Doubts raised on quarantine conditions imposed on Coronavirus stricken cruise liner in Japan

epa08201240 Travelers wear protective face masks in the arrival area at San Francisco International Airport in San Francisco, California, USA, 07 February 2020. The novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), which originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan, has so far killed at least 638 people and infected over 31,000 others, mostly in China. EPA-EFE/PETER DASILVA

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Quarantine conditions imposed on a stricken ship in Japan are both morally dubious and appear counterproductive, according to health experts who fear the vessel has become an incubator for the coronavirus Covid-19 according to The Guardian.

Thousands of people have spent the past two weeks stuck onboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship, which now accounts for the biggest cluster of cases outside mainland China. More than 540 passengers in the Japanese port Yokohama are confirmed to have the virus, after 88 additional cases were confirmed on Tuesday.

Meanwhile Europe, the US and India have all flagged possible drug shortages following China’s coronavirus outbreak, reports the Telegraph.

China produces around 80 per cent of the raw materials used in India’s medicines, but with the country currently in the grip of an epidemic, production has slowed and stockpiles are running low.

As a result, prices of common drugs in India have skyrocketed due to disruptions causes by the outbreak. The price of paracetamol has jumped up by 40 per cent and common antibiotics by 70 per cent.

Chinese experts, based on the result of clinical trials, have confirmed that Chloroquine Phosphate, an antimalarial drug, has a certain curative effect on the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), a Chinese official was reported by the Xinhua News Agency.

The experts have “unanimously” suggested the drug be included in the next version of the treatment guidelines and applied in wider clinical trials as soon as possible, Sun Yanrong, deputy head of the China National Center for Biotechnology Development under the Ministry of Science and Technology, said at a press conference

The Guardian / The Telegraph / Xinhua

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