Letter from the Editor-in-Chief
The corona virus disease (Covid19) pandemic which originated in the city of Wuhan, China has quickly spread to various countries almost the entire world. India today is the second worst victim of the pandemic next to USA. As of now, India has 64,73,544 confirmed cases and the recovery rate is around 54,27,706.
The impact of Covid 19 is from all sides and each citizen has its share of miseries because of this pandemic. The area which has totally collapsed is Tourism Industry, not only in India but across the world. The latest edition of UNWTO World Tourism Barometer shows that the near complete lockdown imposed in response to the pandemic led to 98 percent fall in International Tourists numbers in may. When compared to 2019, the barometer also shows 56 percent year on year drop in tourists’ arrivals between January and May. This translates into a fall of 300 million tourists and US $ 320 billion loss in international tourism receipts-more than three times loss during the Global Economic Crisis of 2009. This fall of tourism has affected the livelihood of millions of people worldwide. The scenario in India is equally poor. In India, tourism contributes 5.06 per cent of total GDP (2016-17). The India tourism industry employs 8.75 crore people, which is 12.75 percent of the total employed population in 2018-19. This sector has totally collapsed. Most of these employees are either jobless or are staying with pay cuts. With the opening of unlock 4.0 recently, it is expected that the industry will soon gain some momentum. But the tourism will come to trace only, once a proper scientific system is adopted to ensure that all is well, with the guest visiting tourist destination. Could it be that every entry and exit point have quick disposal of tourists after checking them for covid-19.
School students are also the ones, who have not attended their classes and are suffering. The concept of whatsapp teaching and e-learning has few takers in rural and remote areas. The small and marginalised traders are all facing their most difficult times.
We cannot blame anybody for pandemic. Rightly somebody said, “It is an act of God”. But it is to be appreciated that India has better managed the situation. The good news is that our death rate has gone down to only 1.77 percent and our country is expected to have a vaccine for this by Nov 2020. Till then, we will have to be cautious and follow the experts’ advice and stay safe.
In a situation like this, different people, NGO’s and institutions have come forward to help the community. The examples are many but we will like to catch one of Guwahati. The Lions Club of Guwahati, motivated people to donate plasma and all the donors were felicitated with certificate and fulam Gamosa and cash reward of Rs 5000.
Dr.K K Jhunjhunwala