Since December, 2019, coronavirus has been a huge story among the media and concerned stakeholders, especially the healthcare professionals who have been at the vanguard of identifying and treating infected people. From developed continents to developing ones, new cases are being confirmed while a number of recoveries and deaths are being recorded. There is no doubt this is the first time a viral disease compels global leaders to take critical decisions in an attempt to slow the spread of the virus, at least in the last two decades.
According to the World Health Organisation, “there is no specific medicine to prevent or treat coronavirus disease (COVID-19). People may need supportive care to help them breathe.” People and businesses know this and it has largely been the main reason for introducing sweeping measures such as border closure, self-isolation and total lockdown of places that have been identified as epicentres of the disease. Business leaders and philanthropists also know the consequences of not taking purpose driven decisions. With this, a significant number of them have committed over $3billion for containment and treatment of the virus.
Beyond the business leaders and social supports from the non-governmental organisations and individuals, drug manufactures have also swung into action, researching and producing drugs that would cure the virus. Medicago, Airway Therapeutics, Tiziana Life Sciences, OyaGen, BeyondSpring, Altimmune, Inovio Pharmaceuticals and Beijing Advaccine Biotechnology Company, Algernon Pharmaceuticals, University of British Columbia and APEIRON Biologics, Moderna and Vaccine Research Center, MIGAL Research Institute, Tonix Pharmaceuticals, Innovation Pharmaceuticals, Clover Biopharmaceuticals, Vaxart, Applied DNA Sciences and Takis Biotech are some of the companies at forefront of this initiative.
Exhibit 1: What World Searched the Most (January 1-March 18, 2020)
Management of Personal and Societal Health Issues
Social health has a lot to do with the physical and psychological wellbeing of an individual, which extends to human relation; curiosity; and public health. Personal health on the other side has to do with level of hygiene, food intake, and interrelationship between oneself and the environment. The mainstay of viral management or therapy are 1. Personal hygiene 2. Orientation 3. Supportive care” which of course include consulting medical personnel for medical help.
Islam and Viral Diseases
Islam left nothing undiscussed about our lives (both here and hereafter). Maintaining personal hygiene is one of the practical bases of Islam, as it encourages us to wash our hands regularly and that infected (contagious infection) person should be treated in isolation. This of course includes enjoining people in epidemic area to stay put, and people off the coast should avoid entrance into such area. By this, the rate of viral endemic would be minimised while the cure is being produced.
Modern Medicine Efforts on the Virus
The modern (Orthodox) medicine has really helped and still helping in combating the covid-19. Though, it should be noted that coronavirus has been in existence for long, just that covid-19 is the latest, MARS-CoV, SARS-CoV are all coronaviruses. The health professional bodies (governmental and NGOs), World health organization (WHO) are really trying in sensitising, orientating, and working tirelessly to profound cure for this respiratory viral infection.
There is a Cure for the Virus
Yes, you are right. Allah says there is no disease without cure, but the cure is what all healthcare providers are working tirelessly to profound. With relentless effort, I believe the cure for Covid-19 would be achieved.
The Place of Prophetic Medicine
Prophetic medicine has a role to play in providing immune booster medication as prescribed by the Prophet (SAW) in form of black seed. The Covid-19 mortality rate is high in aged people, people with immune defect infections, hypertensive patients, etc. Thus, taking black seed with honey would help in boosting the immune, making it easy for immune system to combat and free of Covid-19. It should be noted the preventive measures should be taken to avoid getting in contact with the infection, and people should endeavour to contact physicians if any anomaly is noticed.
Editor’s Notes: Islamic perspective and the insights into modern medicine approaches to the virus were largely derived from the responses of Hissau Monsur Adesola, a Medical Microbiologist and Health Consultant with Ashifatul Haqi, Ibadan. He studied at the Ladoke Akintola University, Ogbomosho, Oyo.