People question the lockdown of the government in an effort to contain the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic. Many people feel that it is, much ado about nothing. Is it?
Here is some perspective.
500 million people (27% of total world population) were infected and an estimated 50 million people died because the 1918 influenza pandemic (Jan 1918 – December 1920; unfairly known as the Spanish flu) involving H1N1 influenza virus.
It is estimated that the life expectancy of those who survived, was reduced by an average of 12 years.
The steps taken seem appropriate.
What is not understood always induces fear.
Nowadays just a sneeze or a runny nose terrifies people. First of all, its helpful to know when to rule out COVID-19.
Second, when times are tough every second person becomes an expert.
It is plain to see that the main stream media has done a much better job of educating the public than has been social media. While situation is serious, social media is full of nonsense and misinformation, which always spreads faster than facts.
What is our government doing?
Resilient India's response to COVID-19 (Coronavirus) has been fairly good.
When the government does the right things, due respect and appreciation should be given.
India has only reported 84 cases and 2 deaths compared to 596 cases and 8 deaths in the UK and [Italy’s coronavirus deaths soaring to over 1,800 with nearly 25,000 infected.
India is the only country in the world to evacuate its citizens and maximum number of foreign nationals (6 times and counting). Till date the Indian Air Force evacuated a total of 900 Indians and 48 foreign nationals from Wuhan (China), Japan and Iran
India is leading the fight against COVID-19 in the South Asian region, and providing diplomatic, humanitarian and medical assistance to its neighbours.
A total of 56 Virus Research Diagnostic Laboratories (VRDLs) have been set up in India to test its citizens as well as foreign citizens in a record time, additional 60 VRDLs are being setup in within next 45 days. This insane level of efficiency hasn't caught the eye of the media.
In other countries the time taken to get test results vary from 12 to 14 hours. The Indian testing systems are not only one of the world’s most efficient and reliable, test results are incredibly fast at 4 hours.
Many countries in Asia and elsewhere such as Iran, Afghanistan up to Timor Leste, are being assisted by Indian government and professionals to set up make-shift lab and testing facilities.
Aircraft loaded with medical supplies, accompanied by many experts such as pulmonologists, anaesthetists, physicians & lab technicians and also a large composite of COVID-19 medical relief to assist Maldives and China.
Within India, screening, testing, and treatment facilities and protocols have been put into place. Adequate quarantine facilities have been set up and staff trained for coping with COVID-19 challenge.
Most visas and all visa free travel to India have been cancelled. All Indian nationals coming from COVID-19 hit nations after 15 February undergo a mandatory 14 day quarantine.
India has the world’s biggest state-sponsored health assurance scheme, covering over 500 million beneficiaries. Economists rank India as one of the five countries with the lowest median prices for drugs around the world due to price control mechanism for drugs. The Indian government’s Jan Aushadi project to provide cheap affordable medicines to the poor.
Cost of screening and treatment is being borne by the Central and State governments of India.
Harsh and inconvenient as they may seem, appropriate measures in China have shown its Covid-19 peak is over with a marked decline in new infections, because of effective controls.
Experts on Pandemics, say that in India the virus is entering stage 3, and if not controlled can result in not a few thousands but infections possibly reaching even a million people.
They advise us to stay put, avoid gatherings and keep interaction with other people to a minimum. This is the mantra to be followed.
In all of recorded history, India has never been the origin of any pandemic or plague. Many wise people and global leaders say, maybe it is time to revisit time held traditions and practices of India. These include vegetarianism, Ayurveda and minimal physical contact with strangers such as Namaste greeting instead of shaking hands and kissing, etc. etc.
Interesting links and references: India Situation Report - 7. Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)