Since the outbreak of Covid-19 in Wuhan, China earlier this year, the world has witnessed over 220,000 cases globally. China has 80,928 cases presently, however, there no new local cases reported either within Wuhan or across mainland China. The country has reported just 34 cases, all of which are imported ones.
The rest of the world is struggling to control the fast-spreading epidemic that has claimed 8,988 lives so far. Italy, Iran, Spain, all have now become the epicenter of the disease. In a situation where there is no treatment or vaccine to fight the disease, social distancing is a crucial method to contain the disease from gaining ground.
China stands as a role model in effectively preventing the spread of the disease across its population by implementing lockdown in the cities and executing measures to prevent hoarding of medicines and essential goods by the public. Italy, on the other hand, did not take the necessary action and has now turned into the hub of Covid-19.
Social distance is important in countries like India with high population density and lower reach of essential healthcare. An epidemic has four stages before it reaches an uncontrollable state. Stage one is the import of disease into the country and has not originated locally. The next stage involves the person to person local transmission when people come in contact with the infected person with travel history to the epicenter of the disease. Stage three is community transmission in which a cluster of people are infected and the source of transmission cannot be identified. The fourth is a full-blown epidemic.
India is yet to reach stage three as per the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). This, however, will not last if appropriate measures are not taken by the government as well as by the people.
Covid-19 is dangerous for people above 60 years of age and people with a weak immune system or who have prior health conditions like heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, etc. Therefore, it is important to adopt social distancing at a personal level. Social distancing involves avoiding public gatherings and spaces until absolutely necessary.
Most people believe since they do not show any symptoms or even if they get the disease, it will not affect them as they are young and have strong immunity. Yet, even then we can be hosting the disease and might be transmitting it to people who may not be able to recover from it.
The present situation expects us all to be more socially responsible and execute our duties as human beings by distancing ourselves from other people as much as possible. The young might be able to bear the disease but there are a lot of people who do not have the luxury of having a body capable of fighting Covid-19.
As advised by WHO and CDC, maintaining good hygiene and social distancing are the two most important shields we have against this novel virus that is spreading like wildfire across the world. This disease may not be treatable yet, but it definitely is preventable. China has proved it to the world by effectively controlling it. A country that is not sending out medical professionals to aid other countries in this fight against Covid-19.
Following the lead of the global health agencies, Smile Foundation’s mobile healthcare units, Smile on Wheels, are traveling from community to community. They provide the lesser privileged with much needed medical care as well as awareness about this disease that has taken the world by storm. With a lot of people hoarding essential medicines as well as antiseptics and sanitizers in this time of need, the SoW heroes are working relentlessly to reach out to people in the most remote areas. These agents bring to them the healthcare and awareness about Covid-19 to equip them with knowledge crucial to thaw the spread of this disease.