Coronavirus outbreak in India -
Coronavirus outbreak in India
Posted 26 Sep 2020 04:16 PM


Coronavirus outbreak in India

September 26, 2020

On 24 March 2020, the Government of India under the leadership of our Prime Minister Narendra Modi ordered a nationwide lockdown for 21 days, limiting movement of the entire 1.3 billion population of India as a preventive measure against the COVID-19 pandemic in India. It was ordered after a 14 hour voluntary public curfew on 22 March, followed by enforcement of a series of regulations in the country's COVID-19 affected regions. The lockdown was placed when the number of confirmed positive Coronavirus cases in India was approximately 500.

As the end of the first lockdown period approached, state governments and other advisory committees recommended extending the lockdown. The governments of Odisha and Punjab extended the state lockdowns to 1 May. Maharashtra, Karnataka, West Bengal and Telangana followed suit. On 14 April, Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended the nationwide lockdown until 3 May, with a conditional relaxations after 20 April for the regions where the spread had been contained or was minimal.

On 1 May, the Government of India extended the nationwide lockdown further by two weeks until 17 May. The Government divided all the districts into three zones based on the spread of the virus Green, Red and Orange with relaxations applied accordingly. On 17 May, the lockdown was further extended till 31 May by the National Disaster Management Authority.

On 30 May, it was announced that lockdown restrictions were to be lifted from then onwards, while the ongoing lockdown would be further extended till 30 June for only the containment zones. Services would be resumed in a phased manner starting from 8 June. It was termed as "Unlock 1.0". Modi later clarified that the lockdown phase in the country was over and that 'unlock' had already begun.
The second phase of unlock, Unlock 2.0, was announced for the period of 1st to 31st July, with more ease in restrictions.
Unlock 3.0 was announced in August.

Food delivery services were banned by several state governments despite the central government's approval. Thousands of people emigrated out of major Indian cities, as they became jobless after the lockdown. Following the lockdown, India's electricity demand fell down to a five month low on 28 March. The lockdown broke the supply chain of narcotics in Punjab. Many states were keen on opening up liquor shops during the lockdown which was finally allowed in the 3rd phase beginning on 4 May. Reports of a surge in illicit liquor sales and most importantly, drying up of revenue from liquor sale was the main stimulation.
Due to the lockdown, more than 350 deaths were reported as of 10 May, with reasons ranging from starvation, suicides, exhaustion, road and rail accidents etc. Among the reported deaths, most were among the marginalized migrants and labourers.

Economic Impact
India had already been experiencing a prolonged economic slowdown. The GDP growth rate had fallen from 8.2% in January March 2018 to 3.1% in January March 2020.
In the first quarter of the financial year 2020-21, this number went into negative. The GDP growth rate for April June 2020 was -23.9%, which happened to be the worst ever in history. Crucial parameters like manufacturing, construction, trade, hotel industry saw a decline and slid into negative. Manufacturing growth at -39.3%, Mining growth at -23.3%, Construction growth at -50%, Trade & hotel industry growth at -47%.

Migrant Workers
With factories and workplaces shut down, millions of migrant workers had to deal with the loss of income, food shortages and uncertainty about their future. Following this, many of them and their families went hungry. While government schemes ensured that the poor would get additional rations due to the lockdown.
With no work and no money, thousands of migrant workers were seen walking or bicycling hundreds of kilometres to go back to their native villages.

Impact on environment
Rivers have become cleaner as industries are closed due to the lockdown.
The quality of air has significantly improved during the lockdown.

According to a study at Shiv Nadar University, India could have witnessed a surge of 31,000 cases of disease between 24 March and 14 April without lockdown. A group of researchers at the University of Oxford who tracked the governmental policy measures to counter the pandemic rated India's lockdown as one of the most stringent in the world, scoring "100 out of 100" on their tracker. They noted that India implemented school closures, border closure, travel bans etc. but they said it was too early to measure their success in containing the pandemic.

COVID-19 current situation
The total number of Coronavirus cases currently stand at 59,03,933 and recoveries at 48,49,585 pushing the recovery rate to nearly 82 %. The death toll, meanwhile, climbed to 93,379. There are 9,60,969 active cases of COVID-19 in the country, which constitute nearly 20 % of the total caseload.
The current phase of the COVID-19 pandemic in India is on multiple trajectories across urban and semi-urban areas with Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Delhi being the most affected. "Since the country has a huge population, it is expected that there would be a large number of cases every day.
The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has said the country shows now community transmission of COVID-19 which has started and the situation looks bad.

WHO�s current situation Report (India)
WHO Country Office for India (WCO) continues to work closely with MoHFW, on preparedness and response measures including epidemiological assessment, surveillance, testing, case management, containment and research activities for COVID-19 at the national, state and district level.

Positive Approaches
Help your community by:
1. Only buy what you need, so everyone in your community can get what they need.
2. Donate food to the needy ones. They all need help and contributions, especially those in communities hardest hit by COVID-19.
3. Donate blood. According to the American Red Cross, there is an urgent need for blood due to the Coronavirus outbreak.
4. If you know people in the health care industry � nurses, doctors, admins, CNAs, paramedics or others do something for them or their families.
5. If you pay for routine services, such as a house cleaner, hair stylist or personal trainer, cancel any upcoming appointments but pay them their normal rate if you can.
6. Be kind to staff working. They�re working hard. Plus, they also have families and personal stresses of their own. A smile, some patience and a thank you can go a long way.

Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General said �No country, hospital or clinic can keep its patients safe unless it keeps its health workers safe. WHO�s Health Worker Safety Charter is a step towards ensuring that health workers have the safe working conditions, the training, the pay and the respect they deserve.�
In a bid to keep lowering infection rates amongst health workers, Nigeria�s Federal Capital Territory and all 36 state governments have invested in training their health workers with the support of WHO on infection prevention and control.

Let us all pray together for Doctors, Nurses & Healthcare workers doing the right thing, helping patients, saving lives.

THANK YOU for risking your life everyday to protect all of us during this COVID-19 pandemic.

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