JK wakes up to corona outbreak
As the deadly coronavirus continues to wreak havoc in China with 25 new fatalities reported taking the death toll to 132 and infection cases to nearly 6,000, health experts warned that the epidemic may reach its climax in the next 10 days resulting in large-scale casualties.
Though the Chinese health authorities announced that 1,239 patients are in critical condition, official TV CGTN reported that there are 9,239 suspected cases in the Chinese mainland.
The increase in the number of cases is alarming however, the situation as far as raising an alarm in various Indian states by the health authorities is concerned is not being reported. The coronavirus can be passed between humans through close contact which makes the virus a cause for serious concern.
At Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport the authorities have set up a monitoring centre but the same has not been replicated at domestic terminals where no concern is being exhibited by the authorities.
Now after several case reported in India as well the government of Jammu and Kashmir has ordered screening of people at airports arriving from China, Nepal and other countries, where the confirmed cases of coronavirus have been reported.
The government ordered establishment of Control room in the office of State Surveillance Office at Srinagar and Jammu, quarantine of suspected patients, advisory to all the districts and announcements to be made on railways stations and airports.
However, apart from announcing these measures alone the government needs to activate Multi-disciplinary Research Units (MRUs) at various government run health facilities and the samples of the suspected cases need to be drawn immediately and sent to the National Institute of Biologicals, Pune for confirmation of the deadly virus.
Besides, Information Education and Communication (IEC) strategy needs to be implemented at an earliest so that people are educated about the preventive measures to be taken.
To ensure tackling of the coronavirus preventive measures are a key to success and for this the government should get involved in mass awareness through print and electronic media, hoardings at prominent places like hospital premises, airports and railway stations to detect the suspected cases with fever, cough, cold malaise etc.
The government should also reach out to the population by distribution of pamphlets to be provided to the tourists coming from such destinations which are affected by the virus.
Besides, awareness regarding personal hygiene, screening and detection cases at the community level should be started through ASHA and other health workers.