Be vigilant - GulfToday

Be vigilant

Be vigilant

The world has quickly responded to the threats of Cronavirus.

Though thousands are being screened at airports all across the world in the wake of the coronavirus epidemic in China, airport officials need to be extra vigilant as an undetected source will heighten the possibility of the disease spreading to the traveller’s destination (“China virus deaths hit 17, heightening global alarm,” Jan.23, Gulf Today).

It is a good sign that no cases of the virus have been detected so far in India, but caution is necessary as China has confirmed that the virus could be transmitted though a human-to-human contact. That is alarming.

According to the World Health Organisation, the incubation period from the time of exposure to the onset of symptoms is around two weeks. The corona virus (CoV) is a large family of viruses that causes illnesses ranging from the common cold to acute respiratory syndromes, but the virus that has killed people in China is a novel strain not seen before.

It brings back memories of the SARS epidemic which also originated in China before spreading to several countries. It killed nearly 800 people and infected more than 8,000 others across the world in 2002-2003. The SARS outbreak history is a strong reason why health officials need to be very vigilant as far as this new strain of coronavirus goes.

The report rightly points out that Kerala, which fought a successful battle two years ago against the deadly Nipah fever, earning laurels from developed nations, is getting ready to prevent the spread of this too. But that should not be restricted to Kerala alone. Other states should also be on a war footing. Considering that India cannot boast of a healthy public health infrastructure, it needs to nip it in the bud, or else it could easily get out of hand.

Carmen R
By email

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