Corona – A Virus That Shook the World
It was the beginning of 2020. World welcomed the new year with great enthusiasm. But little did we have any idea about what was going to unfold in the year which would shake the nations. An unwanted visitor Corona had already entered the world to change our lives like never before. The deadly microorganism spread like wildfire from person to person and country to country. Eventually, coronavirus in India almost stopped the life completely and forced people to lock themselves down to their homes.
What actually the coronavirus is?
A coronavirus is a group of viruses that attack the respiratory system of humans. These viruses can cause several health problems in human bodies. An infected person in serious condition can die if not treated on time. Coronavirus usually known as COVID-19 has created turmoil among different countries. Up till now, this virus has infected billions of people across the whole world. Due to the spread of this virus, several countries are facing an economic and social crisis. The first cases of coronavirus were said to be found in China around November-December 2019. Later it spread in different countries including India.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
Symptoms of coronavirus can be mild, moderate, and severe. In mild symptoms, an infected person gets cold and starts sneezing and coughing. If this situation could not be controlled, then it leads to high fever and difficulty breathing. Difficulty in breathing can lead an infected person to death. Older people and people with high blood pressure and diabetes need more care and precaution. Other symptoms of COVID-19 are fatigue, fever, dry cough, body aches, sore throat, etc. In India and other countries as well, many corona positive people found to be asymptomatic (a condition where person is infected but does not show any symptom).
How to prevent ourselves from getting infected from Coronavirus?
The best way to prevent and slow down transmission of coronavirus is to maintain social distancing. Protect yourself and others from infection by washing your hands frequently. If you are not washing your hands, then use an alcohol-based rub. Without cleaning your hands do not touch your face especially eyes, nose, and mouth. Coronavirus spreads by the droplet of saliva and excretion from the nose when a person sneezes. So, whenever you sneeze or cough use your elbow, not your palms. Breathing exercise can be done for preventing breathing difficulties.
Coronavirus in India
In India first case of novel coronavirus was found in the Thrissur district of Kerala in 2020. Slowly, it started spreading across the whole states of India. People suffered a lot because of the coronavirus in india. They faced many challenging situations. After six months of the outbreak of the virus, positive cases of COVID-19 seemed to reach its high peak in India. For the past two-three months, cases of COVID-19 had increased at a very fast rate. From January 03, 2020, to October 07, 2020, there have been 71,75,880 positive cases with 1,09,856 people losing their lives. Initially, Kerala, Mumbai, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh were the states with the highest positive cases. Later most of the Indian states had to face a huge increment in the number of active cases.
However, active cases have dropped by more than one lakh in the last three weeks except for Kerala, Karnataka, and Chhattisgarh. These three states including Maharashtra are the states with the fastest-growing rate of positive cases. On August 31, 2020 growth in active cases in India was 1.65 % but on September 30, 2020, growth in active cases fell to 0.4 %. Up to October 8, 2020, in India 5827704 patients have been recovered. It proves that India has a good recovery rate (nearly 80%).
Actions taken by the government in India to combat Covid-19
In the initial days, the government took action regarding coronavirus in india. They implemented the lockdown policy and made people follow it.
Lockdowns after the outbreak of coronavirus in India
Firstly, the government announced Janta Curfew on 22nd March, 2020 and later on introduced us to the system of several lockdowns. Prime minister announced first nationwide lockdown on 24th March for 21 days from 25th March to 14th April. In the second phase, government extended it for 15 days till 3rd May. India entered into the phase three lockdown on 4th May and and phase four from 18th May to 31st May, 2020.
As a result of this, Indian economy suffered severely and GDP in India reduced by more than 50% compared to 2019. Prime Minister introduced the AtamNirbhar Bharat Yojna. The main aim of this scheme is to make our India independent. In this scheme, PM motivated us to increase production in the manufacturing sector. Production of those goods should be increased which we are importing from other countries. As a move of this initiative, India started manufacturing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) which is essential for protection from COVID-19 for doctors, nurses and others.
The government also provided some relief packages. Extension of time limit and relaxation in payment of taxes were also allowed by the government with some other relaxations. In the banking system, some relaxations were given by RBI e.g. short-term credit to states, cutting policy rates, liquidity management, and relief to borrowers in repayment of loans. The government also introduced PM CARES Fund to aid covid relief and treatment activities.
The government permitted some manufacturing units to produce essential products during the phases of lockdown. Later, under several unlocking systems, the government lifted restrictions from various industries and business activities gradually.
Home ministry of India announced unlock 1.0 on 1st June, 2020. Later on activities and industries get unlocked under second, third, fourth and fifth phases of unlock from July to October. Ministry of home affairs of central government released different guidelines for each phase. However, containment zones remained under restrictions even during these phases.
The Impact of lockdown on society during coronavirus in India
All the sectors got affected because of the lockdown procedure. The tourism sector, hotels, restaurants, etc. were got severely impacted. Many people lost their jobs, thus causing a rise in unemployment. Lakhs of migrant workers faced the challenge of survival. Most of them migrated back to their homes after the crisis of food, money and work. Most businessmen suffered heavy losses in their businesses. School education affected badly with schools remaining closed for more than 7 months now.
But somewhere people started spending their lockdown creatively. Not only people but businesses also tried new experiments and technologies to keep the things going during lockdown. We saw many transformations in work cultures across the sectors. People started playing indoor games and tried various recipes at home. They also started spending more time with family and enjoying mythological shows (Ramayana and Mahabharata) with their families.
Many people became conscious about their health. They made changes to their diet and routine to enhance immunity. More citizens included exercise and Yoga in their daily routine.
What is New-Normal?
People are still fighting from COVID-19 and started a new-normal routine. In this, they started work from home. Many businesspersons began running their businesses from home as much as possible. The use of Internet technology has increased as people are learning from different online apps. Professional are conducting meetings online through different digital platforms.
Now, people are wearing masks whenever and wherever they are going. They are using hand sanitizers and even carrying it with themselves. However, some persons are still learning about social distancing. People are now more conscious about hygiene and cleanness. We seem to be still away from the ending of this pandemic. Doctors around the whole world are researching and conducting trials to develop vaccines to combat this virus. We have to live only with the hope. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the early months of next year might bring some good news with the introduction of Covid-19 vaccine. We can only hope for the best. Till then, stay healthy and stay safe!
For the updates on coronavirus across the world you can check the official website of WHO- https://covid19.who.int/