THE GIST of Editorial for UPSC Exams : 24 March 2020 (China’s zero: On China’s lead in containing coronavirus(The Hindu))



China’s zero: On China’s lead in containing coronavirus(The Hindu)



Mains Paper 2:International 
Prelims level:  SARS-CoV-2
Mains level:COVID-19 effects and challenges outside China

Context:

  • In a remarkable turnaround, China had zero cases of novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) on March 18-20, including in Wuhan, the epicentre of the epidemic. 
  • This comes three months after the first case emerged in Wuhan. But on March 21, Guangdong province had one instance of local transmission from an imported case. 

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Number of cases:

  • As on March 22, China reported 314 imported cases. As the instance on Saturday shows, more number of fresh cases from local transmission can show up, turning the zero cases reported on three consecutive days into nothing but a blip. 
  • At the peak of the epidemic, mainland China reported thousands of fresh cases and hundreds of deaths each day before the total number reached 81,054 which is nearly 26% of the global case load of 3,16,659 as on March 22. 
  • The total mortality from coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in mainland China stands at 3,237, which is less than the deaths reported from Italy (4,825). 
  • The initial signs of the epidemic beginning to wane were visible when the first makeshift hospital in Wuhan was closed in early March after all patients had recovered and there were no new admissions. 
  • The turnaround in China comes at a time when the virus is galloping in Europe and is spreading in the U.S. 

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Squandering an opportunity:

  • Unfortunately, both Europe and the U.S. seem to have squandered that opportunity. 
  • What was once considered undoable outside China is now being played out in Italy — the entire country is locked down. 
  • Putting the rights of the community ahead of the individual, many countries have been adopting tough measures akin to China’s — 
  • restricting travel, 
  • banning mass gatherings, 
  • cancelling important events 
  • shutting down educational institutions and; 

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Covering-UP:

  • Even as China’s success in containing the epidemic is in the spotlight, its cover-up of the outbreak until mid-January, nearly a month after the first few cases showed up, will remain a stain hard to erase. 
  • Worse, its refusal to inform its people even after notifying a cluster of cases to the World Health Organization on December 31, 2019 and gagging doctors for raising an alarm show that not much has changed since the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak in 2002.
  • The only solace is that China did not unduly delay informing WHO about the novel virus unlike in the case of the 2002 SARS outbreak. 

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Conclusion:

  • Scientific papers published by Chinese researchers have given their peers across the world a head start in understanding the virus and the disease.
  • The rest of the world might have to follow China’s lead in containing the virus.

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Online Coaching for UPSC PRE Exam

General Studies Pre. Cum Mains Study Materials

Prelims Questions:

Q.1)With reference to the disposal of bodies, consider the following statements:

1. For infectious diseases, the World Health Organisation (WHO) prescribes various biosafety levels (BSL) with bodies, medical gear and disposables.
2. For bodies of dead COVID-19 patients, the WHO is mandating BSL-3.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer.......................................

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Mains Questions:
Q.1)Discuss whether the frequent viral outbreaks can be termed as man-made disasters.


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