COVID-19 or the novel coronavirus pandemic that’s wrapped the world in chaos has had adverse effects on every aspect of human life. The economy is in shambles, travel and tourism is practically zero, and healthcare all around the globe with about one and a half million already infected (at the time of writing this) is suffering.
In India, while we managed to contain the spread of the virus initially, the future is still pretty uncertain and the fact of the matter is we are under-equipped to deal with a challenge of this size.
COVID-19 belongs to the SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) category of viruses and while the SARS outbreak of 2003-4 took over seven hundred lives, COVID-19 has already claimed eighty thousand and the numbers keep counting. Much like the name suggests the virus attacks the respiratory system and shares some symptoms with the flu. India has 44,000 respirators for a population of 1.35 billion. The Metro-cities are stacked and rustic areas are still pretty ill-equipped to deal with infections. It is a point in time where we need to take extreme precautions on individual and group levels. Following social distancing and practicing self-isolation as much as possible is the key to successfully avoiding a catastrophic outcome in this time of need.
Hospitality businesses such as hotels, resorts and restaurants have seen an obvious decline in footfall, and business is suffering losses. The world seems to be moving towards an inevitable recession much like the great recession of 2008 but much like we overcame it, we should come out a stronger economy out of this one as well.
Hospitals and the medical staff are lacking in PPE, PPE is the personal protective equipment issued to any army or medical services professional to keep them from getting contaminated and infected, from a set of the bodysuit to a simple surgical mask and gloves all come under PPEs and the stocks are running low with people buying them out amidst mass panic caused by the virus. This could mean life or death for a healthcare professional that is risking his life for saving someone else’s.
Moreover as formerly mentioned, the space to house the infected (as the virus is highly infectious and can transmit in close proximity) is very limited. We have a handful of hospitals to quarantine potential patients and help treat those that are tested positive and require immediate medical attention.
Humanity seems to band together in desperate times and survive as a society, we’ve witnessed it before and we’re fortunately witnessing it now. In their own way of helping multiple hotels and resorts are joining the fight against coronavirus. They’ve opened their gates to set up mass quarantine zones for patients and temporary ICUs.
The state and the central governments are using these resorts, hotels and even the marriage halls to house patients or potential carriers that could possibly be infected. As many as 1500 patients can be fitted into these establishments and ICUs set up in these hotels can help save many lives. Many healthcare professionals that are out-stationed or deployed away from their local regions have also been offered a place of rest in these hotels and resorts.
Whatever services they have available with them are completely opened to the government’s efforts and help is being extended to the hospital staff and the patients in the form of wellness equipment, food, shelter and other intermediary services. Even the transportation of the patients is supported by these hotels and resorts. International hotel franchises like Hilton, Marriott, IHG, Hyatt, Wyndham, Club Mahindra and even The four seasons resort chain have come forward to help fight against the coronavirus.
There are isolation wards needed everywhere around the country currently with hotspots popping up with infected people that need to be quarantined and prevent other people from getting infected. India has been struggling with healthcare for a while. It’s unwise to fret over the past right now. An encouraging sight to see right now is people coming together and helping keep the country safe. We’ve been dealing with COVID-19 very well so far and it’s safe to assume if we all do our part we will be just alright.