Earlier on, the pandemic was postulated as a bat-borne virus because of its genetic similarity to bat coronaviruses. However, pangolin was also viewed as a reservoir of the virus, before human-to-human transmission became possible. In February 2020, the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses and the World Health Organization announced official names for both the virus and the disease it causes SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19, respectively. The name of the disease was derived from the words corona, virus, and disease, while the number 19 represents the year that it emerged.
The outbreak of the virus has spread over to 199 countries. As of October 29, 2020, the United States had confirmed around 9.2 million infected people in the country, while India had over eight million and Brazil with approximately 5.5 million. The most commonly reported symptoms of the virus are fever and a dry cough, leading to shortness of breath. In worst-cases, when the infection reaches the lungs of a patient, affecting the normal functions of the alveoli or lung sacs, no amount of breathing support can sustain the patient, and will eventually succumb to death. As of October 30, 2020 nearly 235 thousand have died from the disease in the United States.
In the Philippines, there were over 360 thousand confirmed cases of coronavirus COVID-19 as of October 22, 2020. Transmission within local communities have risen over the last months. Of these total confirmed cases, there have been close to seven thousand deaths and a vast majority have recovered. The first confirmed case in the country had originated from two Wuhan-based Chinese tourists, where one has succumbed to death.
There were approximately 105 million inhabitants living in the Philippines as of 2017. The likelihood of human-to-human transmission in a densely populated country is high. As of March 17, 2020, the government has imposed an enhanced community quarantine, restricting the movement of the population with exceptions, in response to the growing pandemic of COVID-19 in the country. Given the lockdown, closures in retail trade, malls, airports, canceled flights, and closures of non-food and non-health related manufacturing services within the island would likely result in at least 61 thousand people losing their jobs. Additionally, it is estimated that the lockdown would bring a maximum cumulative loss of approximately 1.1 trillion Philippine pesos in gross value added.
For further information about the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, please visit our dedicated Facts and Figures page.