The death toll of the coronavirus has risen to 170 and with a confirmed case in Tibet, the virus has now spread to every region in mainland China. Chinese health authorities have said there were 7,711 confirmed cases in the country as of 29 January. Infections have also spread to at least 16 other countries.
What is Corona virus and how is it spread?
Coronaviruses are found in many different animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats. One research paper also suggested snakes as a possible source. The new virus may be linked to a seafood and live animal market in Wuhan that has since been closed.Health officials are not sure of the source of the virus yet or how easily it can spread.
The virus can spread from person to person. Health officials are seeing this happen most often where people are close together and in health care settings. To date, 16 health care workers have been infected.
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The CDC believes that severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), two other types of coronavirus, are spread through droplets when someone coughs or sneezes.
What are the symptoms, and how is the virus diagnosed?
China created a test for the virus and shared that information with other countries. The CDC has developed its own test.Symptoms include a fever, coughing, and shortness of breath. They may appear 2 to 14 days after you’re exposed to the virus.
Is there a vaccine?
There is no vaccine, but the National Institutes of Health is working on one and hopes to begin testing in several months. That testing would be for safety. If it’s safe, there would be testing to see how well it works.
How is it treated?
There is no specific treatment for the virus. Patients are generally given supportive care for their symptoms, such a fluids and pain relievers. Hospitalized patients may need support with breathing.
Claim of Allah’s Punishment-Messages and Images flooding in Social media
Regarding the virus in China by Sheikh Yasir Qadhi:
A lot of people are forwarding messages from scholars (or others) who are claiming that the coronavirus spreading in the city of Wuhan is a Divine Punishment upon the Chinese people for what is happening to the Uighurs.
This type of categorical declaration is not only unbefitting from a theological perspective, it is also unbecoming from a humanitarian perspective.
No one amongst us is qualified to speak on behalf of Allah. We are not in a position to declare why something is happening, or to link a general tragedy to a specific evil. And we are not demonstrating mercy when we claim all the people being subjugated to this are being punished for a crime most of them have nothing to do with. Imagine if (may Allah protect all of us!) something happened in your city and to your family, and others said this was because of something your government did!
Rather, we say as the Prophet (salla Allah alayhi wa sallam) said, when our mother Aisha (ra) asked him about plagues: “This is a punishment that Allah sends upon whoever He wishes, but Allah has also made it a mercy for the believer. So whoever is afflicted with a plague in his town, and he remains in it, patient, expecting Allah to reward him, knowing that nothing shall happen to him except what Allah has decreed, shall be rewarded the rewards of a martyr!” [al-Bukhari].
So we learn that yes, every single disaster, personal or communal, can be a result of sins, and has the potential to be a punishment, but we don’t link it to any one sin or crime. And we also give hope to those who are in such places: turn to Allah, seek His help, be patient, and know that nothing happens except with the Decree of Allah. We do not cause them to feel bad or claim they are all being punished or – God forbid – gloat over their tragedy as some seem to be doing.
Every single disaster, personal or national, has the potential to be a punishment, or a means of mercy. It is how we respond that dictates which of the two it falls into.
And Allah knows best.
Note: It’s actually sad that I need to make this disclaimer but some people always read in the worst: my support for the Uighurs has been loud and vocal, and I have given khutbahs, raised awareness, and made qunut for them. Of course we are enraged by what the government is doing, but we do not gloat over any communal disaster as a response to our anger.
Dua for Protection from Coronavirus and other evil diseases
“اللهم إني أعوذ بك من البرص والجنون، والجذام، وسيئ الأسقام”
“Allahumma inni a’udhu bika minal-barasi, wal- jununi, wal-judhami, wa sayyi’il-asqami’
(O Allah! I seek refuge in You from leucoderma, insanity, leprosy and evil diseases).”