Our Earth is in immense distress due to the pandemic COVID-19. Coronavirus is a group of viruses that cause infection in areas like nose, sinuses or upper throat. They are called coronaviruse because their microscopic view looks like a crown. COVID-19 is a disease that doctors describe as a respiratory tract infection.
COVID-19 came to light in December 2019 in Wuhan, China. This new virus causes is also described as severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) based on what it causes. Studies tracing back to 2005 and beyond show that Coronavirus has ties to bats, snakes and pangolins. Many people who got the disease early-on were all linked to the large, live animal and wildlife market in China, also called the Wet market.
Almost all the countries of the world are hit by COVID-19 in just 4 months of is initial spread. Globally, more than 8,00,000 Coronavirus cases are confirmed, and more than 44,000 have already lost their lives. Most affected countries include the USA, Italy, Spain, China, Germany, Iran etc.
As of the 31 March 2020, India has more than 1,000 confirmed cases and more than 31 people have lost their lives. The number of COVID-19 confirmed cases are increasing every day. Fortunately, in the North-east region of India, only Manipur and Mizoram have had one confirmed case each, as on 31 March 2020. Assam is now hearing about some cases due to the careless attitude of some people who came from Delhi but did not report to the authorities.
As the North-east (NE) is not touched by COVID-19 as much as other parts of India, if this region can remain COVID-19 free like now, it would be a tremendous help for the Government and for the doctors, nurses and volunteers. But first, the NE has to be sure that COVID-19 will not enter this region and be prepared to fight with a victory.
Northeast states have taken considerable measures to fight COVID-19. The Indo-Myanmar border has already been closed. In Assam, all the final year medical, paramedic and nursing students are being trained in treating COVID-19 cases to boost staffing levels in the event of an outbreak. Resource have been mobilized to ensure personal protective equipment (PPE) is available. Everyone who entered the states before the lockdown has been sent to mandatory quarantine. Visitors are not allowed in the villages (village quarantine), which is a healthy step.
There are some more major steps taken by the Government, that need to continue to be enforced. The Government has done a wonderful job by banning all the flights as quickly as possible. All flights must remain grounded as all the infection that has reached NE is through flights. The borders must remain sealed with strict vigilance and the goods being carried to NE states from the rest of India should be properly sanitized. People of NE must urge and support their relatives so they can stay wherever they are and not try to come back, especially if they are not well.
Indeed fear makes people less logical and forgetful. The fear due to this pandemic is making people forget that people from North-east India are Indian. And that there is no connection between the origin of COVID-19 in Wuhan (China) and North-east Indians. In fact, North-east India is the last remaining stronghold against the Coronavirus, though now being breached due to influx from local residents returning from abroad and from rest of India.
The racist slur against people of North-east India that surfaced all of a sudden in some parts of rest of India has been shocking, and perhaps a result of horror and fear hitting ones weak mind. The Governments of NE states and Central Govt. should extend all possible help to people of NE stranded in rest of India.
Together we can fight the COVID-19 simply by following the 7 Golden Rules by washing hands often, using hand sanitizer with 60% alcohol, covering mouth while sneezing, wearing a face mask, avoid gathering, eating healthy, staying clean and sanitized and lastly seeing COVID-19 as COVID-19, not as region or ethnicity specific virus.