Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a potentially severe acute respiratory infection caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The virus was identified as the cause of an outbreak of pneumonia of unknown cause in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, in December 2019.
According to the WHO, the most common symptoms of Covid-19 are fever, tiredness and a dry cough. Some patients may also have a runny nose, sore throat, nasal congestion and aches and pains or diarrhoea. About 80% of people who get Covid-19 experience a mild case – about as serious as a regular cold – and recover without needing any special treatment.
On average, it takes about five to six days for someone to show symptoms after becoming infected. However, some people who carry the virus remain asymptomatic, meaning they do not show any symptoms. On average, people became short of breath within five days of the onset of their symptoms. Severe breathing trouble may be observed in about eight days.
About one in six people, the WHO says, become seriously ill. The elderly and people with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, or chronic respiratory conditions, are at a greater risk of serious illness from Covid-19.
Keeping Safe from COVID-19
Know How Does Coronvirus Spreads
- There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
- The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.
- The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.
- Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
- Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
- These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
Take steps to protect yourself
Clean your hands often
- Wash your handsoften with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
- Avoid touchingyour eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid close contact
- Avoid close contactwith people who are sick
- Put distance between yourself and otherpeople if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
Take steps to protect yourself and others from it
Stay home if you’re sick
- Stay homeif you are sick, except to get medical care.
Cover coughs and sneezes
- Cover your mouth and nosewith a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
- Throw used tissuesin the trash.
- Immediately wash your handswith soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Wear a facemask if you are sick
- If you are sick:You should wear a facemask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. If you are not able to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then you should do your best to cover your coughs and sneezes, and people who are caring for you should wear a facemask if they enter your room.
- If you are NOT sick: You do not need to wear a facemask unless you are caring for someone who is sick (and they are not able to wear a facemask). Facemasks may be in short supply and they should be saved for caregivers.
Clean and disinfect
- Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfacesdaily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
- If surfaces are dirty, clean them:Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
Most common EPA-registered household disinfectants will work. Use disinfectants appropriate for the surface.
- Wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
- Use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
- Wash your hands as soon as you get back home
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
- Put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
- Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
Situation in India
India is the world’s second-most populous country and has the fifth-biggest economy, with trade connections all over the world. Yet despite its size, the country of 1.34 billion appears to have avoided the full hit of the pandemic so far. To date, India has approximately 500 confirmed cases of coronavirus. By contrast, South Korea — which has a population only 3.8% the size of India’s — has more than 9,000 cases. This is why it is important to stop this pandemic in its tracks and the most effective way to do that is with a nationwide lockdown.
“Desperate times call for desperate measures”
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has imposed a nationwide lockdown in order to stop the coronavirus from spreading. He appealed for people not to panic – but crowds quickly mobbed stores in the capital, Delhi, and other cities. Why India requires a “hard” lockdown to fight the virus has much to do with how crowded and densely packed a country it is. Both its public and private spaces are crowded. With 450 people per square kilometre, India is one of the most densely populated countries in the world. Some of the poor northern Indian states like Bihar and Uttar Pradesh have almost twice as many people per sq km. Indian households typically have between 4.5 to 5 people per family, compared with an average of 2.5 people in an average American household. Some 40% of Indian families are non-nuclear or joint families. Most of these families will have one person above 60 years of age, one below 18 and two others aged somewhere in between.