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Friday, April 24, 2020

India Fights COVID-19: Government Is Optimistic!



PIB

Yesterday, in its daily press briefing, the Government of India said that in India the growth rate in COVID-19 cases is linear, and not exponential as has been witnessed in many countries around the world. The Government has reiterated this with renewed confidence in its press briefing today also. Although the spike in new Coronavirus cases in the country is the highest at 1684 in the last 24 hours, the Government maintains that the overall growth rate in cases has been following a set pattern, and the doubling rate of cases has come down to 10 ten days as against 3 days in the beginning of the first Lockdown on 25th March, 2020. As to the hidden sources of illness that could possibly trigger a sudden spike unawares, the Government denied such a scenario, thanks to its constant surveillance of cases of fever, flu and pneumonia in the country. The decision to impose lockdown at a very early stage and later its extension is being hailed as the key to this success in effectively controlling the spread of the killer virus. At the moment the total cases of COVID-19 has crossed 23,000 with 718 deaths and recovery rate of nearly 21 percent. 

Such a high level of optimism is indeed soothing for the millions of Indians imprisoned at home. It rather transmits a positive feeling about the benefit of their sacrifice being realized. From a comparison with other countries like the US, Italy, UK, France, Spain where the lockdowns were either late or not strictly followed this optimism seems justified. Besides, most of the Indian cases relate to international travel connections and that community transmission has so far been prevented with meticulous hotspot-management and containment. Experts, national and international, also add to the optimism by saying that the compulsory application of the BCG vaccine in India for decades has apparently contributed to better immunity against the virus. Then, there are the other positive factors like the widespread practice of yoga, meditation, Ayurvedic and Homeopathic medicines and so on. Of course, despite the incredible knowledge of the novel Coronavirus that has been acquired in just three months the world still does not know much about it, and its future plan of action can only be speculated upon. People in the Indian Government, despite its optimism, admit that a possible full control of the virus can take at least four months more. That leaves us with our fingers crossed, and with the only options of praying, staying at home, maintaining social distancing and strictly following all the precautions for prevention.

Recently the Government of India had had to bring in an Ordinance to ensure protection for the Corona Warriors—doctors, nurses and health workers. Any assault on them would now be a non-bailable offense with heavy fines and imprisonment up to 7 years. It is very unfortunate that while in the US an Indian doctor was honored with a parade of hundred cars in front of her home for her COVID service, the Indian fraternity has been facing a series of attacks on their teams, ambulances in many places of the country. The covidiots, rather criminals, must realize that the health workers are the only saviors in case they themselves happen to get the infections, and only the doctors, the nurses, the health workers will be ready to bear all the risks associated. At this point we salute all of the Corona Warriors for their exemplary self-sacrificing life-risking service to humanity: the health sector personnel, the police and law-enforcement authorities, the local and the national administration personnel, the dedicated officers with various assignments, the journalists and the media persons, the suppliers of essential services and the vendors of vegetables and fruits.

To generate more optimism at the international level two separate projects are going on in UK and in Germany to develop COVID vaccines, and they say positive results may be expected by autumn this year, apart from the trials of several other drugs and plasma therapy. Of course, the World Health Organization says that the virus is going to remain with us for a long time, and most of the countries are not yet past the peaks. That is a possibility; but with effective control and reduced deaths it can be tolerated well. The WHO should jump in the vaccine sector coordinating with all the projects going on in an isolated manner and allow human super-knowledge overpower the virus.

People are still dying in large numbers in several countries. Hope this wave of optimism hold sway and bring the killer virus to its knees—sooner than any forecast.    

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