The novel coronavirus disease, since its outbreak in China, has taken the shape of a pandemic that has spread to many countries of the world. So far 425 people have died in China alone from respiratory diseases caused by the virus while more than 20,000 cases have been confirmed. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared it as an international health emergency last week in view of the worldwide spread of coronavirus. Many countries have cancelled flights to China while many countries are airlifting and evacuating their citizens trapped in China.
Sirf News is the first Indian media house to describe the spread of the coronavirus disease as a pandemic. According to the WHO, a pandemic is a “worldwide spread of a new disease” much larger in scale than an epidemic.
As China struggles to contain the coronavirus, its government confirmed 425 deaths and stated that the number of infected people is now 20,438. The country has built in 10 days a 1,000-bed hospital to deal with the pandemic while another hospital with 1,500 beds will be ready soon.
The coronavirus toll has exceeded the number of SARS (SARS) virus deaths in Beijing in 2003–2004. The Wuhan city of Hubei province of China remains the epicentre of the pandemic. Hubei province reported most of the deaths. According to the WHO, the novel coronavirus has spread to more than 18 countries in the world. Many countries are airlifting their people out of China.
China lacks preventive gear to fight coronavirus pandemic
China, with a population of 1.4 billion, lacks medical devices to fight the pandemic. China’s foreign ministry spokesman Hua Chunying said, “China is short of medical devices. China needs medical masks, medical gowns and safety goggles with immediate effect.”
According to the Ministry of Industry there, 20 million masks were produced daily in China under normal conditions, but due to the havoc of the coronavirus, factories are able to produce not more than 60% to 70% of their roll-out capacity. South Korea, Japan, Kazakhstan and Hungary have despatched masks to China.
This is besides the callousness the Chinese administration displayed in suppressing the information of the outbreak. A timely intervention could have seen less people getting infected of the disease within China and worldwide.
647 Indians evacuated from China
In the midst of a coronavirus epidemic in China, the Indian government is bringing back its citizens trapped there. On Saturday, Air India special flight reached New Delhi carrying 324 Indians from China. On Sunday morning, another Air India aircraft reached New Delhi with Indians. As many as 323 Indians have returned home from this Air India flight flying from Wuhan city of China. Seven citizens of Maldives have been brought to Delhi too.
Indian Ambassador to China Vikram Mishri said that 323 Indians and seven Maldivians were on board the aircraft. Maldives Foreign Minister Abdullah Shahid thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Foreign Minister S Jaishankar, saying that seven people returning from Wuhan would be currently under surveillance in New Delhi.