Coronavirus free India, but the threat persists – editorials
With the last of the three Indian students with a new coronavirus (Covid-19) in Kerala declared disease-free last Friday, India is officially free of the virus, but the threat of an outbreak remains high with a worldwide increase in cases without Link Of course to China. What has further complicated infection control protocols is that China confirm the asymptomatic transmission of the infection, which has now been reported in 29 countries. The virus, which has infected about 80,000 people and killed about 2,600 in three months, is now causing localized outbreaks on all continents. Coronavirus cases have crossed 760 in South Korea, rose from three to 152 in northern Italy in a single weekend and killed eight in Iran.
India must work in emergency mode to stop the infection by installing more thermal scanners and trained personnel in all other ports of entry, training hospital staff in quarantine protocols, ensuring adequate stock of protective equipment and supportive medications, and preparing to establish quarantine rooms, especially in neglected states. Despite the huge funds committed for vaccine development and the scientists who take advantage of existing work on vaccines and rapid response platforms with Covid-19 genetic sequences inserted to accelerate the development of the vaccine, a preventive vaccine is unlikely to be ready before 18 months. Until then, traditional protocols for containment of diagnosis, surveillance, quarantine, supportive treatment, transparent data exchange and global associations in vaccine development are the only ways to end the infection.