” COVID-19 – The Central Part of Global Public Health Crisis Today ” – March 14, 2020.

          From threat and peril to safety and surety is the path taken by China since the first case of COVID-19 originated in Wuhan, Hubei Province, in November 2019.

          Having let off the alarmist steam of a serious global voice of public health doom, China adopted an aggressive and comprehensive approach complete with whatever measures experts could advocate under the conditions to bring the situation in full control to ultimately be a dispenser of justice to the dangerous health challenge of a century (since the Spanish flu of 1918). Medical suits, ventilators, and other accompaniments are donated to the European nations, specially Italy, now by China. 

          Successfully emerging from allegations of cover up and under reporting through its twin robust control elements of (a) Central Government fully taking charge of the local government,  and  (b) with a military style prompt action in gearing up the Public Health System with every possible measure of Control, China has shown the effectiveness of its actions. New cases of COVID-19 have significantly decreased in China now.

Empty Street in Italy.

          On the other side, Churches in Rome closed for the first time – that which did not happen either during the World War II or Black Plague. In fact, Europe is becoming the new China – i.e. what was China (Wuhan, Hubei Province) in January/February 2020 is now Europe.

          Coronavirus Disease is designated COVID-19 by the World Health Organisation. It is a zoonotic coronavirus transmitted from infected animals to infecting humans. Originated in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, based on first recognised and diagnosed infection.

          Fever, cough, and shortness of breath are the major symptoms that can result in pneumonia, kidney failure, and death. Mostly infects the throat first. The virus is capable of minor structural changes that can enable it to evade CoV immune recognition. This is a characteristic feature making the identification difficult.

          The virus is capable of spreading swiftly ; it has a high infection rate ;  and it can cause sudden increases in mortality rates.

          The virus is easily transmitted by coughing, sneezing, talking, and touching contaminated surfaces. Mouth, nose, and eyes are the organs through which infection occurs.

          Transmission rate of virus is 1.6  to  2.4  times more than that of Flu which stands at 1.2 to 1.4. The virus is said to affect old people disproportionately. Fatality rates for patients above 80 are 7 times average. That for patients above 70 is 3 to 4 times average. That for patients under 40 is just 0.2 %.

          Mild symptoms in patients,  seasonality (uncertain as yet),  and  asymptomatic transmission could complicate the correct identification of number of cases.

          Concentration of COVID-19 at this juncture can be seen emerging from : (a) China (Wuhan, Hubei Province) ;  (b)  East Asia (South Korea and Japan) ;  (c)  Middle East (mainly from Iran) ;  (d) Western Europe (Italy) and  (e)  United States of America (California, Oregon, Washington, New York, Rhode Island). More areas will be covered soon –  Africa, Latin America  …  …

          Figure below indicates the economic impact triad of COVID-19 :

          Economic impact will be seen in terms of (a) immediate impact,  (b)  short term impact,  and  (c)  long term impact. China’s incipient recession today could graduate into a depression with time. The week of February 24 witnessed DOW falling 12 % ,  the fastest correction thus far noticed. In the short-term a bear market trajectory cannot be ruled out. Yields on govt bonds may collapse. No country will possibly be spared. Global economy is facing the most challenging phase induced by less demand and very weak consumer spending. In the long-term, containment of the virus will hold the key –  V-shaped,  U-shaped,  or  L-shaped.

          Schools, colleges, hostels, institutions, malls, restaurants, theatres, halls remain closed ;  shops and some companies remain shuttered ; stringent regulations on travel imposed ;  limits on gatherings of people are set  –  all these have the potential to affect the economy significantly.

          The figure below represents the  ‘Genesis of  COVID-19’.

           Figure indicates the immediate and sufficient causes of the occurrence of COVID-19 in a logical and sequential order. Two conditions need to be met first. A concentrated quantum of virus,  and  a source of effective transmission. The figure assumes the existence of the virus and attempts to deduce the source of transmission further downward in possible combinations.

           At the first level  (L1),  are indicated the events leading to the cause of transmission :  (a) presence of infected persons,  and  (b) person to person contact. The process is repeated at the next level (L2),  and the next again (L3)  until all the causes are identified and listed.

           This helps to present considerable insight into the combinations and sequences of events that possibly occurs in the whole event, COVID-19, making the analysis of consequences further easier. By this method failures and remedial measures having an effect on the primary event, COVID-19, can be evaluated. It is also possible to rank the causes in respect of their importance.

           It may even be possible to throw light on the statistical probability of Control and Containment. However, for a clear quantitative analysis we need more cases to be analysed with more information on each case of COVID-19.

           Some significant effects noticed :  1.  Restriction of start-up funding because of uncertainty and concerns about coronavirus. 2. Education, technology conferences, sports events and gatherings are cancelled or postponed. 3. Colleges prepare to take courses online, short term solutions as video conferencing and synchronous communications and other software video platforms. 4. FB pledged to donate space to WHO and millions of dollars in  ad credit to other groups to help combat the spread of coronavirus. It is focused on making sure everyone can access to credible and accurate information.

           Nobody can say what is the sure guarantee of total control and containment of COVID-19 as of this day is the verdict at this moment.

 

   ” Dieu avec nous”

   Saturday, March 14, 2020 –  3. 12 p.m. (IST).

    Tidbit: ” Spanish flu in 1918 lasted 15 months,  infected 500 million people,  and killed 50 million people (3 to 5 percent of world population at that time).”

 

 

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