Covid 19: The lockdown saga

India is a country of countries. Don’t get surprised. It is made of 28 States and 8 Union Territories, a total of 36 entities.

09 Sep, 2021

Covid 19: The lockdown saga

India is a country of countries. Don’t get surprised. It is made of 28 States and 8 Union Territories, a total of 36 entities. Each of these are different in culture, culinary, language, outfit, style of living, weather and health systems. Each one of these are like different countries. However, each one is tightly bonded with each other for several reasons. We truly represent ‘unity within diversity’. COVID-19 has perhaps further brought all of them together to fight with this deadly disease.30 January 2020, India reported its first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Kerala, with travel history to Wuhan at the time when the world had 7818 confirmed cases. By 3 February, India had three cases. All three cases were in Kerala and they were students who had returned from Wuhan, China. Kerala did well and perhaps their preparedness during the Nipah outbreak came in handy. We were perhaps a silent spectator during February. Not much attention was paid, maybe no one estimated the nature and behaviour of SARS-CoV-2 and did not expect that it was a more serious issue than the one in ‘Contagion’. This novel coronavirus was at his work quietly all along. We humans, the most intelligent species known to exist on the earth, were busy with our business as we never imagined that the sky was going to fall and this virus would put the world under an unprecedented series of ‘lockdowns’. The transmission started escalating during March, after several cases were reported all over the country, most of which were linked to people with a travel history to affected countries.Contact tracing, testing and isolation, the strategy suggested by WHO and adopted by most of the countries was also adopted by India. As per a study published in Indian Journal of Medical Research on 29 May 2020, testing increased from about 250 individuals per day in the beginning of March to 50,000 per day by the end of April 2020. This represented a 200-fold increase in testing over eight weeks. The cumulative frequency of testing was 770 individuals per million population. COVID-19 dedicated hospitals both in government and private were identified by governments in all States. No doubt that hospitals have risen to the occasion. We have a huge challenge ahead of us as the number of cases are rising and restrictions are easing out. It is hard to predict what is going to happen after easing out movements, restrictions and opening of businesses. In the last three months, India has achieved tremendously- everyone has done their bit and a huge round of applause to all those who are at the front line and also to those supporting from the backend to make a sustainable emergency response system.