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India may have only three confirmed cases of coronavirus but Indians aren’t taking any chances

Manavi Kapur
By Manavi Kapur

Culture and lifestyle reporter

From our Obsession

Because China

Even small changes in China have global effects.

The global coronavirus outbreak has put Indians on guard.

Over 70% of Indians say they are alert and taking necessary precautions against Covid-19, the disease spread by the novel coronavirus strain, according to a survey conducted by LocalCircles, a community-led social media engagement platform.

LocalCircles received 40,000 responses in all from participants based in tier-1, -2, and -3 cities in India.

So far, the country has had three confirmed cases of the coronavirus. All the three patients, from the southern Indian state of Kerala, have fully recovered.

Six Indian nationals onboard the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship have also tested positive. The ship, in Japan, has become a hotbed for the virus, with 454 people onboard testing positive for the disease.

The numbers in China—the epicentre of the epidemic—are far more alarming, having crossed 70,000, with over 1,800 fatalities. The US has 15 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus. The World Health Organization has declared it as a public health emergency.

The spread of the Covid-19 disease globally could throw a spanner in the works of Indians’ holiday plans. For 31% of Indians, travel plans are now contingent on how the situation develops globally.

National insecurity

Indians, according to the LocalCircles survey, also expect the government to more stringently monitor travellers coming to India from Singapore, Hong Kong, and mainland China.

Given the current situation, several Indians also feel that even those who are screened must follow up to find out if they develop Covid-19 symptoms later. As much as 53% feel the government is currently not doing enough to keep tabs on travellers from southeast Asian countries.

Friendly neighbour

At the same time, Indians want their government to continue being a world leader in humanitarian efforts. Nearly 83% of the respondents felt that India should ramp up production of facial tissues, masks, toilet paper, and drugs and supply them to countries in need.

Closer home, businesses are feeling the heat of the contagion. As much as 16% of Indians say their businesses have either suffered due to erratic supply and increased costs, or a decrease in demand because of the outbreak.

Want a calm, rational, even curious approach to coronavirus? We’ve got an email for that.