Coronavirus (COVID-19): An Overview
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) initially originated in the city of Wuhan, Central China, and subsequently spread throughout the world. From new strict handwashing regimens to cancelled events, from online grocery shopping to having to work from home, this quarantine period is without a doubt affecting everyone’s daily routines in some form or the other.
It is caused by a coronavirus, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). It belongs to a part of the coronavirus family Coronaviridae, consisting of a group of related viruses that cause diseases in mammals and birds, and shares about 80% of genetic similarity with the coronavirus that was responsible for the SARS outbreak in 2002-2003 and the MERS outbreak in 2012.
To date, the virus has caused a high rate of mortality, posing a serious threat to public health. Although there are no available clinically approved and commercially available vaccines or specific therapeutic drugs for Covid-19, exhaustive research is being conducted to develop effectual prevention and treatment strategies.
Currently, there are 88,603,204 confirmed cases of novel coronavirus infection worldwide, with a total death tally of 1,908,749, affecting 227 countries and territories across the globe. The top three countries affected by Covid-19 infection are the USA (22,137,009 cases), followed by India with 10,414,044 cases, and Brazil at number 3rd position with a total of 7,961,673 cases.
In India, 226,040 are active cases while 10,037,398 cases have recovered or been discharged. Currently, 35 states have reported confirmed cases of Covid-19, with Maharashtra topping the list (19,58,282 confirmed cases), followed closely by Karnataka (9,24,898 cases).
It is important to note that out of currently infected patients, 80% of patients are in mild condition while the rest are in serious or critical condition. More than 99% of the cases are now outside China, where it all started initially. Surprisingly, China seems to have controlled the infection.