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Effect of Corona Virus( COVID-19 ) on Population Health

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The ongoing severe acute respiratory syndrome–coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic has caused nearly 500,000 detected cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) illness and claimed over 20,000 lives worldwide as of 26 Mar 2020. Experience from China, Italy, and the United States demonstrates that COVID-19 can overwhelm even the healthcare capacities of well-resourced nations. With no pharmaceutical treatments available, interventions have focused on contact tracing, quarantine, and social distancing.

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As the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic sweeps across the world, it is causing widespread concern, fear and stress, all of which are natural and normal reactions to the changing and uncertain situation that everyone finds themselves in. The issue facing each and every one of us is how we manage and react to the stressful situation unfolding so rapidly in our lives and communities. Here we can draw on the remarkable powers of strength and cooperation that we also fortunately possess as humans. And that is what we must try to focus on to respond most effectively to this crisis as individuals, family and community members, friends and colleagues. WHO takes the impact of the crisis on people’s mental health very seriously and is monitoring the situation together with national authorities, while providing information and guidance to governments and the public. With the disruptive effects of COVID-19 – including social distancing – currently dominating our daily lives, it is important that we check on each other, call and video-chat, and are mindful of and sensitive to the unique mental health needs of those we care for

Our anxiety and fears should be acknowledged and not be ignored, but better understood and addressed by individuals, communities and governments.

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For countries to secure health-care services for the most susceptible individuals, many people have adopted policies that restrict physical contact by banning events, sizing limits for group gatherings, and even issuing stay-at-home orders

Governments and health authorities are pleading for individual responsibility in avoiding all unnecessary risks for infection with or spread of SARS-CoV-2. During these times, the discussion around human rights and personal freedom, democracy, social responsibility, and public health action are put to the test. Amid the pandemic, it is difficult to agree with the argument made by Wikler that “if people know they are taking risks but accept them as the price of pursuing goals to which they assign higher priority, then it is not the business of public health to insist that health be valued above all”. This argument might be true under different circumstances, but now, irrational behaviour in non-compliance with COVID-19 policies, which might be motivated by misperception of risks6 or other personal priorities, allows a so-called free rider problem (May T, 2007). This issue has been widely discussed in the context of vaccination, but it can also occur during the COVID-19 outbreak by deliberately neglecting precautions and protective behaviour (Buchanan JM, 1968).

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Briefly, genetic analysis early in the outbreak of COVID-19 in China revealed that the virus was similar to, but distinct from, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV), but the closest genetic similarity was found in a coronavirus that had been isolated from bats. However, the availability of more evidence in the past month has shown major differences between the outbreaks and characteristics of COVID-19 compared with those of SARS-CoV.

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Wikler D. Personal and social responsibility for health. Ethics Int Aff. 2002; 16: 47-55

May T. Public communication, risk perception, and the viability of preventive vaccination against communicable diseases. Bioethics. 2005; 19: 407-421

Buchanan JM. The demand and supply of public goods. vol 5. Rand McNally, Chicago1968

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