Letter from the Editor
COVID-19 – India to worry less

As on today, the whole world is locked due to Corona Virus. People are dying. All economic activities are at a standstill. India planned its course of action in a very scientific manner which resulted in less number of deaths. This Corona Virus has originated at Wuhan China and China reported to the world only on 31st December 2019, stating that, the cause of the virus is not known. It is only on January 7, 2020 that China indicated that the virus is of Pneumonia type. India, on January, 8 2020 itself had organized a meeting with technical experts and planned the detailed strategies to combat this disease from spreading to the communities. Right from January 8 itself, monitoring of the travelers from China was checked at airports, much before the first case was detected locally in Kerala on January 30, 2020.

India has 15% of the world population and when we compare the death rate and recovery rate, India’s performance is praiseworthy. The developed nations like United States of America, with a population of just around 32 crores, had more than 60,000 deaths reflecting the total collapse of the health system. Same was the case with Italy, Spain and Britain. India is a large country with a total population of 138 crore or so. Though in a country of this size and magnitude, there are bound to be lapses. The poorest of the poor, like the migrant labourers, unorganized small traders, hawkers, daily wage earners, all have suffered terribly and the government’s response to their needs was little late. Even the students, who were stuck up at Kota, suffered terribly. The Government of Bihar was the last to pick up their students, whereas Yogi Government of Uttar Pradesh was the first to realize the need to take these students back to their home.

There are allegations from U.S.A that China has produced this virus in their laboratory at Wuhan, even though American President Mr. Trump claims that he has a proof, yet American Intelligence, do not subscribe to this theory. Mother Nature has time and again punished the mankind. The HIV-AIDS Pandemic, was at its peak in 2005-12 in which over 36 million people died. In 1968, the world has seen Flu Pandemic which is also sometimes called as the Hong Kong Flu in which 1 million people died. Between 1956-58 the world has seen Asian Flu which has resulted in the death of 2 million people. The worst was in 1918 when the world has seen the Flu pandemic in which between 22 – 50 million people is estimated to have died.

In North Eastern Region, the spread of Corona Virus is within manageable limit. Out of the eight states, six states are free from COVID -19 and are in the Green Zone. In Meghalaya, there is only one positive case which has become negative in the second test and final test will be conducted soon. Assam has 17 positive cases as on today.

Health is important, but equally important is the economy of the nation. In the coming days, Tourism Industry will take a back seat and loss of production and manufacturing activities in last 40 days of lockdown has resulted in a negative growth and unemployment. This is not only true for India, but for the whole world. We need to watch how our government handles the situation. The present performance of Narendra Modi Government only gives a hope that things will be fine in the days to come. However the days of ‘Think Global’ may be a distant past, until the time, a vaccine is developed.

We should be optimistic. Post COVID-19, there is going to be a new society. Video conferencing, social distancing, personal hygiene, cleaner roadways and scientific management of health system will be the order of the day. Hence, let us not worry. India needs to worry less.

Harsh Jhunjhunwala