The spread of the latest coronavirus (Covid-19) is fast. More than 198,000 people are believed to have been infected and more than 7,900 deaths have been reported-including 150+ people diagnosed with the virus in India.
Although the outbreak began in China, the majority of cases and deaths are now outside the country and the virus is spreading worldwide.
What is a Coronavirus?
Coronaviruses are a family of viruses which cause animal disease. Seven have made the jump to humans, including the new virus, which still cause symptoms like colds.
Many of those who were initially infected either worked or shopped regularly in the Huanan seafood wholesale market in downtown Wuhan, China.
Coronavirus seems to be quite effective in transmission. It is observed that an individual infected with coronavirus will pass this to two more people unless containment measures are taken. It also appears that the virus has a higher mortality rate than typical illnesses like seasonal flu. The combination of the potential of coronavirus to spread and cause serious illness has caused several countries, including India, to implement or prepare comprehensive public health programs intended to control and reduce the effects of the pandemic.
How To Protect Yourself Against Coronavirus
Your first line of defence is preventive measures. Practice good hygiene and make these CDC guidelines part of your routine is the best way to protect yourself from COVID 19:
Wash your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, particularly after getting to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
Make use of an alcohol-based hand sanitizer having at least 60 per cent alcohol if soap and water are not easily available. If hands are clearly dirty, wash hands with soap and water always.
Don't use unwashed hands to touch your nose, eyes and mouth.
Avoid personal interaction with sick people.
Stay home when you are sick.
Cover with a tissue over your cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue in the garbage and wash your face. When you don't have tissue in your elbow, cough or sneeze, rather than in your mouth.
Always touched objects and surfaces are cleaned and disinfected.
Check for guidance on how to wash your hands correctly, and use a hand sanitizer.
What lies Ahead?
The Indian Medical Research Council has released fresh guidelines on 17th March, allowing private hospitals to perform tests for the novel coronavirus. This is a big change from the conservative approach that continues to dictate India's strategy against COVID-19, and the Ministry of Health listed it again at its press conference on Tuesday — check only those with flu-like symptoms and have a travel history to the virus-affected countries.
The decision was announced as reports stated a backlog in 71 test centers licensed by the government, which were the only facilities licensed for collecting samples and performing testing for the novel coronavirus until Monday.
However, according to Hindustan Times, India only screened 9,100 samples until March 16. In comparison, as per ourworldindata.org, China tested 3,20,000 samples (till 24 February), South Korea tested 2,48,647 samples (till 13 March), and the US analysed more than 21,500 samples (CDC and COVID-Tracking Project) until 12 March.
The number of tests as of 16 March is likely to be higher for these countries. All this means is that India has "only succeeded in testing 6.8 samples for every million people living in the country," making the country among the lowest in the world in terms of population-tested people.
Majority of economic activity in India is run by migrant labour between states, who also live in crowded accommodations, and are not supported by adequate health or employment insurance. Diseases are both more likely and quick to spread in such situations. And meanwhile, government attempts to quarantine or lock down whole localities or cities as in China are going to come with high, even unacceptable, political and economic costs in India.
The outbreak of coronavirus has sparked a global health alert, and sporting competitions across the globe are being cancelled or pushed back until later. Many of the most important sporting competitions were delayed or held behind closed doors.
Deshpee to offer free consultancy to 100 businesses who are affected by Coronavirus
Everyone is in the grip of this virus whether they like it or not, and the impacts are far-reaching. Businesses all over India have seen their business shrink, their events under threat and launches called off, all of which has an impact on productivity, jobs and security. The big and well established companies have been brilliant in their assistance and sage advice, but there will be other firms out there who won’t know where to turn to. We want to help them.
Businesses need staff to work remotely during the pandemic are being offered help to go online.
Deshpee is offering free consultancy to businesses that needs to send their workers home due to COVID-19, but are not sure how they will get that project done.
“It is important to the health of people here and to the economy,” co-founder Vedarth Deshpande said of supporting people working from home and not congregating, reducing the likelihood of spreading the coronavirus.
Deshpee has been in business in Pune for about 5 years and in its early years about half its staff worked from home, so it is well versed in what is needed.
So we will offer free consultancy to 100 businesses who are affected by coronavirus through the month of March and April. Those interested can email us at: email@example.com or call +919823348366
As a customer centric company, we feel the responsibility to continue offering our services during this difficult time. We have been particularly impressed with the positive reaction of our staff to this despite the stress it places upon them and their families.
Let's get over this pandemic together. Stay safe.