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

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
Coronavirus Outbreak, News
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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 OutbreakA team of WHO experts spent four weeks in China looking into the origins of the COVID-19 outbreak but why is it significant to know the source? Experts explain
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

19,89,21,889Cases
6,44,02,340Active
13,02,83,678Recovered
42,35,871Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 194 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 19,89,21,889 and 42,35,871 have died; 6,44,02,340 are active cases and 13,02,83,678 have recovered as on August 3, 2021 at 3:55 am.

India

3,17,26,507 30,549Cases
4,04,9588,760Active
3,08,96,354 38,887Recovered
4,25,195 422Deaths
In India, there are 3,17,26,507 confirmed cases including 4,25,195 deaths. The number of active cases is 4,04,958 and 3,08,96,354 have recovered as on August 3, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

63,15,063 4,869

78,700 3,650

61,03,325 8,429

1,33,038 90

Kerala

34,25,473 13,984

1,65,834 2,057

32,42,684 15,923

16,955 118

Karnataka

29,08,284 1,285

24,045 123

28,47,627 1,383

36,612 25

Tamil Nadu

25,63,544 1,957

20,385 139

25,09,029 2,068

34,130 28

Andhra Pradesh

19,70,008 1,546

20,582 437

19,36,016 1,968

13,410 15

Uttar Pradesh

17,08,500 24

646 18

16,85,091 42

22,763

West Bengal

15,29,295 575

10,803 171

15,00,331 734

18,161 12

Delhi

14,36,401 51

538 44

14,10,809 95

25,054

Chhattisgarh

10,02,458 236

1,918 1

9,87,012 234

13,528 3

Odisha

9,79,737 1,032

13,318 820

9,60,386 1,785

6,033 67

Rajasthan

9,53,704 16

241 9

9,44,509 25

8,954

Gujarat

8,24,922 22

251 3

8,14,595 25

10,076

Madhya Pradesh

7,91,862 17

132 7

7,81,217 10

10,513

Haryana

7,69,956 14

703 12

7,59,614 25

9,639 1

Bihar

7,24,917 37

401 34

7,14,872 71

9,644

Telangana

6,45,997 591

8,819 54

6,33,371 643

3,807 2

Punjab

5,99,162 32

473 31

5,82,395 63

16,294

Assam

5,68,257 1,275

12,429 213

5,50,534 1,469

5,294 19

Jharkhand

3,47,223 23

239 15

3,41,855 38

5,129

Uttarakhand

3,42,198 37

574 35

3,34,261 71

7,363 1

Jammu And Kashmir

3,21,725 118

1,254 43

3,16,090 73

4,381 2

Himachal Pradesh

2,06,369 208

1,304 75

2,01,543 132

3,522 1

Goa

1,71,295 90

1,027 16

1,67,118 72

3,150 2

Puducherry

1,21,059 54

944 38

1,18,320 92

1,795

Manipur

99,872 541

9,814 591

88,480 1,120

1,578 12

Tripura

79,026 304

3,104 12

75,167 292

755

Meghalaya

65,939 350

5,843 200

58,987 537

1,109 13

Chandigarh

61,960 6

33 3

61,116 3

811

Arunachal Pradesh

48,565 305

3,508 167

44,823 469

234 3

Mizoram

40,111 748

12,316 127

27,642 618

153 3

Nagaland

28,004 59

1,300 44

26,130 99

574 4

Sikkim

26,880 126

3,323 131

23,211 256

346 1

Ladakh

20,345 5

57 0

20,081 5

207

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,650

15 9

10,631 9

4

Lakshadweep

10,207 12

79 4

10,078 8

50

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,539

6 1

7,404 1

129

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