Representational Pic
Representational Pic

Most countries, including India, plan to evacuate their citizens from Wuhan, the epicenter of the fast-spreading coronavirus epidemic. China has acted with due dispatch to deal with the epidemic which has claimed over 170 lives in China with more than 8,000 confirmed cases by Thursday. Outside China, the US, Japan, Hong Kong and Australia have reported some of their nationals contracting the infection. India has also kept under watch a few suspected cases of infections. Likewise, a number of other nations have taken precaution to segregate a number of their nationals who are suspected to have shown coronavirus symptoms. Such is the panic that the World Health Organization has convened an emergency meeting to consider whether to declare the outbreak a public health emergency. Whether the infection passed from an animal meat to humans or there was some other cause will be known after fuller investigations. But China has been severely hit by it. Normal life has come to a standstill. Given that it came during the lunar new year festival, when some 40 crore Chinese travel and partake in communal festivities, the disruption would impact the Chinese manufacturing and tourism, and have repercussions for global supply chains. By one estimate, China might suffer at least one per cent loss in growth due to the coronavirus. Meanwhile, Prime Minister’s Swachh Bharat campaign needs to be pursued with added vigour to spread the message about the significance of personal hygiene and clean water and proper sanitation to keep public health hazards at bay.

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