The World Health Organisation has termed the novel coronavirus outbreak as a global pandemic. Over 7500 deaths worldwide and countries under lockdown; India has once again demonstrated leadership in crisis management. Speed with intelligence has marked India’s response to mitigate outbreak of the deadly virus, tracing its’ origin to China.
Swiftly evacuating Indian nationals from countriess hit by the COVID-19 virus and quarantining them at exclusive facilities have steadied the response. Serving the cause of humanity, India also evacuated many citizens of other countries from badly hit nations. India’s Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan said that India is acting on jet speed to contain the outbreak of the virus. That India is an immediate neighbour of China and a country of 1.3 billion people, while reporting just over 120 positive cases, loudly tell the story of Indian response.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi rightly brought to the attention of the leaders of SARC that India began acting on a war-footing to contain the outbreak in mid-January itself. Indian Prime Minister forthrightly said that South Asia being home to one-fifth of the global population must collaborate. The $10 million initial contribution from India is a step in the direction to jointly fight diseases which know no borders.
The community surveillance on suspects has surely given India a firm apparatus to track down any carrier of the virus. The backward management of the potential carriers has shown exemplary response of the health personnel across India. With communication being key to contain the outbreak of such communicable disease, Prime Minister Modi has led the leadership communicating to the people. The result is already earning global praise, with people not panicking and also not falling for rumours.
The WHO has also noted that India is maximizing efforts to contain the spread of novel corona virus. It particularly stressed that Prime Minister, Cabinet Secretary and the whole Central and state machineries are mobilized to deal with the situation arising out of the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.
India, indeed, swiftly suspended all Visas except for diplomatic, official, UN, and employment project with effect from March 13. Besides, India made it mandatory for all, including Indian nationals, coming from China, Italy, Iran, South Korea, France, Spain and Germany, the UK,
Turkey and the Gulf countries after February 14 to undergo quarantine for 14 days. India had shut flight operations with China upon the outbreak of the deadly virus was indeed a bold decision.
Universal screening of people at airports and border check points with Nepal and Bhutan has also been effective in the containment response. Prime Minister Modi brought to the attention of the SARC leaders that the Integrated Disease Surveillance Portal (IDSP) has been vital in tracing the potential virus carriers, contacts they might have made, and other chain. The Indian Prime Minister offered to share the software with SARC in joint fight against the outbreak of the novel corona virus.
Prepare, but don’t panic has been the guiding mantra of India in its fight against COVID-19. Expeditiously setting up multiple quarantine facilities, pathological laboratories, training the health personnel, and ensuring unified response have proven effective for India in its fight against COVID-19. That health is a state subject has hardly come as an impediment for the roll out of seamless response in containing the outbreak of the COVID-19.
It’s also pertinent to note the people have shown exemplary courage to self-quarantine and cooperate with health personnel to mitigate even the remotest chance of spreading the novel corona virus.
That the world knows no answer to the scale of the COVID-19 outbreak has been well admitted by India. With a vast coastline and diverse Diaspora across the world, India has not taken chances to allow the deadly virus to easily sneak into the country. Ships have been stopped on high seas until all are screened.
With a mission mode approach, India may hopefully win the battle against COVID-19.
Script: Manish Anand, Senior Special Correspondent, the New Indian Express