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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 151  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 147-159

The 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic: A review of the current evidence


1 Translational Global Health Policy Research Cell, Indian Council of Medical Research, New Delhi, India
2 Department of Microbiology, Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi, India
3 Translational Health Science & Technology Institute, Pali, Haryana, India
4 World Health Organization, South-East Asia Regional Office, New Delhi, India
5 Translational Global Health Policy Research Cell; CG Pandit Chair (Medical), Indian Council of Medical Research, New Delhi, India
6 Division of Epidemiology & Communicable Diseases, Indian Council of Medical Research, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr Pranab Chatterjee
Translational Global Health Policy Research Cell, Indian Council of Medical Research, New Delhi 110 029
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijmr.IJMR_519_20

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A novel coronavirus (nCoV) spillover event, with its epicenter in Wuhan, People's Republic of China, has emerged as a public health emergency of international concern. This began as an outbreak in December 2019, and till February 28, 2020, there have been 83,704 confirmed cases of novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) globally, with 2,859 deaths, resulting in an overall case fatality rate of 3.41 per cent (95% confidence interval 3.29-3.54%). By this time (February 28, 2020) 58 countries or territories and one international conveyance (Diamond Princess Cruise Ship) were affected. As a part of the global response to manage and contain the pandemic, major emphasis was placed on generating research intelligence to guide evidence-based responses to contain the virus, which was named severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), owing to its genetic similarities with the SARS virus. This review summarizes the emerging evidence which can help guide the public health response, particularly in India. Key areas have been identified in which research needs to be conducted to generate critical intelligence for advising prevention and control efforts. The emergence of SARS-CoV-2 has once again exposed the weaknesses of global health systems preparedness, ability to respond to an infectious threat, the rapidity of transmission of infections across international borders and the ineffectiveness of knee-jerk policy responses to emerging/re-emerging infectious disease threats. The review concludes with the key learning points from the ongoing efforts to prevent and contain COVID-19 and identifies the need to invest in health systems, community-led response mechanisms and the need for preparedness and global health security.


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