Is the Australian health care sector prepared for COVID-19 pandemic?

Is the Australian health care sector prepared for COVID-19 pandemic?

Businesses closed, deceleration in economic growth, cities locked down, plunging consumer sentiments, people in isolation, thousands already dead globally; on the given backdrop how well are the Australians currently placed amidst the COVID-19 pandemic?

After its outbreak across various regions in China, the recently declared pandemic has already tested the preparedness of other countries. Italy has seen one of the worst situations after China. The number of lives claimed by the disease is growing at an unparalleled rate, and the disease has already claimed a significant number of lives. 

Although governments across the world have taken significant measures to curb the highly contagion disease, yet the situation does not look like completely in control in some countries. The widely spread disease has also pumped a significant amount of anxiety in the society where people are indulging in panic buying of essentials like toilet papers and other staples.

With an increasing number of infected cases and deaths worldwide, there has been an escalation in the research and development to find a cure for the disease.

National Campaign Initiated

The Department of Health, Australia, along with other authorities like The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) had already taken significant border measures, and extensive case finding and contact management.

Moreover, the Department of Health, Australia has announced a national campaign to educate the Australians about the Covid-19 with a view to restrict the risk to individuals and families by empowering them to make educated decisions and to take up health precautions.

The global race towards the discovery of a cure for the disease has already begun, and researchers worldwide have started reporting substantial success towards developing a cure for Covid-19. Researchers from countries like the US, Australia and Japan have shown strong intent towards finding a likely cure for the virus.

Research and Development Breakthroughs

Talking about the research and development activities in Australia; some researchers from Australia had stated that there are two existing drugs that could be a possible cure for coronavirus infection based on the response to treatment by the tested patients.

Different research stated that the coronavirus could be tackled using the treatment for HIV and malaria, based on the action of two existing medications that faded the infections of coronavirus. Drug testing is underway as researchers and doctors worldwide are facing an urgency to develop an ultimate cure to the highly contagious disease.

Researchers at Australia's Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity have made a discovery that the human immune system responds to coronavirus; likewise, it does to fighting flu. The researchers believe that this finding is a significant step towards developing a vaccine or a cure for the disease.

A coronavirus action fund has been initiated by the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital (RBWH) Foundation in Australia. This aims at raising funds for clinical study, medical research, hospital equipment, and to support hospital staff and plans to raise around $750,000 for better understanding and development of a cure for COVID-19.

ZNO Product’s Efficacy for Covid-19

A global biotech company listed on ASX, Zoono Group Limited (ASX:ZNO) reported Z-71 Microbe Shield is > 99.99% effective against COVID-19 as per the laboratory tests undertaken against COVID-19.

Moreover, Zoono’s products have been successfully tested against a variety of pathogens and completed two separate tests to EN Standard 14476:2013+A2:2019. Zoono continues to conduct extensive research and has demonstrated its competence to be associated with the way out to counteract and protect against the propagative coronavirus.

Related: How did ASX listed Biotech player Zoono’s Share Price skyrocketed in 2020

Zoono also extended its co-branding arrangement with Eagle Health Holdings Limited for distributing Zoono’s products in China. Any breakthrough in times of fast-spreading coronavirus is gaining international attention from all spheres.

ZNO has experienced a dramatic increase in orders and has relocated to substantially larger premises/warehouse in Auckland. To cope with the same, Zoono is operating with an expanded team on a 24/7 order fulfilment process and has expanded its raw material supply chain and is also changing its logistics arrangements in order to better serve its customers.

MSB Eyes Evaluation of MSC Product Candidate

Another healthcare player eyeing for a breakthrough in the hunt for the cure of Covid-19 is Mesoblast Limited (ASX:MSB), which is globally leading regenerative medicine company in Australia and has been engaged in testing its lead product for the COVID-19.

MSB is actively in discussions with various government and regulatory authorities, medical institutions and pharmaceutical companies to undertake the evaluation of its remestemcel-L, an allogeneic mesenchymal stem cell (MSC)  product candidate, in patients facing acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), a lung disease caused by the coronavirus in major economies.

According to the Company, the principal cause of death in COVID-19 infection is the ARDS, and MSB is of the view that remestemcel-L has is likely to be potent for use in the treatment of ARDS based on recently published results from an investigator-initiated clinical study conducted in China.

CYP Bags Funding for Osteoarthritis Phase 2 trial

Clinical-stage biotechnology company, Cynata Therapeutics Limited (ASX:CYP) remains actively engaged in discussions with the global pharma companies regarding the potency of its Cymerus MSCs to be a useful adjunct in managing the patients with severe coronavirus infections.

The recent clinical results for MSCs undertaken in China suggest that MSCs are likely to protect against outcomes of the infection. Moreover, it was found that critically sick coronavirus patients responded favourably to the treatment with MSCs in the clinical study.

The Company looks forward to continuing its focus on advancing Cymerus MSCs development in numerous proposed forthcoming Phase II trials and further progress for its CLI Phase 2 trial along with the advancement of its Phase 2 trial planning and activities in GvHD in association with FUJIFILM.

Source: Company’s Report

Currently, planning for the osteoarthritis Phase 2 trial is in its final stage, and the major trial is expected to begin enrolment of patients in the near term. The study which is to be conducted at Sydney and Tasmania’s study centres comprises of 448 patients and is significantly funded by the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council.

Related: Stocks Benefited from COVID-19 Outbreak: ZNO’s Share Up by 34x, A2M Sales Soar in China

Ramsay to Assist Government in Covid-19 Treatment

The Australian healthcare players are not only focused on finding the treatment for the disease but are also actively playing their part in assisting the government in tackling the disease spread. Maintaining its reputation for operating high-quality services and delivering excellent patient care, Ramsay Health Care (ASX:RHC) has moved its hospitals around the globe to assist governments with managing the virus spread.

RHC acknowledges the extraordinary support that the government needs from private operators and its Australian hospitals have an intent to assist the public health sector in each jurisdiction with a view to

  • Ease the surgical burden on the public health system
  • Undertake urgent and elective surgery
  • Provide capacity to cater for COVID-19 patients if required

Ramsay also has country-specific COVID-19 response teams, as well as a global COVID-19 response team to keep track with the development of the outbreak and to constantly examine the impact on its business, staff and supply chains.

In view of the ongoing high level of uncertainty surrounding the spread, duration and impact of coronavirus, Ramsay has rolled back its earnings guidance for FY20.

Bottomline

Apart from the domestic companies, the World Health Organisation is taking all possible measures to boost and implement researches to find the cure for Covid-19. The Australian healthcare sector is characterised by world-class technology and is equipped with up to date resources.

Truly, a lot depends on the health care players and the stakeholders in tackling the contagious disease. People across the globe are applauding the work that doctors are doing by working non-stop to contain the disease.

Timely measures and vigilance of the authorities have helped to lessen the misery for the people of Australia. Let us take a moment to appreciate the role that every individual is playing in a hope to avoid the emergence of any further critical situation.


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