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THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC | An Article by Momtaz

The Covid-19 Pandemic

The Covid-19 Pandemic

What is COVID-19?

The actual name of COVID-19 is Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2). We simply call it COVID-19. It is a viral and infectious disease which was discovered in Wuhan city (Hubei Province, China) in late December, 2019. The Government of China officially reported it to World Health Organization (WHO) on December 31, 2019. Later, the WHO declared the COVID-19 outbreak as a global health emergency on January 30, 2020 and subsequently it was declared as a global pandemic on March 11, 2020. After the H1N1 influenza pandemic of 2019, COVID-19 has been given such tag by WHO. Currently, COVID-19 has become a greater threat to the existence of entire humanity and is a major cause of the ongoing economic depression across the globe. Globally, there have been 17,112,298 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 668,947 deaths, reported to WHO by the end of July 2020, hence registering 3.9% fatality rate among the infected persons.


Its Symptoms

According to WHO, the most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Other symptoms are aches and pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell or a rash on skin or discoloration of fingers or toes. But these symptoms are less common and usually mild and begin gradually. Some people become infected but only have very mild symptoms. About 80% of the infected persons recover from the disease without needing hospital treatment and 2% of the COVID-19 patients becomes seriously ill and develop difficulty in breathing. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart and lung problems, diabetes, or cancer, are at higher risk of developing serious illness.  However, anyone can catch COVID19 and become seriously ill.


How to protect ourselves?

The best way to protect ourselves from COVID-19 is to practice hand and respiratory hygiene at all times cleaning our hands with an alcohol-based hand-rub or washing them with soap and water thoroughly and covering our mouth and nose with our bent elbow or tissue when we cough or sneeze. However, when possible it is better to keep at least a 1 meter distance from others, especially when someone is coughing or sneezing. Moreover, we should avoid going to crowded places, avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth and stay at home. But even if we have minor symptoms, such as a slight cough or a mild fever, there is no need to panic and seek medical care. In that case we need to stay at home, self-isolate and monitor our symptoms following national guidance on self-isolation. 


Economic Impact of COVID-19

The whole world is badly affected by the COVID pandemic and currently the global economy is in recession which is the worst recession since the Great Depression of 1930s. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimates that the growth of global economy has declined by 3 per cent in 2020 which is far worse than the 2009 global financial crises. Economies such as the US, Japan, the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain are expected to contract this year by on an average 7%. Hence, advanced economies have been hit harder. According to the World Bank, India is also expected to grow 1.5 per cent to 2.8 per cent only which is much lower than average 7% growth.

     The COVID-19 outbreak affects all segments of the population mainly the poor and less privileged people of the society. Many reports reveal that the health and economic impacts of the virus are being borne largely by these people. These people are highly exposed to the contagion  due to a lack of proper shelter and self-hygiene. There are millions of less fortunate people all over the World, who do not have the privilege of accessibility to good food, drinking water and even home to stay. They also tend to suffer greatly from the current pandemic. As a consequence, less fortunate people are dying the most, apart from losing jobs and livelihood. It is very clear to us that the social crisis that has been created by the pandemic would result in an unequal society. The only way out seems to be the establishment of policies and rules by the Government that would help to eradicate such racial problems.

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Begum Momtaz Laskar
Assistant Teacher 

Bhandari Char LP School
Hajo Block