The Coronavirus, also known as the COVID-19, has spread all over the world, affecting more than 118 countries and 1,25,000 people. The virus has caused the death of 4,291 people worldwide. The number of cases reported outside China has increased almost 13-fold, and the number of affected countries has almost tripled. In the days and weeks ahead, the number of cases, the number of deaths, and the number of affected countries are expected to rise steeply.
WHO’s Round-The-Clock Assessment
Deeply concerned by the severity of the outbreak, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has officially declared the spread of the Coronavirus as a pandemic. A pandemic is a disease that has spread over a wide geographical area, affecting a large proportion of the population.
Calling a pandemic as a word that cannot be used lightly or carelessly, the WHO says that the disease has been characterised as a pandemic due to its alarming levels of spread and severity. It also mentions that the word pandemic, if misused, could cause unreasonable fear and panic.
Four-Pronged Approach By WHO
The WHO Chief Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he was deeply concerned by the alarming levels of inaction by countries; however, he has asked countries not to give up but take it on urgently and aggressively by applying a four-pronged approach. First, countries and territories with no reported cases should prepare and be ready by upgrading their health facilities.
Second, countries should use robust surveillance techniques to find, isolate, test and treat every case, to break the chains of transmission. Hence, detect, prevent and treat. Third, reduce and suppress the transmission, which means finding and isolating as many cases as possible, and quarantining the closest contacts.
And fourth, innovate and improve because a new virus and a new situation must help us learn and find new ways to prevent infections, save lives and minimize impact.
The Coronavirus-caused pandemic is the first of its kind in the world. However, it is also the first pandemic that can be controlled. Over 90 percent of the cases happen to be in just 4 countries, China, Republic Of Korea, Italy and Iran, which shows that if countries focus on containment, the course of this pandemic can be changed.
In India currently, the cases are on the rise with India reporting 73 confirmed cases as of date. India has cancelled all tourist visas till April 15, 2020, to combat the spread of Coronavirus from people travelling internationally. Only UN/diplomatic, official, employment and project visas are not suspended.