The world has been witnessing the global spread of Coronavirus (Covid-19) and its disastrous impact. While the death tolls have crossed about 8 million globally, the virus continues to hit new regions and countries. Originated from China, the disease has spread its branches all over, turning into a pandemic. A virus that microscopically is a tiny one in size has affected masses suffering from mild to moderate symptoms like fever, dry cough, tiredness. The condition is worrisome as it is a communicable one and can spread if one inhales droplets left out in the air by the infected person’s cough, sneeze. The graphs by the World Health Organisation in September 2020 depicts the global situation wherein 26,468,031 cases have been confirmed worldwide and the world population has lost 871,166 number to death. How will the world beat the battle against coronavirus is the biggest challenge.
Author: Alisha Lakhani
India, today alone has about 4.11 million cases of the virus disease and has reported about 71,000 deaths due to the same. Reportedly, coronavirus has affected a major population of Italy and Spain crossing the numbers of death in China, the country of origin. The human race together has been praying to the mighty to shower his choicest blessings on people and save humanity. India has a major challenge in front of it to face. The population of India is about 135 crores which are unequally distributed. Lakhs of people live here below the poverty line, there is a lack of sanitation and hygiene facilities, uneven income distribution, teaching people the importance of washing hands, use of masks and hand sanitizers, and a lot more which in turn are hurdles to ensure successful dissemination of precautions to covid-19. In a situation where there is utter chaos, hue and cry about a disease which is not only deadly but gave humans very little time to devise a solution to fight back, the only thing that can save humans, communities, societies, and countries are Administration and Management. All the nations are trying to devise a mechanism to fight the virus and amidst this, the only possible measure that could have been the first step to save the masses from community spread was a nationwide lockdown for 21 days imposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Government. Proposed as an immediate measure to grip over the situation, the restriction to the movement of people and things to an extent, helped the people but was not a successful one.
Despite the lockdown, the covid-19 cases splurged like anything making it worst for the economy and residents of India. Gujarat has been known for its tourism, the kite festival, Rann of Kutch, that has attracted people from the world over. However, with the spread of the pandemic, Gujarat again has caught the attention and this time it’s a nightmare. While India was struggling in the initial phase of lockdown to ensure the survival of its vast population below the poverty line, this state had the covid patients surging. The crisis was alarming when Gujarat became the first state to cross 2000 positive cases covid-19 mark within a span of 34 days. The state has recorded over a lakh positive cases and about 3000 deaths.
Gujarat is home to two of the biggest cities Ahemdabad and Surat, and these two cities became the major epicenter in the state for virus spread. In the months of April and May 2020, the two regions became the worst hits and continued to top the league till lateGujarat is home to two of the biggest cities Ahemdabad and Surat, and these two cities became the major epicenter in the state for virus spread. In the months of April and May 2020, the two regions became the worst hits and continued to top the league till late.
As early as of April 7, 2020, these states reported about a hundred positive cases. The biggest fruit and vegetable market in Gujarat was a substantial threat to the citizens, there were long ques and it was overcrowded.
The exemptions which the government gave to all the citizens concerning the collection of basic amenities turned to be a flop show here and the results were threatening. While the things seemed to run out of everyone’s hand globally, the seriousness of the situation increased when Ahemdabad reports the death of a 14-month old infant to covid-19. This situation did work as an eye-opener and the government was on foot to make it good. However, this did not end here. Gujarat was marking new records every day and the condition deteriorated.
It turned to be the second worst-hit region or the one to cross the death toll mark increasingly. The capital of the country along with the neighboring state of Uttar Pradesh reported the recovery rate as high as 30.5 and 28.5 respectively while Gujarat struggled to maintain it at 19.2. The mortality rate was high and became a cause of worry. Ahemdabad numbers showcased about 6.95% of patients succumbed to the virus whereas Gujarat on a whole had this number at 6.37%. The chief minister of Gujarat, Mr. Vijay Rupani knew that it was high time to do something other than what the central government has asked all the states to do. This time the government was praised for their phenomenal management and decisions to protect its people from the deadly disease. Some of the major steps that were taken were:
- All the hospitals were asked to make separate divisions as flu corners where the screening tests for covid-19 cases can be done.
- In-depth details of the travel history of the people getting their screening tests done
- People who are coming from corona affecting countries need to be kept in isolation on a mandate
- People refusing to isolate or suspected patients should be kept in forced detention to save the masses
- Special and stringent measures to be followed in containment areas where even a single case of covid-19 is detected
- The Gujarat government imposed the covid-19 guidelines issued by the central government to the entire state as a mandatory measure.
Some of the crucial steps which were taken were regarding the closure of all educational institutions until the next order by the ministries and spitting in public was announced as a punishable offense. Gujarat government announced a partial lockdown in four cities of Ahemdabad, Surat, Rajkot, and Vadodara on March 21, the lockdown which was initiated in phases and to certain cities in the state initially was later on March 23, 2020, was expanded to the entire state. And immediately it was aligned with the nationwide lockdown imposed on March till May 17. During the lockdown Gujarat government took certain distinctive health measures which were as follows:
- A Fever helpline 104 was put to action for reporting all the positive cases.
- A committee was formed to keep a track of the available supplies of medicines that can be used to aid symptoms of covid-19 and to ensure a steady supply of masks and hand sanitizers to prevent the spread of the disease to the maximum possible.
- The authorities decided to collaborate with NGOs and ask them in the contribution of face masks, gloves, and hand sanitizers.
- Another committee named Khas Kharid Committee was set up to initiate purchase and procurement of amenities in cases of emergencies during the lockdown phase.
- The government developed an app named Dr. TeCHO mobile app, and all private medical institutions were asked to use this online platform to upload the information about sample collection and Severe Acute Respiratory Illness (SARI) cases.
- Also, another app which was a Geographical Information system based was launched to keep a track of home quarantined people. Surat, Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Gandhinagar, and Vadodara were utilizing the app now. This app had this special feature of “Geo-fencing” which would intimate the authorities when a home quarantined individual moves from a place. This will ensure tracking them in order to prevent the spread to unaffected areas.
The Gujarat government was alert after reporting the first two cases of covid-19 in surat and Rajkot on 19 March when a man who returned from Saudi Arabia and a woman who returned from the UK were tested positive. They took preventive measures much before the center announced anything.
- Face-to-face meetings were avoided and called off and all unnecessary travel was asked to be restricted
- The gym, fitness centers, yoga and meditation hubs in Secretariat were shut down
- Officials and staffs showcasing even minor symptoms of the disease were asked to stay off duty and were quarantined
- Moreover, the Gujarat Legislative Assemble postponed its Rajya Sabha Elections which were to be held in March itself.
One of a great deal was to announce Covid-19 as a disaster under the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) which meant all the expenses catering to displaced/ homeless, migrant workers, labors will be made of this fund. Each state did their best bid to fight the covid-19 and is still active in the ongoing battle. Relief funds and Prime Minister Funds have been formulated to ask for monetary help from people around. “We are reaching out to 100,000 people every day in Ahmedabad alone,” Vijay Rupani said. Also, he is confident about being able to contain the spread of coronavirus by reaching out to people showcasing mild symptoms by offering them care at home.
Biotechnology industry veteran Kiran MazumdarShaw, said that the states which already had well developed primary healthcare systems have been able to manage the spread of the virus remarkably. States of Kerela and Karnataka in India are the best examples to quote here. With the population residing in small and congested pockets, an established primary healthcare system is vital to the crisis. Countries like Japan, Thailand were able to control the widespread of the epidemic as the residents used to wear face masks at public spaces even before Coronavirus and consider this to be a normal routine whereas India terms wearing a mask as the “new normal” after the hit of the virus. Its almost nine months into the battle against this virus, and all the countries of the world are struggling with it. As the world health organization termed it as a pandemic, different nations opted for various ways to fight it off. There has been interdependence among the nations where India helped America with hydroxychloroquine medicine and some countries offering PPEkits and testing kits to other nations. WHO says there are about 169 Covid-19 vaccine candidates working on formulating a vaccine to prevent the spread of this disease. As vaccination is the only viable answer to this situation, the research is ongoing. WHO doctors, scientists, global health organizations are collaborating to invent in a medicative measure to be able to help save the life of masses all over the world.
Different countries are working on the respective vaccines for covid-19. However, confirmed date and vaccine cannot be commented upon owing to the ongoing human trials. About 150 potential vaccines are being worked upon of which 38 are in trials and a few in latestage trials. India’s Serum Institute has also started the manufacture of Codagenix’s CDX-005, a potential vaccine for Covid-19 which will be given to patients intranasally instead of injection doses. The vaccine is expected to begin the early stage of human trials by the end of the year in the UK. As the world’s largest vaccine maker, Serum Institute is working on the production of other covid vaccines as well, the one proposed by Oxford University. There is a belief that coming together is a beginning and working together is a success. It is exactly this that humanity is relying on hope on. The world is a global village and today all hands stand and are joined together to pray for the expiration of the Covid-19. However, reports show that this is not going to end anytime soon and everyone around will have to learn to survive with it, the measure which can solely help at the moment until the vaccine is developed is a strong immune system. Support a healthy lifestyle, eat and drink healthy and nutritious food, practice yoga, and do not forget to wear your face masks and wash and sanitize your hands. The world stands together on this!