The Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi declared “Janata Curfew” on Sunday, 22nd March 2020 from 7am to 9 pm and request all the citizen of India to stay at home. The Janata curfew is a curfew imposed by Janata on Janata, in which no citizen of India come out from home unless it is very important excluding those who are working with essential services. It is a step taken to spread awareness about globally spreading novel corona virus disease 2019 (COVID 2019).
According to World Health Organisation (WHO) at present 169 countries are griped by this novel corona virus 2019 (nCOV) affecting 2,09,839 confirmed cases and 8,778 death till 19th March 2020. The worst affected countries are China (81174 case), Italy (35713 case), Iran (17361) and Spain (13716). India have total 171 confirmed case, 4 death (Including foreign nationals) and ranked 48 in this list. Till now total 20 states including union territories of India are affected with 6 maximum number of case in Maharashtra (47, cured 0, death 1), Kerala (28, cured 3, death 0), Delhi (17, cured 3, death 1), Haryana (17, cured 0, death 0), Karnataka (15, cured 0, death 1) and Utter Pardesh (19, cured 4, death 0). In rest of the states the number is below 10.
According to WHO, Coronavirus are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV).” This time novel coronavirus is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans. The term corona came from the crown like appearance of surface proteins when visualize under scanning electron microscope. Earlier identified coronavirus are SERS-CoV and MERS-CoV. The SERS-CoV identified in the Guangdong city of China in 2003. The reservoir host of SERS-CoV is probably bat and then it transmit to other animals and humans. In 2003 approximately 8000 people was affected with SERS-CoV from 26 different countries. MERS-CoV was identified in Saudi Arabia in 2012. Its reservoir host is Dromedary Camels. Since 2012, 27 countries reported cases of MERS-CoV. The common symptom of these CoV include cough, shortness of breath, fever, headache, muscle pain (myalgia) and gastrointestinal problems. All these coronavirus have single standard RNA genetic material which can mutate easily than DNA through natural and manmade factors and give rise to new strains of virus. The novel coronavirus is considered as mutated form of SARS-CoV. The probable source of nCoV is bat. The diseases which can spread from animals to humans is called zoonosis. Along with COVID19 other zoonosis diseases are H1N1 flu, Rabies, ebola, bird flu etc.
In December many cases of pneumonia reported in the Wuhan capital of Hubei Province of China, out of which only one patient is infected by Streptococcus pneumonia, rest have the symptom like SARS-CoV and most of them were linked to Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in which live animals sold. On 31st December 2019 the nCoV is breakout I China and the disease named COVID 2019. The first case of coronavirus reported on 30 January 2020 in Kerala, India from a student who was returned from Wuhan.
At global level WHO is performing very well job by spreading awareness through news, authentic data and figures, introductory videos and preventive measures in form of cartoon and diagrams. Thought the number of cases are less as compare to other countries but India is taking all possible protective measures to fight with this pandemic situation. Government of India the responsibility and start taking protective measures from January. Seven major airport of India are provided with thermal screening of passenger and a travel advisory was designed in March to deal with the pandemic situation. All the school, colleges, universities, public meetings, protests were halted in mid-March and a public campaign was conducted by Bharatiya Janata Party in Rajasthan on 15th March 2020. Medical department, tourism department, ministry of textile, department of pharmaceuticals, Ministry of consumer affair, food and public distribution all join hand to fight with this pandemic disease. Govt. of India on 17th march 2020 issued an advisory to take social distancing in all state of India till 31st March. 62 functional Viral Research and Diagnostic Laboratories (VRDL) are currently available for the testing of nCoV in India. International borders are closed with Myanmar, Bangladesh and Pakistan to avoid spread of disease. Peoples are evacuated from the other affected countries. Compulsory screening was announced by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for all the people coming from outside India and circulate the helpline numbers and email id for the welfare of citizens. The PM Narendra Modi proposed SAARC nations to jointly fight with COVID 2019. Modi ji also called G20 virtual conference to discuss how to deal with COVID 2019 and How to safeguard global economy? On 19th March 2020, PM Modi address the nation about the awareness of corona virus in Maan ki Baat program. He urged citizens of India for Janata Curfew and establish an Economic Response Task Force to combat economic crises.
Yet, so much is provided by our govt. but now the duty of every citizen is to be aware of this pervasive situation. People should follow the instruction seriously given by govt. of India rather than stuck “Jo Hoga Deka Jayega” attitude. As there is no medicine and vaccine for this disease, therefore people should stay at home, wash their hand regularly with soap or sanitize with alcohol based sanitizer, make social distancing, avoid to touch your eyes, nose and mouth. In case of appearance of any symptom of COVID 2019, consult your doctor at earliest and aware other person also. Otherwise, Corona is not only bad for us but also for our family, country and Earth.
Rishikesh Krishan Laxmi and Arun Chhokar
Ph.D Scholar,Department of Zoology
University of Delhi, Delhi,India