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By ADMIN| July 13, 2020



On January 30, 2020, the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee of the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a “public health emergency of international concern” (PHEIC). Yes, we all are up to date with the latest spreading disease which is creating havoc worldwide. COVID -19 has been in the national headlines for the last few weeks. We all know it had started from Wuhan, China. A respiratory disease caused by a new virus that was first detected in China and now has been detected in more than 100 places internationally, including in the United States. The virus has been named “SARS-CoV-2” and the disease has been named “Coronavirus disease 2019” (“COVID-19”).But unfortunately there are no vaccine to prevent the disease. Unfortunately, more than getting correct info, we get to hear myths about it. Recently I heard that it is spread by eating non-veg so we all need to turn into vegans. Obviously it is impossible for me, being a Bengali, I can’t live without eating fish and chicken. Now my question is, do we know everything about COVID-19? How does it spread and to what extent? And most importantly do how our country is dealing with it?  COVID-19 is a totally new disease and still WHO (World Health Organization) is conducting research to learn more about it.

Source and Spread of the Virus

From where does this virus came? 90% of Indians will say fish or sea food. No, it is not. The SARS-CoV-2 virus is a virus like MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV and all of them have their origins in bats. Other than bats, the family of virus is common in different species of animals, such as camels, cattle and cats. The epicenter of the outbreak was Wuhan because Wuhan, Hubei Province, China have live animal markets, resulting in animal-to-person spread and then person-to-person spread. Now, how long did it take for the number of confirmed cases to double? Let’s take an example, if the number of confirmed cases today is 1000, and there were only 500 cases three days ago then we would say that it took three days for the number of confirmed cases to double.

COVID-19 – A Pandemic

A Pandemic is an outbreak of a particular disease, globally. Some of the worst pandemic diseases in history were HIV/AIDS(2005-06), Asian flu(1956-1958), sixth cholera(1910-1911), The black death or Plague across Europe, Asia and Africa(1346-1353) to name a few. The virus that is causing the disease is infecting large number of people and spreading easily from person-to-person. According to a report from Johns Hopkins University, till now it had killed more than 6,500 worldwide. Italy announced 3,590 new cases and 368 deaths in just 24 hours after the worst outbreak outside China. On March 11, WHO declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic. This is the first ever pandemic disease caused by the emergence of a new coronavirus.

How India is dealing with Covid-19?

Former Chief Economist of Goldman Sachs Jim O'Neill made a negative remark recently that he is thankful that coronavirus erupted in China and not somewhere in India, for which he received backlash. He said to CNBC: "Thank God this didn’t start in somewhere like India, because there’s absolutely no way that the quality of Indian governance could move to react in the way that the Chinese have done, that’s the good side of the Chinese model, and I think you could probably say the same about Brazil too”.

Overcoming COVID-19:

  • India has reported 35,043 cases and 1,154 deaths as compared with 1,095,210 cases and 63,861 deaths in the US and 1,71,253 in the UK, despite sharing a border of 3,488 kilometers with China
  • It is the only country in the world to evacuate its citizens 6 times (and counting). The IAF evacuated a total of 1500 Indians from all over the world. 500 indians, 37 foreign nationals from Wuhan, 119 Indians and 5 foreign nationals from Japan, 58 Indian pilgrims from Iran on the 10th of March. Total: 900 Indians and 48 foreign nationals.
  • India is leading the fight against COVID-19 in the South Asian region, offering humanitarian and medical assistance such as masks, gloves and other emergency equipment to its neighbors including China too. Unfortunately, this level of efficiency hasn't caught the eye of the media.
  • Currently we have one of the world’s most efficient and reliable testing systems, which produces test results in 4 hours reducing the original time of 12- 14 hours. Even US health officials have admitted that their system is failing. Thus Government of Iran, Afghanistan and other countries in Asia are requesting India to set up testing facilities in their countries.
  • Top scientists have been sent to Iran by the Indian Government, to set up a make-shift lab and testing facility to test 6000 of its citizens because Iranian officials refused to test Indians due to their high load. A 14-member medical team has been send to Maldives consisting of pulmonologists, anesthetists, physicians & lab technicians to assist Maldives health authorities.
  • India has suspended all visas and visa-free travel facility for OCI cardholders. It has closed its border with Myanmar.
  • India has the world’s biggest state-sponsored health assurance scheme Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB PM-JAY) which cover 500 million beneficiaries (8 times the size of the UK). Indian drug prices are among the cheapest in the world. According to Medbelle, India ranks as one of the five countries with the lowest prices for drugs around the world due to the government’s Jan Aushadi project to provide affordable medicines.
  • Recently, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) released a report on effect of 'Janata Curfew' on the air quality. Surprisingly Delhi's PM 2.5 dropped by 57.64 per cent, Noida by 65.10 per cent, Gurugram by 56.04 per cent and Greater Noida by 68.83 per cent.

Warning givens:

Corona Virus warnings were given in December but Wuhan officials completely ignored it costing 1000 lives. China had silenced the doctor Li Wenliang, who identified COVID-19 and he died 6 weeks later. On the other hand, when Nipah virus was found in Kerela in 2018, 3 doctors identified it and authorities immediately reported it to WHO. 2000 quarantined and 17 died in total. India would have NEVER allowed it to become a pandemic.Picture links: https://www.thepharmaletter.com/article/medicago-claims-to-have-a-viable-vaccine-candidate-for-covid-19https://scitechdaily.com/coronavirus-now-in-86-countries-spreading-to-5-new-countries-overnight-over-95000-infected/https://www.financialexpress.com/lifestyle/health/coronavirus-in-india-1lakh-covid-19-testing-kits-available-more-ordered-says-health-ministry/1895682/Reference links:https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/index.htmlhttps://news.un.org/en/story/2020/03/1059261https://www.brut.media/in/health/indians-stranded-in-virus-infected-countries-111a1617-6e5d-4d7b-a4fa-050cdd43daa3https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/52-labs-for-testing-suspected-coronavirus-cases-made-functional-in-india/story-XUKIWQRd6UKF1qQQhhbeBJ.htmlhttps://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/09/india-modi-launches-world-largest-health-insurance-scheme-180923095218001.htmlhttps://www.theweek.in/news/world/2020/03/12/thank-god-the-coronavirus-didnt-start-in-india-uk-think-tank-chairperson-jim-o-neill.htmlhttps://www.news18.com/news/india/unintended-lockdown-benefit-study-says-pm-2-5-down-by-over-50-in-delhi-gurugram-noida-ghaziabad-2574161.html

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