India, the world’s second most populated country and the fifth-largest economy globally has taken drastic measures to contain the deadly Coronavirus outbreak. From imposing a 21-day nationwide lockdown to releasing USD22.5 billion of monetary benefits for its citizens, the steps do not seem to be stopping anytime soon.
When a pandemic strikes any country, it does so in four stages. Due to which, containment at later stages becomes difficult due to mass exposure of the population to the virus.
When cases of infection reach a foreign country which is not the original source of the outbreak, it is called the first stage of a pandemic. In this case, when India reported its patient zero or first Coronavirus case, it entered the first stage of virus infection.
In the second stage, the virus transmits locally between people and the transmission can be traced through enhanced screening and movement guidelines. It is essential that governments impose lockdown at this stage to stop further transmission of the virus. Local transmission can advance the virus to near and dear ones of the patients, but is unlikely to harm a larger part of the population.
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When the transmission of virus between the population cannot be traced it is termed as the third stage or the community transmission stage. The chain of transmission is untraceable in this stage and hence early treatment is not possible for most patients. Fatality rates are generally higher in this stage due to a lack of timely testing and treatment.
The fourth stage of a pandemic is the stage when an infection becomes endemic and keeps resurfacing round the year in different parts of the country. Swine Flu (H1N1) is a perfect example of an endemic in India.
According to the Indian Council of Medical Research, India is still in the second stage of the outbreak and community transmission has not yet been confirmed in the country.
The government has injected massive spending into its age-old healthcare system.
Response to the global pandemic has been fair in India with a ban on international flights, quarantine measures, lockdown, and advancing medical technology.
The world is now eyeing India and how it processes its stages of the outbreak. Whether India is able to stand and fight or will it collapse and die.
More and more people are dying due to the outbreak in most developed nations of the world. India is following in their footsteps, but is more cautious and steadi. It is soon expected to enhance screening to ensure no patients is untreated and unattended.
Some theories even suggest that India has far more COVID-19 patients than it has yet confirmed but are not recorded in the system due to lack of testing in initial days of the outbreak in the country.
A successful lockdown and self-isolation of citizens could prove to be useful for India as scientists have termed social distancing as key to prevent Coronavirus infection. But if the infections continue to rise, it won’t be wrong to say that India is not far from a medical emergency.
India is at a very crucial step of the outbreak and the next few weeks of lockdown will determine whether the country will be able to save itself from mass casualties from Coronavirus or experience similar fate like that of Italy, Spain, USA, and the UK.