BATTLING THE SILENT KILLER: Are we doing enough?
The COVID19 crisis is being fought on all fronts. We meet some of them on the frontlines of the war
The COVID-19 spread is intensifying globally and India is among the leading countries jumping the ladder of infection at a fast pace. With 715,190 active cases and 20,130 deaths, the number of cases is skyrocketing by the second. The silver lining, however, is the fatality rate of 2.8% which is much lower than the global average of 4.7% as per the Public Health experts.
Given the population density of India, if the present scenario continues to persist, it won't be long before India surpasses Brazil and the U.S.A in a total number of Corona Virus cases.
Such an abysmal situation can be attributed to inadequate early detection mechanisms, which is deemed to be the only effective remedy against the deadly virus. The ICMR credo is Track, Test, and Treat, and to live by this aphorism, technological innovation must acquire the centre stage. By the sweat of their brows and strength of their backs, some organisations have taken it upon themselves to give a feasible solution to the problem.
One such organisation is Bhartiya Jain Sangathan, founded by Shantilal Muttha. Having been tirelessly working since the beginning of April in providing a mobile dispensary service, his organisation has successfully completed 1.5 million screenings, covering 20 districts of Maharashtra. "We have a team of doctors, paramedical staff in this mobile dispensary van conducting the checkups," said Shantilal Muttha. Interestingly, he has come up with an imported thermal helmet with an ability to screen the temperature of about 200 people in 1 minute.
Joining the league in combating the virus is Ravi Sinha, Country Director(India and other SAARC countries Ortho Clinical Diagnostics). He has pressed for the need of rigorous Cirrhosis testing which helps in isolating the potential transmitters. "Our Tests come with 100% specificity," said Mr. Sinha.
Augustine, a retd. Pilot in IAF an avid innovator himself has brought aerial drones in the battle against Covid-19. His drones are capable of sanitizing and disinfecting the inaccessible areas or the areas falling in Red zones, which in turn prevents human lives from getting at risk. Equipped with thermal imaging cameras, these drones apart from screening, propagate the message of social distancing as well. "Our drones cover longer distances in shorter time giving the data of potential carriers," said Augustine.
There is an indisputable fear psychosis amongst the people when it comes to getting tested for the coronavirus. There is widespread discontent among the public regarding the discriminatory practices towards the corona suspects. Therefore, the need of the hour is to educate the masses regarding the utility of getting themselves tested. Social distancing instead of social cut-off should be the norm. The problem also lies in the lack of personal hygiene practices in many densely populated regions of the country like the slums of Dharavi in Maharashtra.
It's a long war
The cold hard fact is that there is no cure for the Covid-19 and we have to consider the possibility that a plausible treatment for the disease might not surface another year or so. Till then, Social Distancing, Wearing of masks at public places, maintaining proper personal hygiene, boosting immunity, etc. remains the only yardstick for survival.