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WHO’s Team Tracing the Origin Of COVID-19 Is Back From China; Experts Explain Why It Is Important To Find The Source Of The Outbreak

According to experts, tracing the origin of the virus can help in preventing future pandemics and it also provides useful insights for developing more efficient vaccines and treatments for the disease

WHO’s Team Tracing the Origin Of COVID-19 Is Back From China; Experts Explain Why It Is Important To Find The Source Of The Outbreak
Highlights
  • COVID-19 was first reported in Wuhan, China in December, 2019
  • Outbreak much wider in Wuhan in December 2019 than previously thought: WHO
  • Almost 13 strains were floating in China already in December 2019: WHO

New Delhi: As the global crakdown on COVID-19 pandemic continues, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has been trying to trace the origin of the outbreak. For this, it had designated a team of 10 specialists who spent four weeks in China. Wuhan, a city in China’s Hubei province, was the first place where SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, was officially reported. The virus then spread to over 200 countries across the world.

Also Read: India Fights COVID-19: What Can Be Done To Speed Up Vaccination In The Country?

Why Is It Important To Find The Source Of The COVID-19 Pandemic?

Dr Preeti Kumar, Vice President – Public Health System Support at the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) said that it is important to trace the origin of the coronavirus because it is constantly evolving and some of the strains that have come up during the past one year are highly contagious. She said that the information on the origin of the virus gives clues about where it evolved in the first place and how human activities like deforestation can influence the occurrence of pandemics. She said,

Tracking down the source of a disease outbreak help us answer questions about how and when people first became sick and to slow the spread of infection, both now and in future outbreaks. When it comes to zoonotic diseases (those diseases that jump from animals to humans like COVID-19), the scientists track the first-ever human case – the point at which IT spills over from an animal to human.

Dr. K K Aggarwal, President of the Confederation of Medical Association of Asia and Oceania (CMAAO) and Former President, Indian Medical Association (IMA) said that knowing the source of the outbreak could help decipher the conditions in which the virus is able to jump from animals to animals and animals to humans.

Also Read: United Kingdom To Begin World’s First Human Trials To Study COVID-19

Preliminary Findings of WHO’s Wuhan Mission

According to the WHO, the team on Wuhan Mission has found that COVID-19 outbreak might have been much wider in Wuhan in December 2019 than previously thought. It may have been spreading in China long before its first official emergence in mid-December, said the team in a press conference. The team further said that the coronavirus causing COVID-19 did not originate in a laboratory in Wuhan and the bats remain a likely source. The WHO has also found that there were 13 different strains of the virus in Wuhan already in December 2019. The Mission Wuhan team also found that seafood market in Wuhan has played a role in virus’ first spread but while some of the strains were linked to the seafood market, some were not. WHO said that if the variants are examined with wider patient data in China across 2019, it could provide valuable clues about the geography and timing of the outbreak before December.

While the UN health agency has asked the government of Republic of China, to provide access to blood samples of lakhs of people from the city that the country has not so far let them analyse, Dr Aggarwal said that it will not be easy to know the exact information on the origin of the virus as it highly depends on the cooperation from China in providing the data. The WHO said that the team would return to Wuhan in few months after which it will present its final findings.

Also Read: Coronavirus Outbreak Explained: What Is Genome Sequencing And How Can It help Combat COVID-19 Pandemic

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene

World

26,78,24,983Cases
22,84,48,447Active
3,40,97,388Recovered
52,79,148Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 196 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 26,78,24,983 and 52,79,148 have died; 22,84,48,447 are active cases and 3,40,97,388 have recovered as on December 9, 2021 at 3:47 am.

India

3,46,66,241 9,419Cases
94,742 1,009Active
3,40,97,388 8,251Recovered
4,74,111 159Deaths
In India, there are 3,46,66,241 confirmed cases including 4,74,111 deaths. The number of active cases is 94,742 and 3,40,97,388 have recovered as on December 9, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

66,40,888 893

9,964 157

64,89,720 1,040

1,41,204 10

Kerala

51,78,892 5,038

41,615 887

50,95,263 4,039

42,014 112

Karnataka

29,99,098 399

7,284 155

29,53,565 238

38,249 6

Tamil Nadu

27,32,648 703

7,946 36

26,88,142 728

36,560 11

Andhra Pradesh

20,74,217 181

2,011 3

20,57,749 176

14,457 2

Uttar Pradesh

17,10,502 10

139 7

16,87,452 3

22,911

West Bengal

16,20,803 574

7,576 0

15,93,659 568

19,568 6

Delhi

14,41,514 65

404 28

14,16,010 36

25,100 1

Odisha

10,50,760 255

1,931 11

10,40,403 264

8,426 2

Chhattisgarh

10,07,075 37

341 9

9,93,140 27

13,594 1

Rajasthan

9,54,984 40

236 16

9,45,792 24

8,956

Gujarat

8,27,873 67

417 45

8,17,361 22

10,095

Madhya Pradesh

7,93,288 14

140 1

7,82,619 13

10,529

Haryana

7,71,904 29

223 15

7,61,626 14

10,055

Bihar

7,26,259 9

36 6

7,14,133 3

12,090

Telangana

6,77,546 205

3,871 19

6,69,673 185

4,002 1

Assam

6,18,042 134

2,541 24

6,09,374 158

6,127

Punjab

6,03,578 22

350 0

5,86,614 20

16,614 2

Jharkhand

3,49,383 16

129 7

3,44,113 23

5,141

Uttarakhand

3,44,402 17

192 3

3,36,799 14

7,411

Jammu And Kashmir

3,38,198 151

1,639 38

3,32,070 111

4,489 2

Himachal Pradesh

2,27,753 69

722 14

2,23,174 81

3,857 2

Goa

1,79,307 65

441 37

1,75,478 28

3,388

Mizoram

1,37,377 320

3,049 10

1,33,819 309

509 1

Puducherry

1,29,128 23

230 1

1,27,022 22

1,876

Manipur

1,25,429 23

325 5

1,23,119 28

1,985

Tripura

84,888 14

94 11

83,968 3

826

Meghalaya

84,631 12

240 11

82,916 23

1,475

Chandigarh

65,515 7

67 2

64,628 5

820

Arunachal Pradesh

55,298 3

29 2

54,989 5

280

Sikkim

32,390 8

200 2

31,785 6

405

Nagaland

32,143 1

116 2

31,328 3

699

Ladakh

21,749 14

230 17

21,304 31

215

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,683

0 0

10,679

4

Lakshadweep

10,405

11 0

10,343

51

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,691 1

3 0

7,559 1

129

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