Focus: GS-III Disaster Management

Why in news?

  • All train, metro and inter-State transport services across the country were suspended on Sunday till March 31 as the death toll from COVID-19 rose to seven nationwide, and the number of confirmed cases stood at 396.
  • Unprecedented restrictions were imposed in 80 districts across 17 States and five Union Territories affected by the pandemic.

Details

  • State governments will issue orders allowing only essential services to operate in districts with confirmed COVID-19 cases.
  • The focus should be on closure of all activities except essential services such as hospitals, telecom, medicine shops and provision stores.
  • The new measures can be described as further “pre-emptive” actions, given the “sharp increase” in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country after curbs on international travel, contact tracing and efforts at social distancing.
  • The ‘Janata Curfew’ on 22nd March could also be a precursor of more stringent measures.
While initially the number of COVID-19 cases were increasing at a slower pace in India Steep compared to many other countries, things have taken a turn for the worse since Friday. With 100 new cases on Saturday, India's climb has become steeper. Despite this rapid climb, the climb growth in cases is still lower than many Western countries at this stage. However, India's testing rate continues to be comparatively poor. By Vignesh Radhakrishnan and Sumant Sen 1. RAPID PROGRESS I AS of March 21, 166 nations recorded at least one COVID-19 case. Of them, 46, including India, crossed the 300 mark 2. PROGRESS COMPARISON I The table lists the % of countries which took more days or fewer days than India to cross a certain number of cases. For instance, 57% of countries took more days than India to jump from 200 to cases, while only 4% took fewer days. The more days a country takes to reach a mark, the better 53 46 170 166 130 90 50 1 case 92 50 cases 70 63 Total nations 92 70 63 53 46 progres From O to 50 cases 50 to 100 100 to 150 150 to 200 200 to 300 % took % took % took Ore days lessdays same days 11% 10% 57% 88% 73% 78% 4% 0% 13% 11% 9% 37% 150 cases 300 cases 200 cases 100 cases Number of cases crossed as of March 21 _+ 3. WORRYING RISE The graph depicts the no. of cases since the 100th case in each country. With 100 new cases on Saturday, India's path — is mimicking the exponential rise seen in the early days of some Western countries 4. STILL BEHIND IN TESTING I Countries like Taiwan (only 143 cases) and S.Korea (which has contained the spread) have some of the highest testing rates. The graph shows the tests per million people as of Feb. 4 e, Mar. 9 and the latest date in select nations. India's testing rate as Of March 21 was behind S.Korea's & Taiwan's February 4 figure 50,000 20,000 10,000 5,000 2,000 1,000 500 200 100 India 's climb has become steeper, steering away from the likes of Singapore and Hong Kong Italy tab'. Spaieerrnany Taiwan ndia 710 986 6,388 _ • France S. Korea 11.6 After an initial surge, S. Korea managed to flatten the curve Japan • Singapore Belgium - —j • Malaysia India's testing rate continued to U.K. be significantly lower compared S. Korea to that of other countries - Qatar India . KuwaiV 6 10 14 Days since the 100th case 30 Hong Kong 18 22 26 10 100 500 1,000 5,000 Tests per million population (Log scale) _+ Latest date: India & S. Korea: Mar. 21; U.s. & U.K.; Mar. 20; Taiwan: Mar. 15 Source• Johns Hopkins university, health ministries of different governments

Recommendations

  • State governments could request industries / establishments allow their staff to work from home and “provide renumeration to them during this period”.
  • States could also take appropriate measures to help poor and vulnerable sections, including casual workers, in order to mitigate any hardships that might be caused.
curbs COVID-19 FOOD AND PRODUCTS A look at the essential services and commodities notified by the government Locked down: An aerial view of the deserted Koyambedu flyover in Chennai during the Janata Curfew on Sunday. • K. PICHUMANI OTHER SERVICES • Newspapers, banks and ATMs, post offices, telecom, petrol and diesel pumps HOUSEHOLD SERVICES • Electricity and water supply, sanitary services, LPG supply • Groceries, fruits and vegetables, milk and dairy related products, loading and unload- ing of wheat and rice at FCI and State food depots, cattle feed and fodder MEDICAL • Medicines and other pharmaceuticals, health services, manufacturing of health and medical equipment
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