As over 100 countries across the globe battle the deadly Wuhan virus, India has emerged as the rare glimmer of hope as a country of 1.3 billion people has done a remarkable job in containing the virus as the country has recorded 145 positive cases and 3 deaths due to the deadly virus. The efforts have not escaped the eyes of the World Health Organisation who has lauded India for its efforts against the novel Wuhan virus.
“The commitment from the Indian government and the Prime Minister’s Office has been enormous, very impressive. It is one of the reasons why India is still doing quite well. I am very impressed that everyone has been mobilised,” Henk Bekedam, WHO’s representative to India.
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) also received special praise from Bekedam as he said, “We have very good research capacity in India and especially at ICMR and department of health research. They have been able to identify the virus. Now India will continue to be part of the research community.”
While some international media outlets and some local liberal outlets have spread misinformation and are almost praying that India succumbs to the Wuhan virus, WHO’s backing is a huge shot in the arm for the Indian authorities who have been working overtime to safeguard the country and its citizens.
Signs of community transmission has remarkably not been seen in India which means that India is largely in control of the disease. Most Coronavirus cases in India have been of those who arrived from affected countries across the world, and in some cases, their family members, who have been quarantined.
However, to take precaution, the government has ordered an additional 10 lakh coronavirus test kits to start checking for community transmission. The Modi govt has also roped in the private medical sector to carry out the tests.
The first few cases of the virus in India resulted due to the influx of tourists from Italy who brought the virus to India and then patients from America caused some issues too. India evacuated over 700 of its citizens from China. All evacuated citizens from China were screened, and any positive cases were quarantined and cured. India has also evacuated 230 Indians from Iran in four batches and has also sent a medical team to Italy to screen its citizens post which they will be evacuated.
India has quarantined itself from the world by cancelling all unofficial visas for a month and curbing outgoing travel as well. India’s screening systems have performed relatively well that’s why no real outbreak could take place despite the millions that arrive in India monthly.
To put things into perspective, Indian airports check-in 80,000 international arrivals daily. India’s busiest airport, Delhi’s IGI Airport, witnesses anywhere from 850 to 2,100 international passengers flying every hour during lean and peak hours. “The maximum rush is from 11 pm to 3 am when IGI Airport sees about 6,000 international arrivals from 35 flights in these four hours,” said Delhi airport sources.
Taking the lead in the sub-continent, PM Modi called for a meeting of members of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) to unite and extend help to each other in the face of this adversity. At the meeting, India pledged $10 million to set a up a fund for all SAARC nations, and has also sent medical teams to Afghanistan, Maldives, etc.
The Indian government is working at every level, raising awareness and carrying out door-to-door meetings with suspected patients of the virus with the Prime Minister leading from the front and carrying out awareness campaigns and constantly updating about the virus through his huge social media presence and showing serious commitment to those stranded.