Coronavirus updates: Some good news amid a sense of gloom
Coronavirus Pandemic

Coronavirus updates: Some good news amid a sense of gloom

Acts of kindness, innovative ideas, medical breakthroughs. There's still much to keep us hopeful.

By NL Team

Published on :

This is the first pandemic to be live tweeted. Yup, we are talking about the coronavirus that has wreaked havoc across the world.

We are waking up every day to live updates from Spain, Italy, Iran, the UK, the US and, indeed, India, each more dire than the last. For those of you who are self-isolating — and we hope that’s most of you — this information overload can get stressful. So, we at Newslaundry have decided to put up quick updates every day on some positive developments related to COVID-19 from around the world.

The aim is not to let our guard down. The battle for South Asia has only begun and we are in for a long haul. In India, our healthcare workers are woefully underprepared, and just this afternoon the death toll rose to 10. The latest casualty was from Mumbai.

But it’s important to remember that there’s a lot to be hopeful about — big and small acts of human kindness, innovate ideas, medical breakthroughs. Basically stuff to let you know that we shall, well, overcome.

Here we go.

March 26

Maharashtra’s first coronavirus patients test negative

While the growing number of coronavirus infections around the world has got us all breaking into a cold sweat, there are many cases of recovery that have gone unnoticed. A recent one is that of a Pune couple, the first coronavirus patients in Maharashtra. Both were discharged from the hospital yesterday after testing negative twice for the deadly virus.

"Their first samples after 14 days of isolation period tested negative on Monday. The repeat samples were sent in the next 24 hours on Tuesday and in that also, the couple tested negative," an official from the Pune civic body's health department said.

Significant improvement in air quality

Apart from containing the spread of coronavirus, the nation-wide lockdown seems to have another important silver lining: the AQI is all major cities across the country is improving by the day. The levels of nitrogen oxide, a vehicular pollutant, have dropped by almost 45 per cent in Mumbai and Pune. In Ahmedabad, it fell by 50 per cent.

In fact today, on the second day of the lockdown, Delhi, the world’s most polluted city, has an AQI of 67, better than Mumbai that has an AQI of 79.

March 25

Teachers lead the way

Rajasthan's education minister, Govind Singh Dotasra, announced that the state's teachers and officials from the education department will donate one day's salary towards the Chief Minister's Relief Fund's COVID-19 mitigation fund. According to Dotasra, this amounts to nearly Rs 80 crore.

Rajasthan has about 33 positive cases of COVID-19 so far. Chief minister Ashok Gehlot announced a total lockdown in the state to contain the spread of the virus.

Network18's journalists and employees also decided to voluntarily contribute one day's salary to the Prime Minister's Relief Fund to support daily wage earners who've been hit the hardest by the pandemic.

Cop defends tenants against racist landlord

Horrible reports have been cropping up of racism directed towards people from northeast states of India as a fall-out of the pandemic. In Delhi earlier this week, a woman from Manipur claimed she was called "coronavirus" and spat on by goons in North Campus.

In Gujarat, a landlord reportedly asked tenants from the northeast to vacate their rooms. That's where this policeman stepped in.

He told the women he'd "reprimanded" whoever asked them to vacate and that "any landlord will not set foot inside your homes unless they have permission from me".

He didn't stop there. "You all are citizens of our country. Taking your responsibility is our work. You should not be scared of anyone at all. You give us one call...I'll also leave my police(men) behind right now. They will ensure your safety."

In the video, the cop also tells the tenants he's giving them his phone number, and the phone numbers of his staff. "You give us a call and our vehicle will be here in two minutes. You are going to stay here. You're not going anywhere. No need to be scared or get tensed."

March 24

Brave granny

A 95-year-old lady in Italy has become the oldest person in the country to beat COVID-19. The virus has been deadly for the elderly in Italy. The Daily Mail notes that Alma Clara Corsini was rushed to a hospital on March 5 after she showed symptoms. She has, however, made full recovery. Corsini told Italian newspaper Gazzetta Di Modena: "Yes, yes, I'm fine. They were good people who looked after me well, and now they'll send me home in a little while."

Photo: The Daily Mail
Photo: The Daily Mail

According to Reuters, some 41 percent of all those who died were aged between 80-89, with the 70-79 age group accounting for a further 35 percent. The death toll in Italy till Sunday stood at 5,476.

Hope at the end of the tunnel

Michael Levitt, a Nobel Laureate and Stanford biophysicist, has predicted that the worst of the COVID-19 havoc may be over sooner than later. Levitt had accurately predicted that the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in China would end up around 80,000, with about 3,250 deaths. As of March 16, China had counted a total of 80,298 cases and 3,245 deaths. A piece in LA Times notes that Levitt “analysed 78 countries with more than 50 reported cases of COVID-19 every day and sees ‘signs of recovery’”.

“Numbers are still noisy but there are clear signs of slowed growth.”

Levitt also says social-distancing is key — particularly the ban on large gatherings. “This is not the time to go out drinking with your buddies.”

There, you’ve heard it. Stay home, stay safe, and WASH YOUR HANDS.