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  • Jan 12, 2019

All you need to know about coronavirus cases in India | India News ...
All you need to know about coronavirus cases in India | India News …

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All the interest in life has stopped, Mahatma Gandhi, battling nasty flu in 1918, said the trust at a retreat in the western Indian state of Gujarat.

highly contagious has swept through the ashram in Gujarat where Gandhi lived 48 years, four years after he returned from South Africa. He rested, stuck to a liquid diet for a “protracted and first long illness” in his life. When news of his illness, a local newspaper wrote :. “Life Gandhi did not belong to him – it belongs to India”

On the outside, the deadly flu, which slipped through a ship to return troops docked in Bombay (now Mumbai) in June 1918, hit by India. This disease, according to health inspector JS Turner, come “like a thief in the night, which is the rapid onset and dangerous”. The second wave of the epidemic began in September in southern India and spread along the coastline.

influenza killed between 17 and 18 million Indians, more than all the casualties in the First World War. India bears the burden fairly death – lost 6% of its people. More women – relatively malnourished, confined in a residence unhygienic and ill-ventilated, and care for the sick – die than men. pandemics are believed to have infected a third of the world’s population and is claimed to be between 50 and 100 million people.

Gandhi and his colleagues at the ashram fever lucky to recover. In the arid countryside of northern India, the famous writer and poet of Hindi language, Suryakant Tripathi, better known as Nirala, lost his wife and several members of his family for the flu. My family, he wrote, “disappeared in the blink of an eye”. He found the river Ganges “swollen with corpses”. Body piled up, and there was not enough firewood to cremate them. To make matters worse, the rain failed to cause drought and famine-like conditions, leaving people malnourished and weak, and push them into the cities, fueling the rapid spread of the disease.

To be sure, the medical reality is very different now. Although there is still no cure, scientists have mapped the genetic material of coronavirus, and there is the promise of anti-viral drugs and vaccines. 1918 flu occurred in the pre-antibiotic era, and there is simply not enough medical equipment to provide the critically ill. Also the Western medicine is not widely accepted in India then and most people rely on the original drug.

However, it seems that there are some striking similarities between the two pandemics, separated by a century. , And there may be some lessons that are relevant for the study of the flu, and the response careless for it

An outbreak in Bombay, a crowded city, is the source of the spread of this infection at the time – this is something that virologists are afraid now , With more than 20 million people, Bombay is the most populous city in India and Maharashtra, the state in which it is located, has reported the highest number of cases coronivirus in this country.

At the beginning of July 1918, 230 people died from the disease every day, up nearly three times from the end of June. “The main symptoms are high temperature and pain in the back and complaints lasted three days,” The Times of India reported, adding that “almost every house in Bombay has some inmates who came down with a fever”. Workers stay away from offices and factories. more Indian adults and children became infected from the European population. The newspapers advising people not to spend time outside and stay at home. “The particular drug,” wrote The Times of India, “is to go to bed and do not worry”. People warned the spread of disease “especially through human contact with infected secretions way from the nose and mouth”.

“In order to avoid one of the attacks must abstain from all places where there is overcrowding and the consequent risk of infections such as fairs, festivals, theaters, schools and classrooms general, cinema, parties entertainment, crowded railway carriage etc., “the paper said. People are advised to sleep in the open rather than in poorly ventilated rooms, have a nutritious diet and getting exercise.

“Above all,” The Times of India added, “do not worry too much about the disease”.

colonial authorities differ on the source of infection. healtOfficial Turner h believe that the people in the boat docked fever has brought to Bombay, but the government insisted that the crew has caught the flu in the city itself. “This has been a characteristic response from the authorities, to attribute any epidemics that they can not control to India and what is always called ‘poor health’ of India,” observes a medical historian Mridula Ramanna in her Master to learn how to Bombay coped with the pandemic.

Then a government report bemoaned the state of the Indian government and the urgent need to extend and reform it. Newspaper complained that the officials remained in the hills during the emergency, and that the government has thrown people “in the hands of maintenance”. Sweeper hospital in Bombay, according to Laura Spinney, author Pale Rider: The Spanish Flu in 1918 and How to Change the World, stay away from British soldiers recovered from the flu. “The sweepers have memories of the British response to an outbreak of plague that killed eight million Indians between 1886 and 1914.”

“The colonial government also paid the price for long indifference to indigenous health, because they are really equipped to deal with the disaster,” said Ms. Spinney. “Also, there is a shortage of doctors because many have gone before the war.”

Finally, NGOs and volunteers joined the response. They set up dispensaries, the bodies removed, cremation is set, opened a small hospital, patients treated, collect the money and ran the center to distribute clothes and medicines. Residents formed the anti-influenza committee. “Never before, perhaps, in the history of India, have members who are educated and more fortunately placed society, advanced in large numbers to help their brothers who are poorer in time of distress,” says a government report.

Now, as the country battles a deadly infection of others, the government has responded quickly. But, as a century ago, civilians will play a key role in limiting the spread of virus’. And as the case of coronavirus hike, this is something India should be kept in mind.

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