NEW DELHI: India may well determine the future trajectory of Covid-19, declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO), especially in the manner India handles the unprecedented crisis from here. Dr Michael J Ryan, executive director of WHO health emergencies programme, said this on Monday while commenting on Covid-19: “India, like China, is a hugely populous country.
The future of this pandemic, to a greater extent, will be determined on what happens in very large and densely populated countries.” “So, it’s really important that India continues to take aggressive action at the public health level and at the level of society to contain, control, suppress this disease and save lives,” Ryan said.
He added that India led the world in eradicating two silent killers — smallpox and polio. “Smallpox killed more people on this planet than all wars together. India, through targeted public health interventions, ended that disease and gave a great gift to the world. India also eliminated polio, another silent killer, and did tremendous job on surveillance, on finding cases, and vaccinating and doing all the things that needed to be done,” Ryan said at a media briefing on the Covid-19 crisis in Geneva, Switzerland.
“The pandemic is accelerating,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of the WHO, said as he called for world leaders to stop the highly contagious viral ill ness in its tracks, where possible, while also mitigating its effect on vulnerable populations and slowing its spread in communities where the virus has already gained a foothold.
As on Tuesday, Covid-19 has spread to 196 countries causing illness in nearly 4,00,000 people and claiming the lives of 17,250 people. India has seen 10 deaths due to Covid-19 till date.