Let’s vow to defeat death and destruction!

Dear Readers,

We are humbled to place on record our infinite gratitude for your uninterrupted, unwavering support to us in bringing out edition after edition on pertinent health issues. With your blessings, Double Helical once again successfully organised ‘National Health Conclave and Awards 2019’ in the heart of National Capital. A mammoth congregation comprising who’s who of the healthcare industry besides distinguished guests and personalities from different walks of life witnessed the brainstorming Conclave and glittering Awards ceremony, organised by the magazine with the support of the Association of Healthcare Providers (AHPI) India and the Consortium of Accredited Hospitals (CAHO).

The magazine organised the Conclave on a highly important issue of geriatric care, which acquires significance in the wake of the fact India has close to 115 million elderly people with multiple physical, social, psychological and economic problems. The Conclave culminated in conferring of awards to champion healers, caregivers and institutions, who have significantly contributed in making a difference in the lives of people.

On a sad note, however, today the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) has overtaken the whole world with unprecedented ferocity, unleashing a naked dance of death and destruction. India has so far done well to combat the highly contagious coronavirus but the country needs to keep up its vigil to defeat the dreaded virus that has turned everything topsy-turvy in the globe.

Till the time of going to the press, the Union Health Ministry has reported 13 deaths while the total COVID-19 cases have touched more than 600. The last serious pandemic, a condition when the disease spreads to most parts of the world, occurred in 1918-19 when an estimated 20 million to 50 million people lost their lives due to Spanish flu that infected 500 million people worldwide. So far, the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic has claimed more than 19,000 lives around the world.

The Prime Minister has done well to place the entire country under a complete lockdown for 21 days that effectively means a strict three-week curfew. Addressing the nation, he said, “Every state, every Union Territory, every district, every village and every locality is being put under the lockdown.” To protect ourselves, we must follow PM’s advice to not cross ‘Lakshman rekha’ of our house in the next 21 days. If we don’t do this, we will set the country back by 21 years. Like PM Modi, we also agree that undoubtedly this lockdown will entail an economic cost for the country but saving the life of each and every Indian is the first priority for the government.

In a recently held high level meeting, the Group of Ministers (GoM) had detailed deliberation on prevention and management of COVID-19. The GoM discussed the actions taken so far, current status of social distancing measures as a preventive strategy and the stringent actions to contain the spread of COVID-19 by the states so far. The GoM also discussed about strengthening capacity of states, which need to devote adequate resources for creating dedicated COVID-19 hospitals, equipping medical institutes with PPEs, ventilators and other essential equipment etc.

States have been asked to ensure that essential services and supplies remain open. These include ration, provision stores, hospitals, medical shops and establishments engaged in manufacturing of medicines, vaccines, sanitizers, masks and medical devices. The GoM was informed that Gujarat, Assam, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Goa, Karnataka, MP and J&K are setting up hospitals dedicated for the management of COVID-19. A total of 118 laboratories have been included in the ICMR network of COVID19 testing. The GoM was also apprised that Cabinet Secretary has written letters and conducted video conference with Chief Secretaries, Health Secretaries and DGs of police and instructed them to enforce implementation of lockdown measures. As per information, around 64,000 persons have arrived from other countries to India since 21st March, 2020 out of which 8,000 have been put in various quarantine facilities and 56,000 are in home isolation.

In a nutshell, we are still fighting a formidable battle against Covid-19. Let us maintain our calm and composure and vow to eradicate coronavirus by practising utmost hygiene, sanitation and social distancing. If we don’t follow the government’s advisory, we are destined to perish. So, what is important that we follow? We must follow all protocols, guidelines and directions issued by the government, failing which may lead, among other risks, legal actions against us u/s 188 of IPC.
The current issue of Double Helical is replete with more such interesting and thought-provoking stuff for you to savour, reflect and ponder. So, happy reading!

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