We have decided to postpone the 1st Anniversary meet of Business Mates due to the recent fear of outbreak of corona virus and its general precautions. It is better to be safe than sorry. We also support the govt efforts to contain the spread of this highly contagious disease. Together we shall fight and survive.
A timeline of Coronavirus
- On 31 Dec 2019, China reported to WHO that a large number of people were infected with pneumonia and flu like symptoms but with an unknown virus. Epicenter was the Wuhan, a port city in Hubei province. Patients were working in the Seafood Wholesale market at Huanan. Here wild animals are also sold which are in great demand in China as delicacy and preparing of exotic and traditional Chinese medicine. This market was shut down the next day.
- On 7 Jan 2020, WHO confirmed that it is a new virus and named it 2019-nCoV or Coronavirus. But this time, it had rapidly spread to about 100 people despite huge efforts to contain it. The quick spread was because the virus is transmitted through air by coughing or sneezing and due to proximity to infected and touching, even objects.
- On 11 Jan 2020, China reported the first death case, a 61 year old patient who had visited the sea food market. Despite treatment, the patient did not respond and died of a heart attack. This confirmed the suspicion that the virus will kill the old and elderly with higher mortality rate than young who can fight off the infection. This day is also the beginning of the holiday season in China where large number of people move from the urban industry centers to their native places. Also a large number of students and foreign workers return to their respective countries to visit their families back home. This contributed to the global spread of the virus, because quarantine facilities and screen facilities were not in place. Countries which were worst affected are those who did not take precautions to screen international travelers and holiday tourist, like Italy and Iran.
- On 20 Jan 2020, China reported its second death case. Infections were detected world wide in multiple countries. But still people continued to travel to Wuhan from other parts of the world and coming back infected.
- By 22 Jan 2020, the number of death cases in China went up to 17 and up to 550 people infected. Chinese govt decided to shut down the province and all neighboring areas. Restrictions were placed on travel and people were asked to remain indoors unless they have to move out to buy essential food and medicine. Despite China taking stringent measures, WHO did not think that the infection was serious enough to take measure all over the world. Now we know they were so wrong!
- 26 Jan 2020, the death toll almost tripped to 57 and infections went through the roof. Reports of infection cases kept coming from many countries. China meanwhile cancelled all public events and celebrations and shut down famous tourist attractions like Great Wall and Disneyland.
- 30 Jan 2020 – WHO finally declares Global Emergency. First case reported from India. Govts all over the world place travel restrictions on China.
World Takes drastic measure to contain
In the quest to find a cure and vaccine, scientists and health authorities are on the hunt for patient zero. Patient Zero is defined as the first person who has contacted the virus. In case of Coronavirus, it is believed that the virus was transmitted from a wild bat to human. Since as many as 150 people were simultaneously infected in mid November, this search is difficult. Since the Chinese govt is mostly run by Left ideology bureaucrats, acquiring technical data related to patients and treatment is a challenge. Police cases were slapped against the doctors who reported the new virus, one of whom has died due to infection.
- 05 Feb 2020 – With more than 500 death cases and the number rapidly rising everyday, govt realized the serious nature of work at hand. Foreign govts meanwhile started evacuating their citizen from China. A holiday cruise ship with 3600 people on board is quarantined outside Japan.
- 19 Feb 2020 – China sees a ray of hope with daily infection rates dropping for the first time. China drafts a legislation banning the capture and consumption of wild animals. With poaching of tiger and rhino parts in India for the traditional Chinese medicines, we sincerely hope that this madness and mindless hunting and slaughtering of wild animals in India stops. Screening for infected passengers of the cruise ship Diamond Princess begins. As many as 600 people who are confirmed with the infection as asked to remain on the ship. Rest of the passengers are allowed to disembark.
- 21 Feb 2020 – World wakes up to the serious problem of international travel and mass gathering at public places. More than 200 people reported positive in South Korea were part of a church society. First infection cases reported in Iran and Italy. Within days, both these countries will see an unusual spike in number of cases from a couple of infected to couple hundred.
- 10 March 2020 – Things turn from bad to worse in Iran and Italy. 50 people reported dead in a single day from Iran, while Italy sees more than 150 death cases from the infection.
- 11 March 2020 – Qatar sees infections rise from 24 to 262 in just one day. WHO declares the outbreak as pandemic. Indian govts at state and national level announce stringent measures.
The Indian scene
With large and concentrated population centers and regular travel between urban and rural places, India is just ripe for the epidemic spread of Coronavirus. Govt and the authorities have planned well in advance and placed stringent and drastic measures in place at the cost of economic disruptions.
- 30 Jan 2020 – First positive case reported in India of a student who come back from Wuhan University. Second and third case were reported the next day, all from travel to China.
- 02 March 2020 – Multiple cases of infections and suspected infections reported from different parts of the country. Authorities start tracking down the people who have come in contact with infected persons and place them in self quarantine.
- 03 March 2020 – A group of tourists from Italy who had traveled to Jaipur and returned to a hotel in South Delhi showing signs of infection were tested. One of the tourist test positive for coronavirus. The entire batch of tourists is taken to quarantine. Out of the group of 24, as many as 21 test positive. These tourists have been in contact with several people over a period of travel to Jaipur and other locations in the city.
- 09 March 2020 – As reports of positive infections comes up from various towns and cities, Agra reports its first case. All cases reported are travel related.
- 12 March 2020 – First death case occurs in Karnataka followed by a second death case in Delhi. Govt asks states to invoke Section 2 of Epidemic Diseases Act 1897 to empower legal action to stop the spread of the virus. It provides for special powers to adopt any means necessary to contain the spread.
We are now in mid March and 83 positive cases so far. Schools, Universities, shopping malls & cinema halls have been shut down by different states. Passengers are being screened at airports which has caused a lot of delays. Few states has closed down the international borders with neighboring countries. Travel advisories and restrictions are in place. We still do not have a total clampdown in place in India on the lines of China. But at this point of time, the restrictions seem a must, rather than have an epidemic like situation in the country.
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