The deadly corona virus also known as COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). The disease was first identified in Wuhan of China in 2019 and since has spread globally. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared corona virus outbreak a pandemic and public health emergency of international concern. Some common symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Muscle pain, sputum production and sore throat are less common. While the majority of cases result in mild symptoms, some progress to severe pneumonia and multi-organ failure. As of 20 March 2020, the rate of deaths per number of diagnosed cases is 4.1%; however, it ranges from 0.2% to 15% depending on age and other health problems. The infection is typically spread from one person to another via respiratory droplets produced during coughing. It may also be spread from touching contaminated surfaces and then touching one’s face. Time from exposure to onset of symptoms is generally between 2 and 14 days, with an average of 5 days.
As shared by the WHO regarding the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak situation, 234073 cases, 9840 deaths and 177 countries, areas or territories with cases have been confirmed worldwide updated till 21 March 2020. As currently reported by Aljazeera, the death toll from the new coronavirus has surpassed 5,000 in Europe – the new epicentre of the pandemic – as Italy, Germany and Spain reported a steep rise in infections. Italy announced 627 more deaths on Friday, the biggest day-to-day increase in the country’s four-week epidemic, a day after surpassing China’s death toll. The total number of deaths in Italy reached 4,032. Specially, older adults and people of any age with underlying health conditions, such as diabetes, lung disease, or heart disease, are at greater risk of severe illness from COVID-19.
However, everyone must know the facts about coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and help stop the spread of rumors. There are simple things one can do to help keeping them and others healthy. Some
recommended measures to prevent infection include following:
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing, going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
• Stay home when you are sick also known as self-quarantine.
• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash with careful disposal.
• Practice good hygiene and maintain a minimum of 1.5 metres distance.
• Avoid crowd and mass gatherings etc.
Many national, regional and international endeavors have been made in order to combat the corona virus. Most importantly self-quarantine is the most usable practice to fight against the deadly virus. Similarly, some countries have now imposed lockdowns which is an emergency measure that prevents people from leaving or entering an area or country. In response to the outbreak, democratic countries including Italy, France and the Philippines have enacted policies similar to those seen in China, placing millions under full or partial lockdowns.
Likewise, south Asian countries discuss common strategy to combat the virus applying preventive measures. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called for cooperation between all countries in the SAARC region to combat coronavirus and proposed the creation of a Covid-19 emergency fund with India making an initial contribution of $10 million. Meanwhile, Nepal has also announced partial lockdown to prevent the spread of novel coronavirus enters into force on Sunday. Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli in a televised address to the nation on Friday urged Nepali people to stay at home except for essential activities beginning Sunday. PM Oli also shared that Nepal will be contributing Rs 100 million to SAARC fund to fight COVID-19 to support PM Modi’s proposal of setting up a COVID-19 Emergency Fund to combat the deadly virus in the region. There is one phrase “United we stand, divided we fall”, however this is the crucial time to follow “United we fall, divided we stand”. Thus each of us must promote worldwide solidarity and unity in the fight against COVID-19.
(With Input from Agencies)