Novel Coronavirus Disease or COVID-19 has grown into a major health concern across the globe with the World Health Organization terming the outbreak as a pandemic.
Our neighbour China has already seen the worst of it but managed the havoc professionally setting examples for other countries. The whole world is battling against Coronavirus while it is a severe test for the healthcare system across the world.
In Europe, Italy has been hit hard even as other parts of the region are also witnessing outbreak of Coronavirus. Moreover, in the Middle East, the virus has taken a toll in Iran which is one of the major affected countries in the world.
People across the world are advised to stay indoors and practice social distancing thereby helping control the spread of the contagious virus. Many people, especially in Italy, are in home quarantine for more than a week now. The hospitals and medical professionals are working round the clock to mitigate this outbreak. The ICUs and ventilators are not in sufficient numbers in comparison to the new cases increasing day by day. The healthcare professionals are sleep-deprived while many among them are now infected by the virus.
While the healthcare system in the western countries is expected to be much better than in India, they too are struggling hard to meet the sudden demand.
In India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 19 addressed the nation and called for a day’s shutdown on March 22 in order to mitigate the virus. Social distancing is being advised to regulate the spread of the virus.
While till now the medical facilities are proved to be just adequate, it is a big concern that the situation may go out of control if rapid cases are reported from across the country. Do we have enough testing laboratories and kits? Can we increase the number of tests done daily to meet the demand of the vast population of the country? Are we economically sound enough to meet the ever-growing demand for such tests and treatment? These are some questions that the government must keep in mind.
At a time when there is an exponential growth of Coronavirus positive cases reported from across the world, we need to take lessons from China which has not reported a single new case on March 19. Home quarantines are one of the most effective measures that can help ward off the virus. At first people were not convinced with the way China forced people to go into quarantine, but it has turned out to be one of the most effective measures. People in self-quarantine will slow down the spread of the virus which will help the serious patients avail proper healthcare facilities. Thus, by being in self-quarantine, you can help the healthcare professionals during this time of crisis.
As the prime minister said, this is not the time to panic but to be smart and keep ourselves safe. For starters, we can stop going out of our homes for all non-compulsory work and should adhere to basic hygiene practices like regular hand washing with soap and not sneeze or cough in the open.