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ET Explains: Everything you need to know about the novel coronavirus
The deadly outbreak has claimed lives of over 8,000 people and infected nearly 200,000 globally. The WHO has declared it a pandemic.
- What is coronavirus?
The coronavirus is a family of viruses that can cause a range of illnesses in humans including common cold and more severe forms like SARS and MERS which are life-threatening. The virus is named after its shape which takes the form of a crown with protrusions around it and hence is known as coronavirus.
- How did the recent outbreak occur?
The recent outbreak of coronavirus is believed to have occurred in a market for illegal wildlife in the central Chinese city of Wuhan. Chinese health authorities and the WHO are investigating the outbreak of the recent coronavirus.
- Is the recent strain fatal?
Since it's a new strain, there is no specific vaccine that can treat it. However, according to the WHO, "many of the symptoms can be treated & therefore treatment based on the patient’s clinical condition". However, it has already killed over 8000 globally.
- What steps have been taken so far to check its spread?
The Chinese govt initially locked down Wuhan - the epicenter of the virus outbreak. However it was too late. The virus has spread to all continents now, except Antarctica.
- How is India responding to the outbreak?
India has expanded screening of international travellers. Few Indian travellers who were found with the coronavirus strain have been isolated and treated before their release.
- How has it affected the economy?
Worries are mounting that prolonged quarantines, supply chain disruptions and a sharp reduction in tourism and business travel could weaken the global economy or even cause a recession.