The Indian government on Saturday confirmed 83 cases of the coronavirus disease - namely COVID-19 - coming in within days after the World Health Organisation (WHO) classified the disease a global pandemic. Two people have died as per data from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Kerala being the most impacted state with 19 confirmed cases. This data comes after India declared stern self-imposed travel restrictions on the inflow of foreigners into the country through visa suspensions.
Meanwhile, the centre along with state governments are working towards boosting its capacity in dealing with the containment of the virus. It has ramped up its capacity to 52 coronavirus testing centres across the country, along with releasing helplines at the state and union level.
BOOM covers 5 primary questions around these resources and all you need to know about the symptoms and prevention.
1. Hygiene recommendations
The WHO has advised that people take the following general precautions to contain the spread of COVID-19:
Their entire advisory can be read here.
2. When should one resort to self-quarantine?
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has recorded the following situations where one should undergo self-quarantine:
- A person living in the same household as somebody infected with COVID-19
- A person who was in close or physical contact with a COVID-19 case, including air travel
Additionally, in a press release on March 10, the Ministry recommended self-quarantine for people with travel histories to countries having relatively more adverse COVID-19 conditions. The advisory said, "...calls for passengers with travel history to China, Hong Kong, Republic of Korea, Japan, Italy, Thailand, Singapore, Iran, Malaysia, France, Spain and Germany to undergo self-imposed quarantine for a period of 14 days from the date of their arrival, and their employers to facilitate work-from-home for such employees during this period."
This advisory can be found here.
3. Who can you call?
Symptoms of COVID-19 include sore throats, fever, coughing and sneezing and body aches. In case one is facing these symptoms, or in case one has been advised by a medical practitioner, one can contact dedicated coronavirus disease helpline numbers which have been launched by states, union territories and by the central government.
Interact with our dashboard below for them.
4. Where can you go to get checked?
In case one has symptoms of the disease, or a travel history to one of the countries advised by the government, the Indian Council of Medical Research has outlined 52 centres across the country.
The full list of hospitals and centres can be found here.
5. Are we close to developing a vaccine for COVID-19?
BOOM has written about at least two countries - Israel and the United States - making an effort to develop a coronavirus vaccine.
MIGAL Research Institute in Israel has stated that they are developing the vaccine in three weeks, but would need accreditation and international acceptance to be available globally. This process would follow a period of human trials, which would take three months or more. Thus, the vaccine are still in the preliminary stages.
Inovio Pharmaceuticals in the San Diego has developed an algorithm of the design of the vaccine, but not of the actual vaccine itself. The vaccine has been used on mice and guinea pigs, but has yet to receive FDA approval for trails on humans.
Even the WHO in a poster has stated that there is no standard treatment.
However, the ICMR permitted the Rajasthan government to use a combination of HIV drugs on an Italian couple suffering from the coronavirus disease, as they were suffering from respiratory issues.
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