COVID-19 is spreading rapidly at an unprecedented scale across continents and has emerged as the single biggest risk

Sharique Zia 2 April 2020

COVID-19 is spreading rapidly at an unprecedented scale across continents and has emerged as the single biggest risk the world has faced in modern times. It is spreading across the countries exponentially and was declared pandemic by WHO. By far 8,02,369 cases have been reported with 38,990 deaths and 1,72,319 people getting recovered. The most daunting aspect of this disease is difficulty in differentiation with the common cold as both bear roughly the same symptoms, along with it the symptoms in the infected person start showing after 5-6 days which gives the patient an illusion of wellness, when he is actually an active transmitter of the disease. Throwing some light on the advent of virus, there are no solid evidences which can rightly prove its emergence ,but the source is predicted to be a wild animal who sustain the family of these viruses which then get transferred to humans, and spread from human to human, by contact .Corona virus is a family of viruses, in fact the virus which causes common cold is also a type of corona virus. SARS virus which was spread during 2002-03 was also another kind of corona virus. The one which has become so widespread now is named as SARS–CoV-2 because of its resemblance to SARS virus and the disease is known as COVID-19.

According to a research conducted in China, it was found that in 87.9% cases of COVID-19 fever was imperative, in 67.7% cases dry cough and in 38.1% cases fatigue was seen. Hence a combination of fever and dry cough can be assumed to be symptoms of COVID -19 differentiating it from that of common cold. Shortness of breath is also considered to be a unique symptom of the disease. According to experts mortality rate is 2% only, all the other cases can easily recover from the disease without exclusive medication only on the basis of immunity system.

Only science and technology in the hands of capable scientists and innovators can come to our rescue in developing innovative but effective solutions as we prepare for a future, which in the very short-term looks increasingly uncertain. It is estimated that preparation of vaccine for COVID-19 would take near to a year, till then the suggested solution to stop the spread is - Social Distancing, which refers to the act of staying at home and avoiding public gatherings so that exposure of individual to others decreases and the spread can be controlled. It can be well explained by a very interesting simulation designed by Washington post where it compares the number of cases when social distancing is practiced versus when it is not done.

Check it here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2020/world/corona-simulator/

Keeping this in mind several governments have declared strict lockdown for the entire country. Countries like Germany and South Korea have also been stressing on large-scale testing which would add to controlling the spread, as the infected person can easily be traced and isolated from the group. All of these measures are taken to ensure that the spread of the disease does not increase to a point wherein the scarcity of medical equipments, hospital beds and other resources increases the mortality rate, as it happened in Italy.

The only way out of this problem stems from our own resolution and determination .We should all resolve to support our governments and practice social distancing, maintain proper hygiene by frequently washing our hands and using sanitizer when required and postponing any such work which requires public interaction. We must understand that we are together in this and together we will fight it. Stay Home, Stay Safe.

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