ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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On the Brink of a Pandemic

Building systemic capability is the only effective way to deal with the Covid-19 outbreak.


The outbreak of Covid-19 caused by the novel coronavirus is now a worldwide crisis. The growing fatalities, rapid rate of the spread of the virus, and the structural inadequacies and unevenness in healthcare systems the world over, point to it emerging as possibly one of the worst peacetime crises faced by humanity in recent times.

The origin and epicentre of the virus has been traced to Wuhan in China’s Hubei province. However, the Chinese efforts on a war-footing—quarantining a city of 11 million people and building a hospital in 10 days—have succeeded in the containment of the virus across China and brought down the number of new cases per day. Even as the epidemic seems to be slowing down in China, its alarming spread in South Korea, Italy, and Iran raises the ominous prospect of it turning into a pandemic. Although the World Health Organization (WHO) has not declared it a pandemic, it has urged countries to be in the phase of preparedness to meet such an eventuality. As of 6 March 2020, India has 31 confirmed cases, with an additional 23 positive cases awaiting confirmation, pointing to local transmissions in the country having begun. However, with the looming threat of the further spread in West Asia, which has regular contact with India, our public health system will be put through a severe test; a system that is already reeling under shortage of infrastructure, staffing, and medical equipment.

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Updated On : 23rd Dec, 2020


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