189 DAYS OF COVID-19

On November 17 2019, an elderly couple visited the Hubei Provincial Hospital of Integrated Chinese and Western Medicine, Zhang, a veteran respiratory doctor in a Wuhan hospital, recalled how the coronavirus, an alien pathogen facing mankind, emerged from a seemingly ordinary case in what was stated to be China’s first official version of the timing of the discovery of the disease. Throwing light on the first case, Zhang, director of the hospital’s respiratory and critical care medicine department recalled that the symptoms of the old couple included fever, coughing and tiredness, which “looked like flu or common pneumonia.”

Since November 17, one to five new coronavirus cases surfaced each day. By December 15, the total number of infections stood at 27 — the first double-digit daily rise was reported on December 17 — and by December 20, the total number of confirmed cases reached 60, the report said. On December 27, Zhang Jixian, a doctor from Hubei Provincial Hospital of Integrated Chinese and Western Medicine, told China’s health authorities that the disease was caused by a new coronavirus.

Since then, the infection has spread to as many as 185 countries/regions in a little over a hundred days. On 13th January 2020, the first recorded case outside of China was in Thailand and the spread never stopped till date. Every country tried to save itself from this deadliest disease to spread but a slight mistake by them is all that this disease needed. On 20th January 2020, the US reported its first case: a 35-year-old man in Snohomish County, Washington and the first known American death was on 2nd February 2020 in California. The US is the most affected country at the current times with 1.62M confirmed cases and 94,594 deaths to date.

After spreading of COVID-19 in South Korea, Iran, Italy and Spain, WHO declared this outbreak a pandemic. On 31st March 2020 1/3rd of the world’s population was under some type of lockdown. On 10th April 2020, the global death toll surpassed 100,000. As per 22nd May 2020, total confirmed cases in the world reached 4,993,470 and death toll surpassed 327,700.

Coronaviruses are common in certain species of animals, such as cattle and camels. Although the transmission of coronaviruses from animals to humans is rare, this new strain likely came from bats, though one study suggests pangolins may be the origin.

However, it remains unclear exactly how the virus first spread to humans.

Scientists from the Scripps Research Institute, a non-profit research organization, have claimed that the COVID-19 pandemic is not from a lab-created virus but has a natural origin.

But Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport and Highways Minister of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises of India states the opposite that Covid-19 was caused not by a natural virus but one that was manufactured in a Chinese laboratory. And he is not alone in making these claims, US President Donald Trump has also asserted that this virus originated in a Chinese lab rather than the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan, which Chinese authorities have pointed to as the likely origin of the virus.

French Nobel Laureate Luc Montagnier, co-discoverer of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), has made similar assertions that the virus emerged from a lab in Wuhan. The world’s been abuzz with theories about the origin of the virus.

It is still a debate about the origin of the virus but right now the countries are busy in trying to stop the virus from further spreading rather than focusing towards the issue of the origin of the virus. What further could be a topic of the debate would be the new military budget introduced by China. China has increased its defence budget to $179 billion this year from $177.6 billion in 2019, marking a moderate increase of about 6.6 per cent. At times where Countries are decreasing their spending on Military and increasing focus on saving the economy and control over the spreading of the virus, China’s increment in the Military budget will surely be something everyone will be topic about.

The question is, Is this what China wanted that to shift the focus of the countries from blaming china for virus outbreak to think why China is focusing on Military? Or China is planning something new that the countries will get to discuss? Or it is just normal defence planning done by china which is highly unlikely by looking at China’s history. Whatever it is, we will get to see and read a lot about it in the coming days.

Remember one thing, A powerful attitude awakens your inner strength, energy, motivation, and initiative. Keep your attitude positive and fight the coronavirus by staying home, staying safe.

Freelance writer at Write Right

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Mallika Agrawal

Mallika Agrawal

Freelance writer at Write Right

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