By M.M. Janapriya –
A new corona virus is rampaging across the length and breadth of the globe killing thousands. As of 16th March 2020, Covid-19 has infected over 174,000 people in over 100 countries and killed over 6700 patients. This was declared a pandemic on the 11th March 2020 by the WHO by virtue of its wideness and speed of spread.
Corona is a respiratory virus. It spreads by inhalation of droplets containing the virus either directly from air or by transmitting through one’s own hands by touching the virus containing areas like, guide fences, bus seats, teller machine buttons etc and touching his or her facial orifices. Once infected older and already health compromised individuals are at the highest risk of dying. Some younger ones too may succumb. THIS VIRUS KILLS. SO TAKE THE INFECTION VERY SERIOUSLY.
Despite the WHO advice about frequent hand washing, usage of alcohol gel hand sanitizers, self isolation, quarantine of people coming from infected countries etc., the virus is spreading relentlessly. Sri Lanka has over 160 suspected cases and 35 confirmed cases. We do not know how many of them have left hospital being cured and how many have died. I take no news as good news. As there are no deaths reported on National media I take it that so far no one had died of the disease. This is too good to be true all the same.
Sri Lanka got bombarded with large numbers of people from countries like South Korea and Italy. I understand some sufferers from Italy apparently have taken paracetamol and travelled over 800 miles to board a plane back to Sri Lanka from a non-affected area. Also we saw on television how difficult it was to take these people away to be quarantined.
We are a wonderful country full of ill-literate, pig headed, self-conceited individuals and know it all thugs who are impervious to reason and pay scant regard to law. Hence it is difficult to control the spread of this disease by advice example and precept. We need more stringent measures to contain the disease. This is no less than strict control of movement of individuals in addition to other advice as mentioned earlier.
The first picture shows how ineffective no restriction is. Even full quarantine as is normally done (contacts etc,) is only slightly better than non-intervention. Moderate distancing i.e. keeping away from crowds, buses, trains and supermarkets etc. has a very significant impact on reducing transmission. Just look at extensive distancing. It plateaus the curve extensively.
With all this evidence around Sri Lanka is still tinkering around the edges. Even Royal Thomian annual cricket encounter and the tamasha was allowed to go ahead. Is this sheer insanity or something else? Motive is unclear. I only hope it is not political. Come on guys, lock down Sri Lanka for 3 weeks and reappraise at the end of it. We will see the back of corona!!!