30 October, 2020

Alarm Bells Are Ringing, Is Panicky India Prepared To Tackle Coronavirus Outbreak?

With 80 countries hit and one lakh infected, the mysterious Coronavirus threatens to ruin mankind

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Alarm Bells Are Ringing, Is Panicky India Prepared To Tackle Coronavirus Outbreak?

The virus, according to one theory, was transmitted to humans via snakes (again, we do not know). But we do know that China, the epicentre of this bio-earthquake, is ­quietening down. Its massively organised state apparatus has helped taper off the threat, after over 3,000 deaths. Can India likewise marshal a counterforce? About 10 days into their semester break in mid-January, a group of Indian medical students fled Wuhan just before the shutdown. From that populous capital of the central Chinese province of Hubei, where the metaphorical snake first bit, they made the seven-hour high-speed rail journey to bustling Kunming, in the southwestern province of Yunnan, and caught a flight out to Calcutta. “It was a tense few hours of waiting in the train and then in the airport terminal. We had tickets, but didn’t know if we would be sent back,” recollects one of them, a third-year medical student who subsequently became India’s first case of the novel coronavirus infection that causes the flu-like COVID-19 disease. She hadn’t planned on coming back...



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