In December 2019, China informed the World Health Organization (WHO) regarding the occurrence of cases of pneumonia of an unknown cause in Wuhan City in Hubei province. On 9 January 2020, WHO issued a statement saying Chinese researchers have made the preliminary determination of the virus as a novel coronavirus. The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is the disease caused by this novel coronavirus termed as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2; formerly called 2019-nCoV). Most people infected with this virus experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment.  Older people and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop severe illness.The best way to prevent and slow down transmission is to be well informed about the COVID-19 virus, the disease it causes and how it spreads.

The first case of the COVID-19 pandemic in India was reported in late January 2020. As of 10 May 2020, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) has confirmed a total of 62,939 cases, 19,358 recoveries (including one migration) and 2,109 deaths in the country.The infection rate of COVID-19 in India is reported to be 1.7, significantly lower than that of the worst affected countries on the globe. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to unfold. Although our knowledge of this virus is growing and new information is cropping up about the disease every day, like spread mechanism and transmission modules, evidence suggests that the disease can be contained. The majority of cases arose from close contacts of symptomatic cases. There is no evidence of children transmitting to adults. Approximately 80 per cent of cases are mild or moderate at diagnosis, 15 per cent are severe, and five per cent are critical. Children tend to have milder disease than adults.

The COVID-19 pandemic has hit the world severely and unexpectedly. Time for effective response is at the premium. It is the responsibility of every citizen to join hands to mitigate its impact by using evidence-based schemes and following guidance provided by the national authorities through various 24×7 mechanisms. The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is not the first, and certainly not the last to savagely hit the world. It is often said that global public health is driven by events in India. It is because of India’s demographic and technological strength. International development partners and various national public health institutes may be collaborated to augment India’s inherent capacity. It is time to contemplate harnessing their technical expertise in establishing a near-perfect system to combat any pandemic in the future.