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Thu. April 09, 2020
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International Affairs Forum

Around the World, Across the Political Spectrum

Covid 19 Pandemic!

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On 11/3/2020, WHO classified Covid 19 as a global pandemic, raising panic alarms all over the world. The virus has spread to more than 100 countries, infected 120,000 people and killed more than 4300 in a short span of time. Ironically enough, India has quarantined itself from the world and issued a travel advisory for “at risk countries”, primarily China, Italy, South Korea, France, Spain, and Germany.  All incoming travelers from these countries shall be quarantined for a period of 2 weeks and all visas to foreign nationals wanting to visit India for other than mandatory purposes have been suspended. It seems the globe has turned already and this just seems to be a sign of changing times.

While Covid 19 seems like a global threat and could have impact on the global economy, it is very early to predict that. Thus far, the reaction is primarily due to it having affected developed countries. In developing countries, the numbers seem rather insignificant. In India, more than 100,000 children under the age of 5 die each year due to diarrhea alone.  Globally, more than 500,000 children die each year due to diarrhea but that is mainly in developing countries with India and Nigeria accounting for more than 42% of it. It is really part of life and not much attention is paid to the cause despite its severity. However, with 4300 deaths worldwide, Covid 19 has every media headlines screaming. It seems a little disproportionate but perhaps it is because it affects people from developed countries.

In developing countries, lack of access to clean water and hygienic environment remains a cause that is yet to receive due attention. Other than claiming so many lives, it affects the daily livelihood of millions of people who lack access to fundamental rights to clean water and safe environment.

The panic around Covid 19 and extreme measures being taken to contain it seems real and it can’t be predicted what its toll could be. It doesn’t have a high mortality rate though; out of every 100,000 infections a small percentage is fatal. It is possible the supposed “global pandemic” will be contained soon and it would not have any far reaching consequences.

Anuradha Kataria is an author based in Gurgaon, India. She has published a book “Democracy on Trial, All Rise!” and several editorials on Democracy, Water crisis in India and International Affairs.  

References

India quarantines itself from world to fight virus

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/india-quarantines-itself-from-world-for-a-month-to-fight-coronavirus/articleshow/74584811.cms

Global Child deaths due to Diarrhea
https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/healthcare/biotech/healthcare/42-per-cent-global-child-deaths-due-to-diarrhoea-in-india-nigeria/articleshow/58966874.cms?from=mdr

Child Diarrhea deaths in India
https://swachhindia.ndtv.com/world-health-day-2018-nationwide-deaths-due-to-diarrhoea-have-come-down-since-swachh-bharat-abhiyan-began-though-indias-per-person-disease-burden-remains-high-18710/

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