Challenges Faced by Mankind Due to COVID-19

The Onset of COVID-19 Pandemic

The world was gripped by the outbreak of a disease called Novel Coronavirus Disease which made normal life impossible for the people. The year 2020 will be remembered by most people as annus horribilis.

On 11 March 2020, WHO declared the Novel Coronavirus outbreak as a pandemic and reiterated the call for countries to take immediate actions and scale up the response to treat, detect and reduce transmission to save people’s lives.

The COVID 19 Pandemic is considered the most serious global health crisis of the century and the greatest challenge that humankind faced since the 2nd world war. In December 2019, the new infectious respiratory disease emerged in Wuhan, Hubei province, china, and was named by the WHO as Covid 19.

A new class of coronavirus, known as SARS – CoV -2 is responsible for the occurrence of this disease. Genomic analysis revealed that SARS -CoV – 2 is phylogenetically related to severe acute respiratory syndrome-like (SARS) bat viruses, bats could therefore be the possible primary source.

According to the report of the World Health Organization, the current outbreak of Covid 19 has affected over  127,349,248  and killed more than 2,787,593 people’s in more than 200 countries throughout the world.

Effects of COVID-19 Pandemic

The Coronavirus outbreak is severely disrupting the global economy. Almost all the nations are struggling to slow down the transmission of the testing & treating patients, quarantining suspected persons through contact tracing, restricting large gatherings, maintaining complete or partial lockdown, etc.

Before the onset of Covid 19, there were at least five pandemics in the current century, H1N1 in 2009, polio in 2014, Ebola (West Africa in 2014), Zika in 2016, Ebola ( Democratic Republic of Congo in 2019). COVID 19 outbreak was declared as the sixth public health emergency of international concern on 30 Jan 2020.

The disease had its impact on all aspects of life whether it be religious, cultural, social, educational, or scientific. Annual religious gatherings like the Umrah and the Haj were canceled. 2020 Olympics which were to take place in Japan was postponed. Many annual sport events like the Wimbledon and the French Open were canceled. Many industries stopped functioning for months.

The WHO has recommended some precautionary measures in containing the disease. The measure includes avoiding close contact with people suffering from acute respiratory illness, regular handwashing with soap & water or hand sanitizer particularly after direct contact with sick people or their environment maintaining cough etiquette and avoiding unprotected contact with farm or wild animals, etc.

*Bringing a glimmer of hope, Russia on August 11, 2020, declared itself the first country to approve a Coronavirus vaccine with President Vladimir Putin saying one of his daughters had been inoculated.

The World Health Organization said any WHO stamp of approval on a COVID 19 vaccine candidate would require a rigorous safety data review.

Vaccination for COVID-19

Vaccines save millions of lives each year. Vaccines work by training and preparing the body’s natural defenses – the immune system – to recognize and fight off the viruses and bacteria they target. After vaccination, if the body is later exposed to those disease-causing germs, the body is immediately ready to destroy them, preventing illness.

As of 18 February 2021, at least seven different vaccines across three platforms have been rolled out in countries.

Vaccines are a critical new tool in the battle against COVID-19 and it is hugely encouraging to see so many vaccines proving successful and going into development. Working as quickly as they can, scientists from across the world are collaborating and innovating to bring us tests, treatments, and vaccines that will collectively save lives and end this pandemic.

Safe and effective vaccines will be a game-changer: but for the foreseeable future, we must continue wearing masks, physically distancing and avoiding crowds. Being vaccinated does not mean that we can throw caution to the wind and put ourselves and others at risk, particularly because it is still not clear the degree to which the vaccines can protect not only against disease but also against infection and transmission.

Written By - Violet Priscilla S.

Edited By - Anamika Malik

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