This refers to the editorial "Coping with coronavirus" (March 13). Our country has a pathetic record in disaster management. It is imperative that the government handles the coronavirus outbreak as effectively as possible. Though this virus has mainly spread in four countries — China, South Korea, Iran and Italy — in the last few days, the patient count in India has increased, and cases are being reported from different parts of the country. The government's blanket ban on tourist visas from all countries is a very sensible move. The Delhi government has closed down schools, colleges and cinemas till March 31 as a precautionary measure. The government's priority should be to restrict the mortality rate.
I second your concern that in a month, the number of cases has increased from three to 73. We also need to realise that it was bound to increase as people were coming to India from these locations without being aware they were carrying the virus. The government must do a few things without delay. First and foremost, it must try to stop panic as deaths due to other reasons could also be construed as death due to coronavirus. Clear communication is key and as far as wearing masks, it should be clearly communicated through all outlets whether they serve any purpose or not.
Bal Govind, Noida
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