SP’s Aviation|April 2020
IT WAS ON DECEMBER 01 LAST YEAR THAT A NEW TYPE OF virus of unknown origin that caused symptoms in human beings that were somewhat similar to Pneumonia, was first reported from Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province in Central China. Transmitted easily through close human-to-human contact, this new health hazard that turned out to have a high fatality rate especially in the elderly and those with pre-existing diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure, was dubbed as Coronavirus abbreviated as COVID-19. With no drug available for treating specially this affliction, the infection spread rapidly like wildfire not only within China, but all across the globe, virulently engulfing large sections of the population of nations especially in Europe such as Italy, France and the United Kingdom (UK). Surprisingly, the United States (US) which is located far away from China, has been one of the nations that has been severely affected by this virus. India too has not been spared, but quite fortunately, with distinctly lower numbers infected and lower fatalities as compared with the nations mentioned above. This is attributable largely to the very timely and stern measures adopted by the central government under directions by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in consonance with the state governments including even those with different political affiliations.
By the end of January this year, the COVID-19 outbreak was initially declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and later a “Pandemic” on March 11, 2020. The Government of India resorted to a “Junta Curfew” on Sunday March 22 this year that was followed by a country-wide lockdown for 21 days commencing on March 25, 2020. During the period of the lockdown, people were required to remain confined to their homes and numerous preventive measured were put in place which included cancellation of all rail and air services, imposition of restrictions on travel by road and any kind of congregation by people for religious or any other purpose, was prohibited. Educational institutions, shopping malls, department stores, gyms, clubs and cinema halls were all ordered to close down. All these measures led to a near-total paralytic state for the nation.
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