In the era of today’s modern technological world, it is almost impossible to say that science is not the answer to all our problems. Be it finding the lengths or depths of layers of secrets of the mother earth or finding antidotes to the detrimental diseases, our science has overcome it all with time.
In the light of recent events all over the world, science can be seen struggling through one of the most hazardous recent illness of all time- COVID-19.
Covid-19 is a deadly virus originated from the People's Republic of China, the second-largest country of the Asiatic continent. As soon as this deadly virus emerged in China, it quickly spread to the rest of the world taking many lives within the initial days of emergence, confusing the professionals with the brightest knowledge of medical science. This global pandemic has been known to humankind since 31st December,2019.
The coronavirus is a family of viruses that can cause a range of illnesses in humans including the common cold and more severe forms like SARS and MERS which are life-threatening. The virus is named after its shape which takes the form of a crown with protrusions around it and hence is known as coronavirus.
On March 11, 2020 The World Health organization declared Covid-19 as a Global Pandemic.
It has been almost 5 months since its occurrence and medical sciences are still trying to figure out how to fight this battle. This virus has made many to suspect the efficiency of the medical technology even after so much of expansion. Data shows that about 3.36 million people have been affected by this pandemic out of which 239 Thousand deaths have already taken place. The United States of America holds the highest number tally of deaths of approximately 66 thousand persons until now.
Nonetheless, in this battle against a deadly virus, the world is united on all fronts and together, we shall succeed!
The Army of worldwide medical fraternity are toiling and working hard day and night, doing 36-48 hours of shifts only with the motive of providing medical and emotional support to the affected patients.
The most difficult place to avoid contact with the COVID-19 virus is where all the infected persons are being treated. As much as the protection of civilians is important, preservation of immunity of healthcare persons is of utmost importance. Prevention of their exploitation is also necessary.
Healthcare workers are at the front line of the COVID-19 outbreak response and as such are exposed to hazards that put them at risk of infection. Hazards include pathogen exposure, long working hours, psychological distress, fatigue, occupational burnout, stigma, and physical and psychological violence.
As per the report of the World Health Organization (WHO), the Covid-19 pandemic has hit over 22,000 healthcare workers across 52 countries and regions.
To prevent these frontline health soldiers from all over the world, The WHO has released various policies and guidelines to be followed by partner countries.
The first case report of Coronavirus in India was not until 30th January 2020.
As the midnight of 24th March 2020 struck, the whole of India saw for the first time, a country-wide lockdown. Today, 2nd May, 2020 marks the bench of more than 1 month of lockdown in India. People have been advised to stay home, use sanitizers, masks, and gloves frequently and to maintain hygienic surroundings. Social distancing has been specifically stressed upon as this virus spreads through touch or germs. In India, as of 2nd May,2020; statistics show that about 38 thousand people have been affected and about 1.5 thousand people have died by coming in contact with this pandemic.
Through a graded, pre-emptive and pro-active approach, the Government of India is taking several steps along with the States/UTs for prevention, containment, and management of COVID-19.
• The Union health ministry has written to all states to take utmost care of their health care professionals, while listing out measures taken for their safety.
• It recommended that states use Hydroxychloroquine for high-risk populations including all asymptomatic health care workers involved in the Covid-19 battle.
• The Centre also said nearly 5.11 lakh additional PPE kits had been supplied to states to augment the stock of 2.75 lakh.
Delhi health minister Satyendar Jain said an advisory has been issued to hospitals for taking precautions to prevent their staff from contracting the virus.
At least 96 doctors and 156 nurses have tested positive for COVID-19 across India as of April 22.
As most of these infections were transmitted by patients in a hospital environment, at least 826 medical workers who came in contact with the infected personnel had to be quarantined and at least 20 hospitals had to be fully or partially closed.
A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan and S Ravindra Bhat has said that doctors and healthcare professionals are "warriors" in the fight against coronavirus and have to be protected, even as the Centre assured that it is doing its best by providing them personal protective equipment (PPE) and other facilities. The Court said, “The Doctors and the medical staff who are the first line of defense of the country to combat this pandemic have to be protected by providing Personal Protective Equipments as recommended by WHO.”
The Court also showed dismay over ill-treatment of health care professionals at the hands of citizens.
The Court, also issued various directions to be followed by the central and state governments.
In another case, a bench headed by Dr. DY Chandrachud, J has sought the Central government’s response on a public interest litigation seeking directions to avail WHO-approved protection kits for doctors, especially since they are working under tedious conditions.
The court said, “As there is no specific vaccination to prevent or cure COVID- 19, doctors must be in constant contact with patients, to monitor them on regular intervals, and observe their symptoms,"
It added, "In the absence of appropriate protective gear, doctors put themselves at risk of being affected by the virus in the discharge of their duties. The States must ensure graded protective gear to doctors and other welfare facilities, to aid them to combat the virus,"
It also sought directions to the government to perform their statutory duty and provide security to doctors and other para-medical professionals, including separate transportation facilities, separate accommodation/ isolation rooms to protect the exposure of their families, and food facilities, etc.
WRITTEN BY- DATE-
REEYA KHANNA 3RD MAY,2020