On January 7, 2020, Chinese authorities officially announced the discovery of the new virus 2019-nCoV.
New Delhi, December 27: This year, a virus called SARS-CoV2 shook the world like a terrible storm. The virus has led to the spread of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) and has infected more than 80 million people worldwide in the last 12 months. The disease has so far killed around two million people worldwide. Here is a brief overview of the spread of the disease and of course what the year 2020 was like …
In November 2019, an increase in the number of pneumonia patients due to an unknown virus was reported in the fish and meat market in the Chinese city of Wuhan. The markets were closed immediately after that. On December 31, 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) office in China received an official report on the disease. On January 7, 2020, Chinese authorities officially announced the discovery of the new virus 2019-nCoV. The virus was later renamed SARS-CoV2.
There was no indication in the preliminary reports that the virus would strike mankind worldwide over the next year, causing more than half of the world’s lockdowns and causing so much havoc. The first death in China was recorded on 11 January 2020. The 67-year-old man from Wuhan had gone to a fish market and was thought to have contracted the infection from there. By January 23, China had cut off Wuhan and surrounding cities from the rest of the world and quarantined nearly 50 million people. City buses, subways, ferries were closed. Also, air and rail services were suspended. Terrible silence spread on the streets of Wuhan. Coincidentally, scenes similar to those in Steven Soderbergh’s Hollywood film Contegion began to appear.
India launched a campaign to bring Indians to Wuhan from February one. By then, the disease had killed 17 people in China. Just two weeks later, Li Wenliang, a Chinese doctor, died of covid-19. He told the world about China’s failure to fight a disease that could take a terrible turn in the future; But he was considered a villain for that.
The disease hit the United States the hardest. The number of people infected with Covid-19 has reached two million so far, and more than three million Americans have died from the disease. India ranks second in the list after the United States. In India, the number of coronaviruses has crossed one crore and about one and a half lakh Indians have fallen victim to the disease. Senior citizens were most affected by the disease. Masks, sanitizers became the usual household items, while ‘Work From Home’ became the ‘New Normal’.
Of the known patients of Kovid-19 outside China in February, more than half were on a cruise ship called the Diamond Princess. The cruise ship was quarantined at the port of Yokohama after a passenger corona was found to be positive. Of the more than 3,600 passengers on board, 700 were infected with the corona, while 14 died.
On February 14, it was announced that the first victim of the Covid-19 had died in France. He was the first victim of the disease in Europe. Meanwhile, the number of victims of the disease in China was increasing rapidly. Many were killed in Hubei province. In Italy, the virus spread like wildfire in just 10 days. First in Milan and then in the Lombardy region. Hospitals were literally overflowing with patients. Many senior citizens lost their lives in it.
Italy was the hotspot for the disease in Europe, while Iran came in second in February. By the end of February, the first patient was reported dead in Brazil, while the first patient was reported dead in the United States.
The World Health Organization (WHO) declared it a global pandemic on March 11. On March 13, US President Donald Trump declared a national emergency. Gatherings of more than 50 people were banned and government schools in New York were closed. It was announced on March 24 that the Tokyo Olympics had been postponed by a year. The Olympic Games have been canceled only three times in the history of the Olympics due to the first two world wars.
The United States has the highest number of coronaviruses, surpassing China and Italy, the United States officially announced on March 26. Even in Moscow (Russia) the number of patients increased rapidly and the number of hospital admissions doubled in a week.
In May, right-wingers demonstrated in several US cities. He demanded that the restrictions be relaxed. By June, the known number of coronaviruses worldwide was growing rapidly. The number of new patients worldwide is increasing by the day. By mid-June, the number of coronaviruses in Latin America, Africa, South Asia, and the Americas had risen, increasing the number worldwide.
The first corona patient in India was found on January 30. He was a young man returning from Wuhan. The first death in India due to corona was reported on 12 March. A 76-year-old man from Kalburgi in Karnataka had migrated to Saudi Arabia. He died that day.
The Prime Minister had on March 22 called for a public curfew to test how sanctions could be imposed in the country. Within two days, flights across the country were shut down. Prime Minister Narendra Modi then announced the first lockdown for the period from March 25 to April 14. The lockdown was extended to May 3 as the number of coroners continued to rise. Strict lockdowns have affected businesses. It also hit the poor and migrant workers hardest. They lost their jobs and waited for their homes. Hundreds of kilometers of laborers marched along the highway-railway line to reach their hometown. So the government had to provide buses and trains.
The central government has announced a package of Rs 1.7 crore to help the poor. Later, a stimulus package of Rs 20 lakh crore was announced under the name Atma Nirbhar. Large cities like New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Ahmedabad saw a sharp rise in the number of coronaviruses by the end of May. Restrictions began to ease somewhat from June. Meanwhile, the number of corona sufferers in rural areas has also increased as migrant workers have reached their respective villages.
In the first week of September, everything was allowed to start across the country except for schools and colleges. As a result, the markets became crowded again, and traffic jams became as usual as before the lockdown. Citizens began to struggle with generosity to restore their lives. Migrant workers began to return to their hometowns.
In India, government and private offices are still operating with less manpower, yet everything has started across the country. In the last week of the year, no new corona was found in the Dharavi slums in Mumbai. Also, in many states, the number of victims has plummeted, and fears are running high.
Schoolchildren were hit hard by the Corona epidemic. Because students in urban areas became dependent on the option of online education; However, laptops and smartphones were not easily available to students in rural areas. Those students had only two options – either stay at home or rely on local private classes. The students have never had the time to spend the entire academic year at home. The United Nations says school closures have affected 1.5 billion students worldwide.
Kovid did not discriminate between rich and poor. Former President of India Pranab Mukherjee, senior Congress leaders Tarun Gogoi and Ahmed Patel, chef Floyd Cardzo, playwright Terence McNally and many others were killed by Kovid-19. Donald Trump, who previously refused to wear a mask, first wore a mask in July. They were reached by Corona in October. They are joined by Brazilian leader Jair Bolsonaro, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, French President Emmanuel Macron, actor Tom Hanks, footballer Cristiano Ronaldo, tennis player Novak Djokovic, singer Madonna, Prince Charles and Prince Albert (second).
The virus has adversely affected the global economy. The burden of the lockdown has broken the backbone of the economies of many countries around the world. The International Monetary Fund warned in April that the global economy was heading for a major recession for the first time since the Great Depression. This year’s recession was four times more severe than the 2009 global recession. In the first few weeks alone, about one million people lost their jobs in the United States. India’s economy shrank by 23.9 per cent in the first quarter of the 2020-21 financial year. Developed countries like Japan and Germany are also facing recession. All of this has adversely affected the air transport, construction, automobile, hotel and hospitality industries. In any case, China is the first economy to emerge from this. China’s economy is set to grow by 2020.
The fragile health systems in developed countries are still struggling with the situation. Lack of adequate beds for admission of patients, supply of medicines and supplies, as well as insufficient number of health workers are some of the problems. Some countries, such as South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, and New Zealand, however, handled the situation well during the epidemic. According to the Indian Medical Association, more than 500 doctors have died in India due to Kovid-19.
Researchers around the world are working day and night to find a solution to this problem. So there is a glimmer of hope. At the end of the year 2020, in the first week of December, the United Kingdom (UK) approved Pfizer-Bioentech’s corona vaccine for vaccination. It was the first country to allow such a thing; But then the fear spread of the new strain of the corona in Britain. The virus is 56 percent more contagious. This is a wave of fear in the atmosphere of joy around the world on the occasion of Christmas and New Year. As a result, all flights to and from Britain have been canceled. Also, strict border restrictions have been imposed in Europe.
Vaccination has started in some countries like UK, USA, UAE and Mexico. Preparations for the vaccination program are also in full swing in India. Preference will be given to health workers, corona warriors and senior citizens.