In India, the first case of Novel Coronavirus or COVID-19 was reported in Kerala on 30 January 2020 when three students returned from Wuhan in China, where the virus possibly originated. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the virus as pandemic as it started to impact the lives of people across the world.

All You Need To Know About The Novel Coronavirus and COVID-19 - Acko

The virus continues to spread in more and more communities across the globe and India declared the outbreak as an epidemic under the provisions of the Epidemic Disease Act, 1897. Here’s all you need to know about the novel coronavirus and COVID-19.

Contents

What is Novel Coronavirus?

In simple terms, novel coronavirus is a respiratory illness which has the capacity to spread from person to person. It is an infectious disease caused by a newly found coronavirus. The deadly virus spreads through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose of an infected person when they cough or sneeze.

In medical terms, the novel coronavirus is a virus that can infect both humans and animals, causing respiratory illness which can be as simple as the common cold or as severe as pneumonia. However, older people and those with medical conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer and chronic respiratory disease are more prone to get infected.

Coronavirus History:

Coronaviruses are not new to humans. It was first discovered in the 1960s when people with common cold were infected with the new virus. Other types of coronaviruses include the SARS-CoV which was discovered in 2003 and there were several others which were later discovered. However, the new strain in the virus which has infected several humans across the world was later named Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

While there are several theories about how the virus originated, the first reported case of COVID-19 can be traced back to 1 December 2019 in Wuhan district of Hubei in China, which has since then spread globally.

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 also referred to as 2019-nCov and 2019 Novel Coronavirus. The WHO announced the official name of the disease as COVID-19, while the virus is called SARS-CoV-2. Just like how HIV is the name of the virus and AIDS is the disease, COVID-19 is the name of the disease and the virus name is SARS-CoV-2.

Using the name SARS could create unavoidable fear among people especially in Asia which was affected by the outbreak of SARS in 2003. Hence, WHO started to refer to COVID-19 as the virus when communicating to the public.

Difference Between Coronavirus and COVID-19:

Distinguishing between coronavirus and COVID-19 can be confusing. Do you call it coronavirus or COVID-19? Well, both are different. The name coronavirus is not new to humans. The term or name refers to a group of viruses which are known to cause respiratory illnesses.

Coronavirus is a Group of Viruses:

The conditions of coronaviruses can be mild to severe such as the common cold to more serious symptoms like lung issues which requires hospitalisation. Previous coronaviruses include the SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome).

Health Experts Call it COVID-19:

A new type of coronavirus was discovered which was previously not known by health experts. And, to distinguish between other types of coronaviruses and the newly found virus, the name or term COVID-19 was given to the new strain of the virus. This was known as the novel coronavirus or the new virus.

How COVID-19 Spread and Began:

Some coronaviruses live in animals and some in humans. However, when it comes to COVID-19, it spreads from an animal to a human, which the WHO calls it “a spillover event”. However, it mainly spreads through droplets from an infected person through a cough or a sneeze. It can also spread through close contact with one another and it can also survive on surfaces for a few days.

COVID-19 Symptoms:

COVID-19 symptoms are not the same for all persons. It can affect in different ways. COVID-19 is a respiratory disease and people infected by the virus can show mild to moderate symptoms who can recover without the need for special treatment. However, persons with existing medical conditions and those above 60 years old have a higher risk of contracting the disease.

Common Symptoms of COVID-19:

  • Dry Cough
  • Tiredness
  • Fever

Other Symptoms of COVID-19:

  • Sore Throat
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Pains and Aches
  • Diarrhoea, Nausea and Runny Nose in Some Cases.

The WHO recommends that those who are healthy but show mild symptoms should isolate and inform their medical provider for advice on testing and referral. Persons who have cough, fever or difficulty in breathing should consult their doctor and get medical attention.

Also, read: Coronavirus Helpline India

What COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Does To The Body

Declared a pandemic, the novel coronavirus termed COVID-19 has caused a wreck across continents, but one thing is clear that the illness can cast a storm on your body. Unlike their common cold causing cousins, zoonotic coronaviruses are transmitted from animals to humans such as SARS and MERS. So, what COVID-19 does to the body?

How Does COVID-19 Infect Your Body:

Droplets transmitted through the air by coughing or sneezing, the novel coronavirus spreads to nearby people who can inhale with their mouth, nose or eyes. These particles travel through the back of your nasal passages and attach themselves to the mucus membrane in the back of your throat and particular receptor cells pick up these viruses. 

COVID-19 or SARS-CoV-2 have spiked proteins resembling crowns, hence the term coronaviruses. These spikes attach to cell membranes thereby entering the human cell. This genetic material of the virus attacks the metabolism of the cell and multiplies. 

How Does COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Move Through Your Body:

Now that the genetic material of the novel coronavirus has hijacked the cells, your immune system may start to show the symptoms of COVID-19. This happens within 14 days. Your lungs might experience inflammation making it difficult for you to breathe, This can even lead to pneumonia. 

While most cases show mild symptoms, for some the infection can become severe. Symptoms of shortness of breath begin to show in 5 to 8 days. After which the infection causes Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS). This may require a ventilator to support your lungs to breathe.

Incubation Period of COVID-19

Once the virus hijacks your body cells, it first affects the lining of your throat, airways and lungs. From here the coronavirus multiplies rapidly and goes on to infect other cells. Compared to the SARS and MERS, COVID-19 infection is mild at the initial stages. Persons with the illness might not show symptoms or even be sick. The incubation period is an average of five days. 

Effects of Coronavirus On the Body:

Once the coronavirus enters the body and hijacks the cells, they begin to reproduce in the host cell, after which they spread to other cells of the body. They primarily affect the respiratory system such as lungs and typically infect the throat and airways. 

Risks of Coronavirus Infection:

Severe symptoms or complications of a COVID-19 infection can be in the form of viral pneumonia. Tiny sacs in your lung which exchanges oxygen and Carbon dioxide, are infected by SARS-CoV-2. These sacs are filled with pus or biological fluid and make it harder for the infected person to breathe easily.

While people of all ages can get infected by the virus, people with medical conditions such as diabetes, heart ailments, lung disease, HIV, asthma, etc. are more at risk of contracting the virus.

How To Stay Safe:

The very important thing to do is to wash your hands with soap and water regularly and thoroughly. The WHO recommends washing your hands for at least 20 seconds to avoid contracting the virus.

Also, using face masks could stop you from spreading the virus but it may not be effective in preventing you from catching the virus. This is because you will have to clean, wash or change the mask regularly and dispose of surgical masks of properly. 

The prime source of infection can be because of touching your nose, mouth or eyes with contaminated hands. Hence, following personal hygiene can go a long way in containing the spread of the novel coronavirus. 

Why Does Coronavirus Spread Easily Between People?

The World Health Organization (WHO) which termed the spread of the novel coronavirus or COVID-19 says that the virus spreads when a person comes in close contact with an infected case. An infected person with respiratory symptoms such as sneezing or coughing is at risk of spreading the virus through the discharge of droplets from their nose or mouth. The distance of 1 metre is enough for the virus to infect the person who is in close contact with a COVID-19 symptomatic person.

Also, the spread of the virus can happen in the immediate vicinity of the infected person. Therefore, the spread of coronavirus between people can happen through direct contact with the infected individual and indirect contact with surfaces in the close environment or with objects touched by the infected person. 

Since humans are social beings, they are bound to be contacted in some form or the other. Hence, guidelines issued by the government of India and organizations such as WHO recommend Social Distancing and to keep at least 1-metre distance between persons to avoid any possible transmission of the disease.

COVID-19 Prevention:

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has listed several COVID-19 prevention methods to contain the spread and prevent infection. Below are the details:

  • Washing hands regularly with soap and water.
  • Clean your hands with alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • Maintain 1-metre or 3-feet distance between people.
  • While coughing or sneezing, ensure you cover your mouth.
  • If you are feeling unwell stay at home.
  • Smoking weakens the lungs, hence refrain.
  • Avoid unnecessary travel.
  • Stay away from large gatherings.
  • Practise physical distancing.

Facts About Coronavirus:

The WHO has listed several facts about coronavirus which are as below:

  1. Exposing yourself to temperatures higher than 25-degree Celsius or to the sun does not prevent COVID-19 or coronavirus disease.
  2. You can recover from COVID-19 or coronavirus disease and it does not mean you will have it for life.
  3. Holding your breath for 10 seconds or more without feeling discomfort or sneezing or coughing does not mean you will not get infected by the coronavirus or any other lung disease.
  4. Consuming alcohol does not mean you are protected against the infection of coronavirus disease or COVID-19. In fact, it could mean more dangerous.
  5. COVID-19 can be spread in areas with humid and hot climates.
  6. Snow and cold weather does not kill the Novel coronavirus.
  7. Bathing in hot water does not kill or prevent COVID-19 or coronavirus disease.
  8. Thermal scanners can detect people who have a fever; however, it does not detect people with coronavirus disease.
  9. Hand dryers are not effective in killing the coronavirus.
  10. Vaccination such as pneumococcal and Haemophilus influenza type B does not provide protection against the virus.
  11. Regularly rinsing your nose with saline does not prevent protection against the coronavirus disease.
  12. Spraying alcohol or chlorine all over your body does not kill the virus.
  13. While garlic has some antimicrobial properties, there is no evidence that consuming garlic will protect you against the new coronavirus.
  14. Ultraviolet lamps or disinfection cannot be used to kill the virus. In fact, UV radiation can cause skin irritation.
  15. The Novel coronavirus does not spread through mosquito bites.
  16. Anybody can contract the novel coronavirus; however, older people and those with existing medical conditions such as cardiovascular disease, lung issues, diabetes, cancer and asthma appear to be more vulnerable.
  17. Antibiotics work only against bacteria and not against viruses.

FAQs About Novel Coronavirus and COVID-19:

Below are some of the frequently asked questions about novel coronavirus and COVID-19:

How likely am I to get infected by COVID-19?

It depends on where you are and if there is an outbreak of the novel coronavirus in your area. While the risk is low for most people to catch COVID-19, there are now places across the world where the disease is spreading. Those living in these areas are at a higher risk of contracting the disease. Ensure social distancing, and comply with the local authorities will reduce the risk of spreading or catching the infection.

Who is at a higher risk of contracting severe illness?

While there are several research and learnings about how the disease affects people, persons with existing diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes, asthma or cancer and older persons appear to develop severe illness more than the others.

Is there a vaccine to treat novel coronavirus?

As of 07 April 2020, there is no vaccine available to treat COVID-19; however, those who are infected are to seek medical attention and hospitalization as most patients recover if taken timely medical help. The WHO is coordinating several clinical trials to find a vaccination for the COVID-19. The most effective way to prevent novel coronavirus is to wash hands regularly, cover your mouth while coughing or sneezing and maintain social distancing of at least 3 feet (91.44 cm) from people who are sneezing or coughing.

Is COVID-19 the same as SARS or MERS?

While the virus that causes COVID-19 and the one which caused the SARS in 2003 and MERS are related genetically; however, the diseases are different.

Learn more about: Comparison Between COVID-19, SARS and MERS

Should I wear a mask at all times?

Wear a mask only if you are diagnosed with COVID-19 symptoms or if you are taking care of a person who may have contracted COVID-19. Also, you can wear a disposable mask only once. If you are not ill or not taking care of a COVID-19 patient, the WHO urges you to use masks wisely since it will be useful from others who really need it.

What is the incubation period for COVID-19?

Several estimates as per the WHO states that the incubation period for COVID-19 ranges between 1 to 14 days; however, these estimates will be updated by the WHO as more data is available.

Can humans catch COVID-19 from an animal source?

Coronaviruses are a large group of viruses that are usually common in animals. Occasionally, people can get infected with the virus which may then spread from humans to humans. For example, SARS-CoV came from civet cats while the MERS-CoV came from dromedary camels. However, the possibility of an animal source of the novel coronavirus is still yet to be confirmed.

Is COVID-19 airborne?

The virus is primarily spread through droplets caused by the infected person when they cough or sneeze or talk; however, the WHO states that the droplets are too heavy to hang in the air and they quickly fall on surfaces or floors. If you are within 3 feet of the infected person or by touching a surface which is possibly contaminated and then touching your nose, face, eyes or mouth before washing your hands there is a possibility of contracting the disease.

Are tobacco users and smokers at higher risk of contracting COVID-19 infection?

Smokers are more prone to contracting COVID-19 infection as fingers and cigarettes which are possibly contaminated comes in contact with lips increases the possibility of spreading the virus from hand to mouth. Also, smokers’ lungs have reduced capacity which would increase the risk of contracting the disease.

Should I be physically active during the COVID-19 pandemic?

When there is so much restriction in our movements, it is important for people of all ages to be active. Physical activity such as walking or stretching will ease muscle strain, improve blood circulation and muscle activity and most importantly relieve mental tension.


News Related to COVID-19:

Over 1.60 Crore FASTags Issued Until Beginning Of May

– May 13, 2020

The National Highways of India (NHAI) said that over 1.60 crores FASTag has been issued until the beginning of May since it was launched. It said that this number could increase further once the lockdown ends and commercial and private vehicle traffic resumes on national highways as the technology allows zero human contact. FASTags is based on the Radio Frequency ID (RFID) technology which enables electronic toll payments at national highway toll plazas. The NHAI said that RFID technology ensures safety during times like COVID-19 as it helps prevent human touch points while making payments.

COVID-19: People Can Now Move Without Pass in Rajasthan

– May 12, 2020

The State Government of Rajasthan has announced that people can move between districts without the need of a pass. This comes into effect from today. The government has also relaxed some guidelines with new exemptions for travel from 7 am to 7 pm. However, this is not applicable in areas which are under curfew where cases of COVID-19 are large. Earlier, one had to avail a pass to travel within districts in Rajasthan which is now relaxed. Also, travel to other states by bus or train will require a pass, this is also applicable in curfew areas.

COVID-19: Seized Vehicles To Be Released Soon, Says Hyderabad Cops

– May 11, 2020

Vehicles seized for violations during the lockdown will be released, announced the Hyderabad police. The police said that owners need to pay a fine of Rs.500 before taking their vehicles back. The fine can be paid through several modes such as PayTM, Mee Seva or Phone Pe UPI services. They added that vehicles seized under the Epidemic Disease Act will be released only after a court order. Hyderabad cops seized more than 1.60 lakh vehicles during the lockdown which was announced to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the country. While the traffic police seized more than 50,000 vehicles, the civil police seized more than 1 lakh vehicles for violation of the lockdown rules. The police cautioned vehicles owners to continue to follow the strict lockdown rules to avoid vehicles being seized.

COVID-19: Auto Dealerships Begin Operations in India

– May 8, 2020

Two-wheeler and four-wheeler dealerships have begun operations in the country after 40 days of lockdown to contain the spread of COVID-19. Auto dealerships are being opened in areas which are not considered as risk zones. Car manufacturers such as Maruti Suzuki, Mahindra and Mahindra, Bajaj Auto, Hyundai, Honda Cars, Hyundai among others have opened their dealerships, others have begun for disinfection and fumigation purposes. Also, those who bought before the lockdown will get priority when it comes to delivery. Maruti Suzuki has already begun operations in about 600 dealerships and Hyundai has opened about 50 dealerships across the country. Most of these dealerships are opened in Goa, Karnataka, North East and Odisha especially in green zones and then in orange zones.

COVID-19: Odisha Government Launches Insurance Coverage for RTO Staffs and Officials

– May 7, 2020

The Government of Odisha has introduced a new insurance scheme for RTO staff and Officials involved in COVID-19 duty. The insurance cover is worth Rs.50 lakhs and will cover drivers and helpers of vehicles who are responsible for the transportation of returnees engaged in COVID-19 duties. Also, those who are posted at border check posts, railway stations and requisitioning of vehicles for transportation of stranded persons arriving from other states will also be eligible for the scheme.

COVID-19: More Than 30 Vaccines In The Works in India

– May 06, 2020

Top scientists of the country briefed the Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi that over 30 vaccines are being developed to fight the deadly COVID-19 (Coronavirus) in the country. At a meeting with the Task Force, the PM reviewed the current development of the vaccine. Out of the 30 vaccines being developed, about four are undergoing synthesis and examination in this category. The statement said that new vaccines are being developed by linking a high-performance computational approach with verification of the drug in the laboratory.

COVID-19: Telangana to Jharkhand Special Trains Announced for Migrant Workers

– May 05, 2020

Special trains from Telangana to Jharkhand were arranged by the railways to help migrant workers reach their homes. About 1200 migrant workers were ferried from Lingampally to Hatia, a first since the lockdown was announced. With a migrant workers crisis across the country due to the lockdown which has crippled the transport sector especially government-run railways and buses, state governments have been urging the Centre to address the issue. The special train from Telangana to Jharkhand left at 4.50 am on Friday and incidentally, the day was also the international labour day.

Lockdown Extended Until 17 May: MHA

– May 04, 2020

Under the Disaster Management Act 2005, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has issued an advisory to extend the lockdown by two weeks that is until 17 May 2020. The decision was taken to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country. Also, the ministry has issued guidelines to regulate activities during these two weeks based on the risk factors of the districts. This has been divided into Green, Orange and Red Zones. Activities such as industrial and construction activities are allowed in rural areas and a large number of activities have been allowed in Red Zones as well. And, considerable activities have been allowed in Orange and Green Zones.

COVID-19: Dedicated Helpline for Corona Warriors Launched by Rajasthan Police

– May 04, 2020

In an effort to help healthcare professionals, the Rajasthan Police has launched a dedicated helpline number for ‘Corona Warriors’. The initiative comes after several attacks on medical care professionals from different parts of the state. The dedicated number will help paramedical staff, ASHA workers and other medical staff to safeguard themselves involved in survey and screening of the novel coronavirus. To take up their grievances, nodal officers have been appointed to take up their case. They will share information with the Indian Medical Association and the state government. Those involved in attacking healthcare professionals will be booked under the Epidemic Disease Act and the Disaster Management Act.

Amazon Launches Amazon Pay Later in the Country

– May 02, 2020

Amazon has launched the Amazon Pay Later, a personal credit score service in the country. The feature offers instant interest-free credit score on all of the goods available on its Amazon app. The feature allows you to pay utility bills and buy groceries during the lockdown period. You can get up to a maximum of Rs.20,000 as instant interest-free credit. It even allows you to repay the credit in monthly instalments of up to 12 months. Also, bills can be converted to EMI with an interest rate ranging from 1.5% to 2%.

COVID-19: Works in National and State Begin In Zones Other Than Red Zones in Karnataka

– April 30, 2020

Works in national and state highways in Karnataka will be taken up in areas other than red zones. Deputy Chief Minister Govind Karjol confirmed the directive stating that 16 out of 18 projects of the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) have begun in the state and state highway projects numbering 43 have started. He added that the construction of storage of water below bridge structure has also begun by the state. He said that necessary steps are being followed as per the directives of the Centre to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus during the construction by workers.

COVID-19: MNCs in Gurgaon May Have To Work From Home Until July End

– April 28, 2020

The Gurgaon Metropolitan Development Authority said that MNCs, IT Enabled Services (ITES) and BPOs may have to work from home until the end of July. Part of the National Capital Region (NCR), Gurgaon is home to several MNCs, BPOS and ITES and is popularly known as the Millenium city. The district administration had issued an advisory early March directing IT companies and other MNCs to allow its employees to work from home due to the lockdown to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus. Now, the district administration wants to continue it until the end of July. While this might be challenging for industries and manufacturing sectors, the DA said that work from home should be followed as much as possible.

Swiggy, Aavin Partner To Deliver Dairy Products

– April 28, 2020

Food delivery aggregator Swiggy has tied up with Tamil Nadu Co-operative Milk Producers’ Federation which is known as AAVIN to deliver dairy products in the state. Swiggy will deliver Aavin products from 21 outlets across the city. Customers need to click on the Aavin store category under the groceries tab on Swiggy to place the order and get it delivered to their doorstep. About eight categories of Aavin are available for delivery through Swiggy. Customers can order Aavin products especially during this time of lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19: Google, Apple To Launch Tracking Tool Soon

– April 27, 2020

Tech giants Google and Apple have been working on a COVID-19 tracking tool in an effort to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus. Both the companies also said that they are putting stringent privacy protections in the tracking tool. They added that a developer’s version will also be launched. As per the tech companies, the tracking tool is a “two-phase exposure notification solution.” The tracker utilises the Bluetooth technology to help in contract tracking.

COVID-19: Curve Bends in Tamil Nadu and Haryana

– April 24, 2020

From the time the lockdown was announced in India, the doubling of cases increased from every four days to nine days currently. Compared to some of its neighbours, India has performed better and the trajectory of cases is much slower. While Maharashtra and Gujarat have witnessed the highest cases in the country so far, Tamil Nadu and Haryana have shown an improvement in bending the curve. While Maharashtra and Gujarat cases are doubling at nine and six days, respectively, Tamil Nadu and Haryana coronavirus cases are doubling at 19 and 17 days respectively.

COVID-19: Growth Slows Down in Most States in the Country

– April 23, 2020

When India went into lockdown to contain the spread of the deadly novel coronavirus, it had over 500 cases across the country. Currently, the figure stands at more than 18,500 cases and 590 deaths. In the last four weeks of lockdown, the growth of COVID-19 cases has slowed down in several states in India. While the numbers doubled every five days during the first week of lockdown, it has taken about 9 days to double in the fourth week of the lockdown. Except for Maharashtra and Gujarat, all other states have shown a decline in the number of coronavirus cases. Maharashtra currently has over 4,600 cases while it was 128 on the first day of the lockdown. In the case of Gujarat, it had 38 cases on the first day of lockdown and currently, it is at 2272 cases. India first went into a 21-day lockdown from 25 March 2020 which is now extended to 3 May 2020 to contain the transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 in the country.

Karnataka Creates Unified COVID-19 Portal

– April 21, 2020

An official release by the Karnataka Government states that as per the Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa direction a “Unified COVID-19 Portal” has been created for information and statistics about the deadly disease which has taken several lives in the last couple of months. Information such as statistics, awareness materials, advisories from the government, messages, fake news busters, helpline numbers, clinical centres and state war room analysis about COVID-19 will be updated in this new unified portal. The portal offers real-time dashboard-style information about positive COVID-19 cases, discharges and deaths as well as other information related to the pandemic.

COVID-19: Karnataka Announces Hotspot Districts in the State

– April 20, 2020

Karnataka has identified COVID-19 hotspots across 18 districts in the state. Of these eight districts have been declared as Red Zones from where the majority of cases have been reported. Among the hotspots, Bengaluru Urban, Belagavi, Mysuru, Kalaburgi, Dakshin Kannada, Bagalkot, Bidar, and Dharwad which have been declared as Red Zones. Other districts such as Hassan, Chamrajnagar, Kolar, Chikmagalur, Koppala, Shimoga, Ramanagara, Yadgiri and Raichur have been declared as Green Zones. The remaining zones have been declared as non-hotspot districts which include Mandya, Bengaluru Rural, Davangere, Ballari, Udupi, Tumakuru, Gadag and Kodagu. The COVID-19 war room in the state has revised the list with new hotspots in Bengaluru as BBMP said that hotspots are dynamic and keeps changing.

COVID-19: Government Notifies New Guidelines For Implementation During 2nd Lockdown

– April 15, 2020

The government of India has notified a new set of guidelines to be followed during the 2nd lockdown until 3 May 2020. Select activities will be allowed from 20 April 2020 in areas which are not specified as containment zones. All agricultural and horticultural activities which include farming operations, agencies engaged in procurement of agricultural products, including Mandis operated by the Agricultural Produce Market Committee MSP operations and shops of agriculture machinery will be functional. Movement of goods carriers and trucks with two drivers and a helper will remain functional during this period. Also, financial institutions and health-related services will be operational during this time. Additionally, all facilities in the supply chain of essential goods and eCommerce operations will be allowed to operate. Services provided by self-employed individuals such as IT repairs, electricians, plumbers, carpenters and motor mechanics will be allowed to operate in non-containment zones.

Punjab Announces Extension of Coronavirus Lockdown

– April 13, 2020

The state government of Punjab has announced the extension of the lockdown in the state which ends on 14 April 2020. The Punjab government announced that the lockdown will be extended till 1 May 2020. The government said that the decision was taken after apprehensions of community spread of COVID-19 and to stop overcrowding of Mandis in the wake of the wheat harvesting season. The Capt. Amrinder Singh led government said that the extension of the lockdown was required so that the burden of medical infrastructure does not increase beyond its capabilities. A multi-disciplinary task force has been set up by the Punjab government to find ways to exit the lockdown in a gradual manner.

COVID-19: Digital Platform To Train Frontline Corona Workers Launched by Centre

– April 9, 2020

The Indian government has launched an exclusive digital platform to train frontline corona workers. The Department of Personnel and Training, which launched the platform, said that through this platform they will offer specialised training and updates in handling the deadly novel coronavirus pandemic in the country. This will also help them prepare for the next stages of the pandemic. The digital platform, known as iGOT, will help train all healthcare warriors. The centre said that it understands the need to train second-line healthcare workers so that the country will be well-prepared to contain the virus that has affected several lives across the country. The primary healthcare professionals who will receive training are nurses, paramedics, doctors, hygiene workers, auxiliary midwives, technicians, state and central government officials, different types of police organisation, civil defence officials, National Cadet Corps, National Service Scheme, Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan, Bharat Scouts and Guides as well as other volunteers.


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