Covid-19 documentary to shed light on pandemic

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New Delhi, April 9 (IANS) A new series attempts to give an in-depth look at the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping across the globe.

Several scientists and experts have got together in “Pandemic: COVID-19”, a one-hour special, to give insight into the ongoing health crisis. It will air on April 15, on Discovery and the recently-launched streaming service Discovery Plus.

The experts will shed light on treatment and transmission, which initially baffled doctors and scientists. The special will also look at how, within a matter of weeks, COVID-19 spread throughout China and beyond, alarming healthcare professionals and scientists.

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The special documentary will take viewers inside the fight to contain the pandemic, with the latest news on how the government is coordinating to test and treat patients, and to prevent further spread. It will also trace the origin of the outbreak in the US to the first patient, its rapid spread in Seattle and probe the dramatic and unexpected transmission across the country.

Replying to IANS on email, Professor Dave O’Connor, University of Wisconsin-Madison, said: “While no one knows what the results of ongoing treatment trials will be, all things being equal I’d rather get infected with this virus later this year than right now. We are likely to have better therapies, better drugs, and a better understanding of how to care for very sick people. Scientists are working around the clock on treatments and drugs. Based on our experience with other viruses, I am cautiously optimistic we will have drugs that help later this year. These might not be cures, but they will at least help reduce how many people require hospitalisation or eventually die.”

Talking about the virus in the documentary, Dr Jennifer Rohn, Cell Biologist, University College London, said: “The normal circulating strain in the bats probably isn’t causing much of a disease. But when it reaches humans, that’s when all havoc breaks out, because it’s in a new environment.”

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“The virus, people say sometimes, is a piece of bad news wrapped in protein. It is a vector for getting genetic information into a cell and that genetic information just contains a blueprint to make more viruses. They were able to tell that although this virus was new, it was closely related to the original SARS virus,” explained Professor Thomas Friedrich from University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The documentary will also look at the effects of the drastic measures happening across America as institutions, schools and businesses are shut down to prevent transmission. It will shed insight from those leading the fight to find answers as well as a possible cure.

“Pandemic: COVID-19” is produced for Science Channel by ITN Productions. For ITN Productions, executive producers are Ian Russell and Sarah Jane Cohen and producer is Nick Powell. For Discovery and Science Channel, Executive Producer is Gretchen Eisele.

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–IANS

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