have been diagnosed, 1,716 of whom were confirmed cases, and five had died as of February 11, the report said.

An analysis of 1,688 severe cases among medical staff showed that 64 percent of them were working in Wuhan.

"The percentage of severe cases among Wuhan medical staff has gradually decreased from 38.9 percent at the peak (on January 28) to 12.7 percent in early February," the report said.

A hospital director in Wuhan died from the illness on Tuesday.

Earlier this month Wuhan ophthalmologist Li Wenliang, who had been punished by authorities for sounding the alarm about the virus, also died.

'Downward trend'

The epidemic reached its "first peak" between January 24 and 26, the report said.

It suggests there is has been a "downward trend" in the overall epidemic curve since February 11 -- meaning the spread of the disease, especially outside Hubei province, was slowing.

On February 13, China broadened its definition of confirmed cases to include those who were clinically diagnosed through lung imaging, in addition to those with a positive lab test result.

The report hints that China's decision to lock down Wuhan -- a city of 11 million people -- and impose strict transport curbs in other affected areas may have paid off.

'Possible rebound'

The virus spread as millions of people criss-crossed the country for the Lunar New Year holiday in late January.

The authors warn that with many people returning from the holiday, the country needs to brace itself for a "possible rebound of the epidemic".

Coronaviruses may continue to "adapt over time and become more virulent", the report warns and urges doctors to "remain vigilant".

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

US farmer wins damages over Bayer AG, BASF herbicide

Yahoo – AFP, February 17, 2020

Farmer Bill Bader claimed the companies encouraged farmers to use the dicamba
weedkiller irresponsibly (AFP Photo/INA FASSBENDER)

Washington (AFP) - A US jury has awarded $265 million to a Missouri farmer who blamed herbicide from chemical giants Bayer AG and BASF for destroying his peach orchards, in a case set to bolster 140 other lawsuits.

Jurors in federal court in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, made the ruling on Saturday after peach farmer Bill Bader claimed the companies encouraged farmers to use the dicamba weedkiller irresponsibly.

Bloomberg News reported that the case was the first US trial over dicamba herbicide, which is alleged to have wrecked crops across America's Midwest by drifting onto plants that were unable to resist it.

Much like Roundup, another much-criticized herbicide marketed by Monsanto, dicamba has been on the market many years.

Use of the chemical jumped after Monsanto -- which was bought by Germany's Bayer in 2018 -- introduced seeds that can resist the weed-killer.

But the product has been blamed for polluting around four percent of US soybean fields in 2017. A common complaint is that the herbicide spreads to nearby areas.

The fight over dicamba comes in the wake of a case in which Bayer was ordered by a California jury to pay $290 million for failing to warn a dying groundskeeper that Roundup might cause cancer.

In January, reports suggested Bayer could stump up $10 billion in a settlement with tens of thousands of US plaintiffs suffering from non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

The cancer sufferers say they developed the disease after exposure to glyphosate, the key ingredient in Roundup.

Bayer, which has argued that dicamba is safe for crops as long as users follow instructions, was reported to be planning to appeal Saturday's ruling, while BASF was not available for comment.

China asks recovered patients to donate plasma for virus treatment

Yahoo – AFP, February 17, 2020

Although further testing is required, scientists believe plasma donated by patients who
have recovered from the coronavirus could help those seriously ill from it (AFP
Photo/Jung Yeon-je)

Beijing (AFP) - Chinese health officials Monday urged patients who have recovered from the coronavirus to donate blood so that plasma can be extracted to treat others who are critically ill.

Drugmakers are racing to develop a vaccine and treatment for the epidemic, which has killed 1,770 people and infected over 70,500 people across China.

Plasma from patients who have recovered from a spell of pneumonia triggered by COVID-19 contains antibodies that can help reduce the virus load in critically ill patients, an official from China's National Health Commission told a press briefing Monday.

"I would like to make a call to all cured patients to donate their plasma so that they can bring hope to critically ill patients," said Guo Yanhong, who heads the NHC's medical administration department.

Eleven patients at a hospital in Wuhan -- the epicentre of the disease -- received plasma infusions last week, said Sun Yanrong, of the Biological Center at the Ministry of Science and Technology.

"One patient (among them) has already been discharged, one is able to get off the bed and walk and the others are all recovering," she said.

The call comes days after China's state-owned medical products maker reported successful results from its trial at Wuhan First People's Hospital.

China National Biotec Group Co. said in a post on its official WeChat account that severely ill patients receiving plasma infusions "improved within 24 hours".

The World Health Organization said exploring the use of plasma as a treatment for the novel coronavirus was "important", but cautioned it needed to be done "with safety".

"It is a very important area of discovery," head of WHO's emergencies programme Michael Ryan told reporters in Geneva, pointing out that plasma had proven effective in saving lives when combatting a range of different diseases.

"It is a very valid way to explore therapeutics, especially when we don't have vaccines and we don't have specific anti-virals," he said.

His colleague Sylvie Briand, who heads WHO's Global Infectious Hazard Preparedness division, meanwhile cautioned that plasma-based treatments could be difficult to scale up to reach large numbers of patients, and stressed the need to carefully follow safety protocols.

"With blood products you can also transmit other diseases, so the protocol ... is very important," she told reporters.

Sun stressed that "clinical studies have shown that infusing plasma (from recovered patients) is safe and effective."

Blood donors will undergo a test to ensure that they are not carrying the virus, said Wang Guiqiang, chief physician at Peking University First Hospital.

"Only plasma is taken, not all the blood," he said.

"Other components of the blood including red blood cells and platelets will be infused back into the donors."

Thursday, February 13, 2020

World's oldest man crowned in Japan aged 112

Yahoo – AFP, February 12, 2020

Japanese Chitetsu Watanabe, aged 112, poses next to the calligraphy reading in
Japanese 'World Number One' after he was awarded as the world's oldest living male
(AFP Photo/STR)

Tokyo (AFP) - A 112-year-old Japanese man has been crowned the world's oldest male, claiming that smiling is the key to longevity.

Chitetsu Watanabe, who was born on March 5, 1907 in Niigata, north of Tokyo, was officially given the title at his nursing home in the city, Guinness World Records said Wednesday.

The previous record holder, Masazo Nonaka, also Japanese, died last month at 112 years and 266 days.

Watanabe, who is married with five children, said the secret to longevity is to "not get angry and keep a smile on your face."

He admitted a penchant for sweets such as custard pudding -- but it appears to have done him no harm.

The oldest living person is also Japanese, Kane Tanaka, a 117-year-old woman.

Japan has one of the world's highest life expectancies and has been home to several people recognised as among the oldest humans to have ever lived.

They include Jiroemon Kimura, the longest-living man on record, who died soon after his 116th birthday in June 2013.

The oldest verified person ever -- Jeanne Louise Calment of France -- died in 1997 at the age of 122, according to Guinness.

Sunday, February 9, 2020

China virus crisis deepens as whistleblower doctor dies

Yahoo – AFP, Laurent THOMET, Jing Xuan TENG, February 7, 2020

Medical staff walks past a makeshift memorial to the late ophthalmologist Li Wenliang
at the Houhu Branch of Wuhan Central Hospital on February 7 (AFP Photo/STR, STR)

Beijing (AFP) - A Chinese doctor punished after raising the alarm about the new coronavirus died Friday after being infected by the pathogen, sparking an outpouring of grief and anger over a worsening crisis that has now killed more than 630 people.

At least 31,000 have been infected by the virus that ophthalmologist Li Wenliang brought to light in late December -- before becoming its latest victim.

The virus is believed to have emerged from a market selling exotic animals in Wuhan before jumping to humans and spreading across China and abroad as millions travelled for the Lunar New Year holiday.

Researchers at the South China Agricultural University have identified the endangered pangolin as a "potential intermediate host" for the disease, as the genome sequences of viruses found on the scaly mammal are 99 percent identical to those on coronavirus patients.

The virus has since spread across China, prompting the government to lock down cities of tens of millions of people, and panic has spiralled around the globe as more than 240 cases have emerged in two dozen countries.

The media keep watch on the Diamond Princess cruise ship with over 3,000 
people on board as it sits in quarantine at Yokohama port (AFP Photo/Kazuhiro NOGI)

Hong Kong, meanwhile, announced it would forcibly quarantine arrivals from mainland China beginning Saturday, warning that anyone caught breaching the new rules faces up to six months in prison.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Donald Trump, whose countries have tussled over trade and human rights, spoke on the phone about the health emergency.

"We talked about, mostly about the coronavirus. They're working really hard and I think they're doing a very professional job," Trump told reporters at the White House.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Friday the United States would offer up to $100 million to China and other impacted countries to combat the fast-spreading coronavirus.

Beijing has been angered by bans on arrivals from China instituted by the United States and other countries.

A laboratory technician works on coronavirus samples at "Fire Eye" laboratory 
in Wuhan (AFP Photo/STR, STR)

Li, 34, died early Friday, Wuhan Central Hospital said in a post on China's Twitter-like Weibo platform, an announcement that triggered deep sadness on social media over a doctor hailed as a hero.

"He is a hero who warned others with his life," a fellow Wuhan doctor wrote on Weibo.

There was also a rare collective bout of anger at the authorities and bold demands, including the hashtag "we demand freedom of speech", which was censored.

"Those fat officials who live on public money, may you die from a snowstorm," wrote another Weibo user in a comment that was later scrubbed.

In a sign that the criticism has shaken the Communist government, its anti-graft agency announced that it was sending a team to Wuhan to "conduct a comprehensive investigation into issues involving Dr. Li Wenliang reported by the masses".

A deserted street in Shanghai, as fear of the spread of the virus impacts 
cities across China, even those not in lockdown (AFP Photo/NOEL CELIS)

The foreign ministry and the National Health Commission expressed condolences for his death.

Death censored

Li's death has also highlighted the enormous risks that frontline doctors have taken to treat patients in overwhelmed and under-equipped hospitals in Wuhan, the quarantined city of 11 million people where the virus emerged in December.

Medical staff are overstretched and lack sufficient protective gear, the deputy governor of Hubei province admitted Thursday.

Li sent out a message about the new coronavirus to colleagues on December 30 in Wuhan but was later among a group of people summoned by police for "rumour-mongering".

He later contracted the disease while treating a patient.

Censors appeared to struggle with how to deal with his death.

Striking medical workers demand Hong Kong close the border with China 
to contain the virus (AFP Photo/Philip FONG)

State-run newspaper Global Times and state broadcaster CCTV first reported on Weibo that Li had died late Thursday, only to delete their posts after the death rapidly surged to be among the top topics on the popular platform.

Analysts have said local authorities played down the extent of the outbreak in early January because they were holding political meetings at the time and wanted to project an aura of stability.

The first fatality was reported on January 11. The death toll has since soared to 636, with 73 more reported on Friday and an additional 3,000 new infections.

Global spread

To control the spread, authorities have placed some 56 million people in Wuhan and surrounding cities under virtual lockdown.

Posters warn residents in Beijing to take protective measures against the
coronavirus (AFP Photo/GREG BAKER)

Authorities in Wuhan are "combing" communities to find people suspected or confirmed to have the virus and place them in quarantine, state media said.

Major airlines have suspended flights to and from the country, while several countries have advised their citizens to leave China.

But cases keep emerging.

Two cruise ships carrying thousands of holidaymakers in Hong Kong and Japan have been placed under quarantine as authorities test people for infections.

On Friday another 41 people tested positive aboard the Diamond Princess in Japan, bringing the total number of infected cases on the ship to 61.

Timeline of events leading to the death of coronavirus whistleblower 
Chinese doctor Li Wenliang. (AFP Photo/Gal ROMA)

Another cruise ship carrying a passenger suspected of infection with coronavirus will not be allowed to dock in southern Japan, the government said Friday.

In Hong Kong, 3,600 people are facing a third night confined aboard the World Dream, where eight former passengers have tested positive for the virus.

While global concerns mount, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned that that world was facing a "chronic shortage" of masks and other protective equipment.

Apple contractor Foxconn said Friday it would start making face masks alongside iPhones at its Shenzhen factory, aiming for 20 million by the end of February.

At least 31,000 have been infected by the virus that ophthalmologist Li Wenliang 
brought to light in late December -- before becoming its latest victim

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Coronavirus puts Shanghai into a coma

Yahoo – AFP, Dan Martin,February 7, 2020

The deadly coronavirus epidemic has brought much of China to a standstill, but perhaps
nowhere has the change been more stark than in Shanghai (AFP Photo/NOEL CELIS)

For more than a week, the rare resident of Shanghai who dared venture outside has encountered something unfamiliar: a surreal peace and quiet.

The deadly coronavirus epidemic has brought much of China to a standstill, but perhaps nowhere has the change been more stark than in the country's biggest and most vibrant city.

Gone are the traffic jams, crowded sidewalks and businessmen hurrying to work, replaced by eerily empty roads, shuttered bars and businesses, and only the occasional pedestrians -- always behind a protective mask.

Shanghai is the most populous of China's many mega-cities, but its usual gathering points look like they were hit with a neutron bomb.

The scenic Bund riverfront is normally filled with gawkers taking in the European neo-classical architecture on one shore, facing a futuristic financial district on the other.

Shanghai's slumber is due partly to a more than week-long city extension of the Lunar 
New Year holiday to help combat the novel coronavirus (AFP Photo/NOEL CELIS)

But the heavily-laden barges that usually keep the Huangpu River's surface churning have been absent, the towering corporate skyscrapers largely empty.

The stillness is only occasionally interrupted by the clang of the 90-metre-high (300-foot) clock tower atop the 93-year-old Shanghai Customs House.

Zhao Feng was one of only a few scattered amblers on the promenade on a recent day.

"We know it's not good to go outside, but we're wearing masks as a precaution," said Zhao, 40, on a stroll with family.

"(Shanghai) is so quiet because everybody has a strong sense of self-protection."

Shanghai's towering corporate skyscrapers are largely empty due to coronavirus 
concerns (AFP Photo/NOEL CELIS)


Shanghai's slumber is due partly to a more than week-long city extension of the Lunar New Year holiday to help combat the virus.

That ends on Monday, but many businesses and government departments are planning to allow staff to work from home.

Shanghai has avoided the full or partial lockdowns seen in other parts of China.

But residents are largely complying with official directives -- issued via mass text messages or over blaring public loudspeakers -- to avoid going outside unless absolutely necessary.

When they do, pedestrians often move far to one side of the pavement to avoid other approaching residents.

Shangia's subway system has made masks mandatory, as has nearly every 
business that remains open (AFP Photo/NOEL CELIS)

The city's subway system, one of the world's longest, has made masks mandatory, as has nearly every business that remains open.

And few bat an eye any more at pausing for the ubiquitous temperature reading -- a plastic thermometer gun aimed unnervingly at the forehead -- when entering almost any public building.

For those stuck at home, the government has issued a steady stream of tips on things like home exercise or how to avoid being stressed by the prospect of a pneumonia-like death.

"Reduce your consumption of media reports that make people unhappy, thereby reducing your worries and troubles," one government circular said brightly.

Shanghai's residents are largely complying with official directives to avoid going 
outside unless absolutely necessary (AFP Photo/NOEL CELIS)

But sheer boredom weighs on many.

"All I can say is that I'm sick of staying home!" said one social media response to the government's stress-reduction post.

Clear weather that graced the city several days into the viral crisis briefly lured many stir-crazy citizens out for some sun.

But that prompted yet another government social media post.

"You cannot disinfect yourself by standing out in the sun," it said.

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Last century's epidemics more deadly than today's

Yahoo – AFP, Jean-Philippe CHOGNOT, Olivier THIBAULT, February 5, 2020

The deadliest epidemic of the haemorrhagic fever Ebola broke out in West Africa
in December 2013 and lasted more than two years (AFP Photo/CELLOU BINANI)

Paris (AFP) - Before the emergence of the new coronavirus, which has sparked worldwide panic, other epidemics had struck earlier in the 21st century, but were less deadly than the previous century's pandemics.

An overview.

21st century epidemics

2013-2016: Ebola

The deadliest epidemic of the haemorrhagic fever Ebola broke out in West Africa in December 2013 and lasted more than two years, killing more than 11,300, mainly in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

First identified in 1976, Ebola is less contagious than other viral diseases, but is particularly lethal, killing around 40 percent.

The virus re-emerged in August 2018 in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo where it has so far killed more than 2,200.

The World Health Organization (WHO) says 18,500 died of so-called "Swine flu", 
or H1N1, which was first uncovered in Mexico and the United States in March 
2009 (AFP Photo/LUIS ACOSTA)

2009-2010: Swine flu

The World Health Organization (WHO) says 18,500 died of so-called "Swine flu", or H1N1, which was first uncovered in Mexico and the United States in March 2009.

The Lancet medical review, however, puts the toll at between 151,700 and 575,400.

The pandemic alert was launched on June 11, 2009 and lifted on August 10, 2010 but the virus turned out to be not as deadly as first feared.

Vaccines were rushed out, but in hindsight, the West, particularly Europe, and the WHO were criticised for overreacting at a time annual influenza epidemics every year kill between 250,000 and 500,000, according to the Geneva-based UN health agency.

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome first emerged in Guangdong in southern 
China in November 2002 before sparking a health crisis in mid-2003, in particular
traumatising Asia (AFP Photo/SAMANTHA SIN)

2002-2003: SARS

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome first emerged in Guangdong in southern China in November 2002 before sparking a health crisis in mid-2003, in particular traumatising Asia.

It killed 774, four fifths of whom were in China and Hong Kong. It was transmitted to man from horseshoe bats, eventually spreading to around 30 countries. It had a mortality rate of 9.5 percent.

2003-2004: Bird flu

The deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu killed more than 400 people, mainly in Southeast Asia, after appearing in 2003. It first ravaged poultry farms in Hong Kong, before being transmitted to humans. The WHO declared a global health emergency, but the toll remained limited.

20th century's big pandemics

AIDS, by far the most deadly epidemic of modern times: according to UNAIDS 
some 32 million people around the world have died of the disease (AFP Photo/
Dibyangshu SARKAR)

1981-to date: AIDS

By far the most deadly epidemic of modern times: according to UNAIDS some 32 million people around the world have died of the disease which affects the immune system and leaves people vulnerable to opportunistic infections.

Today around 24.5 million people have access to retroviral drugs which when taken regularly efficiently stop the illness in its tracks and heavily reduce the risk of contamination.

1968-1970: The Hong Kong flu

Around one million people died of this disease, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Transmitted around the world between mid-1968 and early 1970, it in particular killed many children. It first started in Hong Kong, spread through Asia and reached the United States in late 1968. After lying low for several months it then hit Europe in late 1969.

For epidemic experts, this flu went down in history as the first of the modern era, due to the advent of high-speed air travel.

1957-1958: Asian flu

Around 1.1 million people died of Asian flu, according to the CDC.

The pandemic hit in two aggressive waves. The virus first appeared in southern China in February 1957. Several months went by before it reached America and Europe.

The disease, which results in serious lung complications, in particular affected the elderly.

Spanish flu hit the world's population in the wake of WWI, killing up to 50 million, 
according to the CDC, and is considered the most deadly in history over such 
a short period (AFP Photo)

1918-1919: Spanish flu

Spanish flu hit a large part of the world's population in the wake of World War I, killing up to 50 million people, according to the CDC.

Striking between September 1918 and April 1919, it is considered the most deadly in history over such a short period.

Five times more people died of it than did in World War I. The first victims were recorded in the United States, before it spread to Europe and then around the world.

Its mortality rate was estimated at more than 2.5 percent, according to the CDC.

Gates Foundation announces $100 million for coronavirus response

Yahoo – AFP, February 5, 2020

Co-chair and Trustee of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Bill Gates,
speaks in New Delhi, India in November 2019 (AFP Photo/Money SHARMA)

Washington (AFP) - The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation pledged Wednesday to commit up to $100 million for the global response to the novel coronavirus epidemic that has claimed nearly 500 lives.

The funding will be used to strengthen detection, isolation and treatment efforts, the foundation said, including protecting at-risk populations and developing vaccines and diagnostics.

"Multilateral organizations, national governments, the private sector and philanthropies must work together to slow the pace of the outbreak, help countries protect their most vulnerable citizens and accelerate the development of the tools to bring this epidemic under control," said Gates Foundation CEO Mark Suzman.

The amount includes $10 million previously pledged in late January.

The foundation said it would direct $20 million to organizations like the World Health Organization, the US Centers for Disease Control and Protection, the National Health Commission of China and the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

A further $20 million would be allocated to help public health authorities in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, regions which have been disproportionately affected by recent epidemics like the H1N1 (swine flu) pandemic of 2009.

The foundation also pledged up to $60 million to accelerate the discovery, development and testing of vaccines, treatments and diagnostics for the virus.

Monday, February 3, 2020

Herbal remedies for the coronavirus spark debate in China

Yahoo – AFP, Jing Xuan TENG,  February 2, 2020

Pharmacies in Beijing that AFP visited were sold out of "Shuanghuanglian",
a traditional remedy Chinese scientists claimed could "inhibit" the coronavirus

Beijing (AFP) - A claim by Chinese scientists that a liquid made with honeysuckle and flowering plants could help fight the deadly coronavirus has sparked frenzied buying of the traditional medicine, but doubts quickly emerged.

As the death toll from the SARS-like pathogen sweeping the country continues to rise, shoppers have swamped pharmacies in search of "Shuanghuanglian".

The rush came after influential state media outlet Xinhua reported Friday that the esteemed Chinese Academy of Sciences had found the concoction "can inhibit" the virus.

Videos shared online showed long lines of people in surgical masks lining up at night outside drug stores, purportedly in hope of snapping up the product, despite official advice that people avoid public gatherings to prevent infection.

It quickly sold out both online and at brick-and-mortar stores, but responses to the remedy's supposed efficacy have ranged from enthusiasm to scepticism on Weibo, China's Twitter-like social media platform.

And state media sounded a more cautionary note on Saturday, with broadcaster CCTV publishing an interview with Zhang Boli, one of the researchers leading outbreak containment efforts, who warned of potential side effects from the medicine.

Several countries have barred Chinese travellers due to fears about the coronavirus
(AFP Photo/Mark RALSTON)

The People's Daily newspaper, a government mouthpiece, said experts advised against taking traditional remedies without professional guidance.

But the claim comes as Beijing looks to incorporate traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) into its nationwide fight against the virus, which has killed more than 300 people and infected over 14,000 in the country. On Sunday the Philippines reported the first death outside of China.

Researchers at the state-run academy, a top government think tank, are also studying the potential use of a plant commonly known as Japanese knotweed to alleviate symptoms.

The National Health Commission on Tuesday said TCM practitioners were among nearly 6,000 reinforcement medical personnel being sent to Wuhan in Hubei province, ground zero of the outbreak.

'No difference'

The strategy has reignited fierce and long-running debate about the efficacy of TCM, which has a history going back 2,400 years and remains popular in modern-day China.

Marc Freard, a member of the Chinese Medicine Academic Council of France, told AFP he believed traditional formulations could be used to treat people with symptoms ranging from fever to thick phlegm.

Countries or territories with confirmed cases of the new coronavirus (AFP Photo)

But he warned that many remedies on the market were of questionable quality and admitted that TCM "lacks scientific standards of efficacy" because it relied on "individualised treatment".

Traditional medicines were widely used in China in conjunction with Western methods during the 2003 epidemic of SARS, or Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, which killed 774 people worldwide.

But a 2012 study in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews found combining Chinese and Western medicines "made no difference" in battling the disease.


The Chinese government has increasingly promoted traditional medicine abroad in recent years, often with nationalistic undertones.

Beijing issued its first white paper on TCM in 2016, laying out plans to build medicine centres and dispatch practitioners to developing countries in Africa and Southeast Asia.

President Xi Jinping has called TCM a "treasure of Chinese civilisation" and said at a meeting in October that it should be given as much weight as other treatments.

Surgical masks are being worn across China as a preventative measure 
against the coronavirus (AFP Photo/NOEL CELIS)

China is "working hard to spread the message internationally about its traditional culture", and medicine is a part of this, Freard said.

In 2019 the World Health Organization (WHO) even added Chinese medicine to its "International Classification of Diseases" -- a reference document for medical trends and global health statistics -- after years of campaigning by Beijing.

But the move was slammed by members of the scientific community, with the European Academies' Science Advisory Council calling the decision "a major problem" due to the lack of evidence-based practice.

The WHO did not immediately respond to AFP's request for comment.

Fang Shimin, a prominent writer in China known for his campaigns against academic fraud, told AFP he believes the government's promotion of traditional medicine "panders to nationalism and has nothing to do with science".

It is an enormous industry in China worth more than $130 billion in 2016 -- a third of the country's entire medical industry -- according to state news agency Xinhua.