” Coronavirus is not Spreading Fast in India – WHO’s Official Statement ” – June 7, 2020.

            The general feeling in India is that Coronavirus is fast spreading. This is not without reason either.

          Coronavirus cases in India has crossed 2,36,000 ;  more than 6600 died even after treatment ;  at least  about 1,50,000 people are being treated in different hospitals in India.

           About 5000 to 6000 Cases of Coronavirus are being reported daily.

          When on March 25 India announced its first lockdown Coronavirus cases stood only at 4 digit figures ;  now it has crossed the 6 digit mark.

          Despite these figures pointing to a near grave situation, the WHO has officially stated that Coronavirus has not spread fast in India.

          Dr. Michael Ryan of WHO while speaking to observers in Geneva yesterday said :  ” In South Asia, among the nations of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and others where population levels are high, Coronavirus has not multiplied fast. But the damage still exists “.  He also added that  :  “Coronavirus is becoming a social contagion now and it has the potential to spread rapidly”.

            Dr Michael Ryan has not failed to commend India’s efforts emphasizing that the actions taken have actually contributed to the aim of Containment. At the same time with the Economic activities opening and gaining traction, it is still not out of the woods.

            Two negative aspects in force now in India are the problems of a huge population ;  and the problem of migrants.

            Lead Scientist of WHO,  Dr Sowmya Swaminathan, (daughter of the well renowned Agricultural Scientist, Dr  MS Swaminathan) described the situation in India in respect of Coronavirus : ” India’s population is 130 crores. Considering the population is extremely huge, the Coronavirus spread is comparatively low. The two factors that can give the real picture are the growth rate ;  and doubling of the cases of Coronavirus. These factors confirm that in India Coronavirus has not spread quickly “.

          India is a big nation. It has cities with extremely large population. The system of healthcare in different States are different too. These present the challenges to effective control of COVID-19.

          Subsequent to the lockdown and the relaxations in activities announced by the States, enforcement of precautionary methods must be stringent. People need to understand this factor. While entertaining huge aspirations it is incumbent that people need to be fully cognizant of why certain actions are given special importance.

            Social distancing cannot be effectively achieved in most cities or even in towns in India. Hence, the need for face masks, particularly outside homes.

            Social distancing is nearly impossible in many workplaces ;  public transport ;  and the educational institutions –  and yet several States want  an early opening of these activities.

            “Institutions and authorities comprising each of these three elements must think, analyse, and decide on the precautionary measures first prior to opening”  –  said, Dr Sowmya Swaminathan.

            In view of the above, it is clear that effective control of Coronavirus lie with people is a fact as much as the fact that Coronavirus has not spread fast in India.

            Hand washing ;  use of face masks ;  and  social distancing are the three magical elements making the triad of the  ‘combative spirit’  against  COVID-19.

 

   ” Dieu avec nous “

   Sunday, June 7, 2020 –  9.09 a.m. (IST)

   Tidbit  :  ” The virus will become just another endemic virus in our communities ”  –  Dr Michael Ryan.

 

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