Golaghat town in quarantine
By Mithu Das March 30, 2020
The whole India is being placed on lockdown for twenty-one days—from 24 March to 13 April—preventing further spread of covid-19. And, it has hardly passed 7 days that I'm terribly getting bored staying at home. You can’t go outside except that you need to buy some medicines or groceries. You can't drive a car, you can't ride a motorcycle, even you can't walk the street. I really hate this virus.
Covid-19, which is caused by SARS-CoV-2—a new species of coronavirus—has now spread right across the world. There is no vaccine for this disease. Besides, it is highly contagious. Anyone who come near (within 6 feet) an infected person can catch it. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the virus poses a “very grave threat for the world” and should be viewed as “Public Enemy Number 1”.
SARS-Cov-2 virus first occurred at the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan, last December. It is thought that some Chinese had caught the disease after eating pangolin meat. (The bats are thought to be carrying the virus and pangolins may be its intermediate host, says the researchers.) However, the Chinese government had tried to cover up the truth. On 31st December, they informed WHO about the disease, but before they could alert people about the danger of the virus, it was too late. In the first week of January, many thousands of people left Wuhan, and some of them were travelers who had carried the virus back to their countries—Italy, New York, Sydney, Bangkok, Tokyo, Singapore, Seoul and Hong Kong.
As of 30 March 2020, more than seven million people have been suffered from covid-19. The death rate is estimated to be 4.8% while the rate of recovery is 21%. The highest deaths are reported from Italy (10,779), Spain (6,803), China (3,304), France (2,640), Iran (2,640), and USA (2,489). In India, more than one thousand people has been reported to be infected by covid-19 and 29 have died so far. However, the number of new cases are being recorded every day. In my hometown Golaghat—which is a small town situated in the remote corner in India—3 people are suspected to be infected by covid-19 and are presently being quarantined at Kushal Konwar Civil Hospital.
There being fewer testing facilities for covid-19 and no vaccine has yet been developed—besides, the disease is highly contagious—so it is a good idea, says WHO, to quarantine yourself at home. The more you keep distance from people, the more chances that you will stay uninfected by the virus. However, in India, it is easier said than done. Many people didn't bother to break the lockdown, and came to the street in groups, minglinging with friends, chit-chating. This is the reason why police had to take action against these people. However, in some places police are also blamed to be taking harsh measures against people who came to the street to buy groceries or other essential goods.
Due to coronavirus lockdown in India, thousands of migrant laborers are stranded in New Delhi. "So far, more than a dozen migrant laborers have lost their lives in different parts of the country as they tried to return to their home," reported the New York Times.
Meanwhile, in Golaghat, I have readily confined myself in my house, occasionally come onto the veranda and peek at the street: it is empty. Needless to say, Golaghatians are enthusiastically responding to the lockdown. Like many other places in India, grocery shops, pharmacies and gas agencies are kept open here.Back to Top
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