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News about the coronavirus in China: the spread of the coronavirus puts densely populated India on high alert | India News


NEW DELHI: As the new coronavirus spreads from China around the world, India seems to be especially at risk due to its dense population, its irregular health system and its high migration rate.

The nation has confirmed only three cases, while the Indian government says 23,531 people are under observation. Neighbor Sri Lanka reported an infection, while Pakistan revealed its first patients this week: two travelers who had returned separately from Iran, one of whom had been on tour with 28 people.

Coronavirus outbreak: latest updates

While India’s figures seem very small compared to a population of 1.3 billion, the World Health Organization warned that new cases are appearing faster outside of China than in the country where the virus originated. The discovery in the US UU. A case without links to a known outbreak has raised concerns that a similar emergence in a country as densely populated as India could quickly overwhelm the health care system with chronic insufficient funds.

Read also: US spy agencies UU. They raise concerns about India

“It’s already here, they have detected some cases, and if it starts to spread, they will see a very rapid evolution,” said Kasisomayajula Viswanath, a professor at the Har Chan TH School of Public Health. “At this time they can control it, monitor it and treat it effectively. But if it is spreading along with other contagious diseases that are already here, then it becomes a matter of great concern.”

In addition to its large size, India is of particular concern due to the density of its population: 420 people live in each square kilometer (approximately 0.4 of a square mile), compared to 148 per square kilometer in China. Places such as the slums of Mumbai, Dharavi, or even a typical Indian home that contains large families, can facilitate contact with the drops that transmit viruses by breathing, speaking, coughing or sneezing.

Pakistan and Bangladesh are even more exposed than their biggest neighbor in South Asia. The two spend less on medical care than India, and each has a variety of entry points from countries where outbreaks are increasing.

Pakistan’s first case seems to come from neighboring Iran, which has become the center of the outbreak in the Middle East, with at least 245 confirmed cases and 26 deaths. Pakistan has suspended all flights to China, Japan and now Iran. Like Bangladesh, Pakistan refused to evacuate stranded students in China. Bangladesh extracted 312 citizens of Wuhan, the origin of the virus, keeping them in quarantine in camps outside Dhaka for 14 days.

Rural workers

Like China, India has a high rate of internal migration. In the 2011 census, 450 million people moved from one area to another in search of opportunities. Many travel daily from their villages to work in the cities. That could make it harder to contain an outbreak in a locality, as China has tried to block the entire state of Hubei.

“That is not really possible in India,” said Vivekanand Jha, executive director of the George Institute for Global Health, India, in New Delhi. “The Indians, if they are infected, are much more likely to remain in circulation and potentially come into contact with uninfected people wherever they are in the world.”

A large-scale outbreak can put great pressure on the economy of India, which is much smaller than that of China and whose growth this year is on its way to being the weakest in more than a decade.

The country’s health expenditure is among the lowest in the world: only 3.7% of gross domestic product. That left India with a mosaic of overcrowded and private public hospitals that are inaccessible to many people.

Selected Travelers

Indian Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said he is “extremely proud” of his country’s response to contain the virus, which includes contributions from the armed forces, the national airline Air India and embassies in the Foreign. Authorities have been checking travelers at airports, seaports and border crossings. He says that the three confirmed cases, all discovered in the southern state of Kerala, have been discharged from the hospital.

Still, Padmanesan Narasimhan, a professor of public health at the University of New South Wales who worked in the control of tuberculosis in India, said the chances of spreading the disease in India are high.

“Due to internal migration, population density and limited access to health infrastructure, that would be a great challenge in India,” he said.

Disease Experience

An area where India and its neighbors in South Asia may have an advantage over places where the coronavirus is already spreading is the weather. Coronaviruses of all types tend to travel better in colder and drier climates, which is why the flu season is in winter, and when the summer of the subcontinent approaches, suffocating heat can also end the virus.

In addition, although health care systems throughout the region do not have sufficient funds, they have experience in the fight against infectious diseases, given the prevalence of malaria, dengue and tuberculosis. The richest economies, from Hong Kong to Italy and Japan, have struggled to quell the spread of the virus.

“If you come here, it is certainly a matter of concern due to the population density and the magnitude of the population,” said Harvard Viswanath. “On the other hand, it seems that we have not been able to do a good job worldwide. Nor do I have great confidence in other systems.”

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