The terror of coronavirus is continuously taking a devastating shape; amidst these India confirms second death due to COVID-19. The country has placed strict inbound travel restrictions; announced that visas would be suspended for a month, except some categories, so that the spread of the virus can be checked.
The World Health Organization labelled coronavirus for being a pandemic as 1,45,682 confirmed cases, 5,440 deaths in 145 countries and territories have surfaced. The pandemic is being viewed as a world health emergency by WHO.
India’s first COVID-19 victim to having succumbed to the virus is a 76-year older adult from Karnataka who was being treated for having suspected coronavirus after returning from Saudi Arabia.
The second person was a 68-year elderly Delhi woman who was suspected of having developed the virus after coming in contact with her son, who returned from Switzerland and Italy previous month.
According to Worldometer, the number of confirmed cases of infection in India rose to 83 as on the early hours of March 14.
Several schools, colleges, theatres, shopping malls have been shut, and public events have been postponed all over the country, especially in Delhi where they would remain closed till March 31.
The Indian Premier League that was scheduled to begin from March 29 has been stalled till April 15. Many sports events like the Indian Super League have been instructed to take place without the attendance of the audience. Two ODIs would be played between India and South Africa behind closed doors.
All existing visas except official, diplomatic, employment, UN/international organizations, project visas, have been suspended till April 15. Visa-free travel which overseas citizens could avail is also under suspension–a decision that has the potential to strike a grave blow to the tourism, hotel and aviation industries in an already slowing economy.
R R Gangakhedkar from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) says that he has faith in India’s capability to tackle the virus outbreak. However, they lack evidence about the effect of a rise in temperature on the virus. He added, “Our first step to isolate has been successful” but the vaccine would take more than a year to be ready for human trials.
Officials in Karnataka have invoked a provision under the Epidemic Diseases Act of 1897 to ensure that suspected patients are given proper medical assistance at hospitals, and they do not violate any home quarantine rules. Furthermore, the Karnataka government as on March 13 asked to close down or cancel all schools, universities and colleges, movie theatres, malls, night clubs, marriages and conferences and other public areas with high footfall for a week
Indian health ministry claims that India is among the first countries of the world to be ready to deal with the virus and negated all allegations, which said that it was slow in the testing of suspected victims.
Air India had stopped its flights to Italy, France, Germany, Spain, South Korea and Sri Lanka till April 30. IndiGo has stated that its quarterly earnings are being expected to be severely affected. The automobile industry–especially the production of cars could be effected as 10 per cent of the raw materials come from China.
Moody’s has downgraded the expected annual economic growth forecast of India to be 5.3 per cent. The Indian rupee depreciated to a record low of 74.50 on March 13 amidst coronavirus scare.
PETA India had clarified that dogs and cats are not susceptible to coronavirus and therefore no violence shall be inflicted upon them.
India-Bangladesh cross border buses and trains have been suspended till April 15. Manipur and Mizoram have shut their borders with Myanmar indefinitely.
Whether these measures are adequate or not would be known by the outcome it brings.