The number of Covid-19 victims in Indonesia continues to grow. Until yesterday, there were 34 positive corona patients. One of them, namely a foreign national, died in Bali due to complications from various diseases. Even so, the government believes that it has done many things, from calling for prevention, searching for people who might be infected, to isolating sufferers. Then what about specimen testing suspect corona virus? Jaring.id interviewed the Head of the Eijkman Institute for Molecular Biology, Professor Amin Soebandrio to find out more about controlling the virus that has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO). Honorary Professor of the University of Sydney Medical School This prompted the government to implement health protocols while intensively tracking the spread of the virus. The following is an excerpt from the interview on Wednesday, March 11, 2020.
What's different about Covid-19?
Corona virus and influenza come from different families, but they both cause the same symptoms, namely influenza like highness such as fever, cough and cold, to shortness of breath. Clinically, the influenza virus has more prominent cold symptoms and has a severe cold. While the corona virus is a little. Sometimes there is, sometimes not.
Is the handling of Covid-19 in Indonesia right?
Influenza and corona viruses are self-limiting diseases. No specific antivirus is required. What should be handled is the clinical symptoms. If you are short of breath you are given oxygen, you are given medication when you cough and runny nose. The disease appears depending on the human immunity. Now, in their position that is isolated, the main goal is not to infect other people.
Has Eijkman been involved, as in testing specimens suspected of the corona virus?
If currently the examination is still being carried out by the ranks of the Ministry of Health, it has not involved other institutions. As long as the ministry thinks it can be handled alone, maybe the Ministry of Health can still manage it. The organs under the Ministry of Health must be mobilized. If we're involved, we're ready. This is important to learn the character of the virus. China, for example, can publish a week after the research results are found. Indonesia must be able to do that too. We've started doing vaccine studies. Although it has not yet reached concrete research, it has been done. Several universities have also conducted studies. Competent and interested institutions and universities have explored scientific information related to vaccine development.
How long does it usually take to find a vaccine?
This took years. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates it will take 18 months to make a vaccine. The process is tested in the laboratory first, then tested on animals. Furthermore, to humans in a limited manner. After that, it was tested on a larger scale. I think it will take a long time.
Checking body temperature is declared no longer effective because the spread has entered phase two, what do you think?
The characteristics of the virus that causes infection are characterized by fever, cough. However, not all clinical symptoms appeared. If not, the fever will not be detected. We must realize that not all pain is a fever, not all fever is corona. It could be due to dengue fever or influenza. However, when we feel in our bodies there are clinical symptoms such as fever and coughing it needs to be checked (test swab). I myself don't understand wave one and wave two. Easy or not human being infected is more influenced by our bodies against the virus. So far there have been no significant mutations from the virus. If the mutation is small, there must be. Because from one region to another, it can be seen that there is a difference in the virus.
So you have to keep checking your body temperature, especially in public facilities?
It remains to be done as a form screening. That's why we now see when people enter office and school buildings, the temperature is all measured. This screening which is not specific. Can have a fever for other reasons. A sick person is not always a fever, a feverish person is not always an infection.
Is the current treatment correct?
The principle is to immediately find out who is infected by the person who is diagnosed positive. Initially two, then tracked down who had been in contact, either the first person or the active person who was the source. This is important to limit the space for the virus to move from spreading to other people.
What do people need to be aware of?
The community must participate well, meaning that they must be cooperative. Those who have had contact with people who are diagnosed as positive should voluntarily report this to local health officials. It doesn't have to be chased. This is able to control circulation, and help the government. Furthermore, people must maintain health and hygiene. If anyway the virus is there, they're not catching it. If they are not infected, they will not be a new source (spread).
Why did the number of covid-19 cases in several countries increase rapidly in a short time, including Indonesia?
That is due to the characteristics of the virus. Some have reported that the corona virus adheres to human respiratory tract cells 20 times faster than SARS and MERS. What affects is the conformity of the surface of the virus with the receptors on the surface of the cell. Scientifically, viruses can attach when a receptor is recognized. Viruses also have the power to attach to human cells. This is what affects why it spreads more quickly than others.
You mean sticking?
There are berths or receptors. Then there are other molecules on the surface of both the cell and the cell that strengthen the bonds. Both facilitate the virus into the cells. This is what accelerates the virus entry into cells. If you just stick, then he won't enter. Meanwhile, if the virus enters the cell, it will divide and multiply. The virus mutates every six to one year. Viruses also adapt to environmental conditions. The method is quickly attached to human cells. If he fails to mutate, the virus can die. If it works, he will be better and faster to stick it into the cell.
How strong is the human body's resistance when exposed to this virus?
In principle, humans have good resistance. We can see that not everyone who is exposed is infected. The Chinese government still does screening healthy people, whether they are infected or not. This is for early prevention so that people infected with the virus can be localized, but generally, they are just healthy because their immune system is good.
If there is a congenital disease?
The severity of complications depends on the existing congenital disease. For example, he has lung disease, diabetes or kidney problems. When the lungs are attacked, the oxygen supply automatically decreases. That's because, the clinical situation can be more severe. It really depends on the patient's condition. So there is no standard (how long). But from our observations, from entering the virus to being fatal to death, it took approximately 9-10 days.
Is the cause of death a virus or other disease?
The cause of death of the people who died was largely due to organ failure, not the virus. For example, the lungs are less oxygenated, then it results (impacts) in other organs. The person did not immediately (hit by the virus-ed) immediately died. Not being infected in the morning, suddenly in the evening it is not like that, of course there is a process.
In Singapore, there are Indonesian citizens who are positive, even though previously he had received medical treatment in Indonesia and was declared clean. Is there something wrong with the handling of the case here?
There are people who carry the virus but are not sick. That is what is now being sought, if he had contact (with the sufferer) but there were no symptoms. If he volunteered to report himself, it would help, both himself and society.
Patients who recover can go home even though it has not passed the 14 days period. Does it still need to be watched?
If he is clinically symptom-free, does not require hospital treatment and is tested negative twice in a row laboratory, then there is no need for an incubation period. He could be sent home provided he was kept under surveillance. It doesn't have to be 14 days of treatment. If there are no symptoms, but there is contact, it should limit the space for movement so as not to infect other people. As long as you get a negative test, it means you are not contagious. For 14 days, it has already been checked. If you have checked it for no viruses, that's fine. But with a note, if there are more symptoms, they should come back (checked).
Then maybe it's hit again?
Reinfection is possible, if he doesn't get enough immunity. He should be checked again like the beginning. If it's positive, you can't go home. (Abdus Somad)