All you need to know about the novel global coronavirus or 2019-nCOV outbreak.

The Coronavirus outbreak that started in the Chinese city of Wuhan in mid-December 2019, has according to official figures claimed 564 lives and 28,000 infections. While data leaked from the media giant, Tencent, indicates the figures range up to 27,000 deaths and 1.54 lakh infections. Most of these deaths have occurred in mainland China, but more than 272 people have been infected with the virus globally.

China is taking emergency measures to contain the virus, including putting cities on lockdown, suspending all forms of public transport, mass quarantine and shutting down public areas and tourist spots. Not just China, several countries are taking measures against the virus.

What is coronavirus?

Coronaviruses mainly circulate among animals but have been known to evolve and infect humans in the past as has been seen with SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome). The genome structure of the virus which is spreading in China is 70 percent similar to SARS and has been given the initial name of 2019-nCoV. The SARS outbreak in 2003 killed 774 people. 

What are the symptoms of coronavirus?

Reported symptoms have included fever in 90 percent of the cases, fatigue and dry cough in 80 percent, shortness of breath in 20 percent, with respiratory distress in 15 percent. Chest x-rays have revealed signs in both lungs. Apart from this, a large number of people have also been diagnosed with pneumonia.

How does coronavirus spread?

The virus, it is believed, originated at a seafood market in the city of Wuhan. The patients who initially reported sick were stallholders who worked at the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan. Though the modes of transmission are still unclear, there is evidence of human-to-human transmission. Additionally, it is estimated that an infected person can at least spread the virus to three to four healthy people.

Which countries have been affected by coronavirus?

Though concentrated mainly in China, several other countries have reported confirmed cases. These include Hong Kong, Australia, Malaysia, Germany, Macau, Canada, UAE, India, the Philippines, the UK, Italy, Russia, Belgium, Cambodia, Finland, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Nepal, France, and the United States. The highest number of confirmed cases outside mainland China have been reported in Japan (45) and Singapore (30).

Has coronavirus affected India?

Till now 3 confirmed cases have been reported from the state of Kerala. Out of these 2 are students who had returned from Wuhan while the other is a businessman. All three are reported to be in a stable condition. Besides the Indian government has evacuated a total of 640 students from Wuhan and these students are being kept under observation at Ram Manohar Lohia hospital in the national capital. Passengers arriving from China and other countries are undergoing thermal screening at six major Indian airports, including Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, and Bengaluru. In addition to this, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has suspended all China-India visas until further notice.

Has anyone in India tested positive for coronavirus?

3 Indian nationals have tested positive for coronavirus or 2019-nCOV. In addition to this, a total of 1,999 people have placed under quarantine in Kerala.

Is there a cure for coronavirus?

There are currently no vaccines available to protect you against the coronavirus. You may be able to reduce your risk of infection by doing the following:

– Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

– Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.

– Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

Has the outbreak also affected the economy of China?

The Chinese government has directed the closure of working and public spaces in 24 of its 31 provinces. These provinces represent 80% of the country’s GDP and 90% of the country’s exports. The outbreak has nearly stopped tourism in China. The Shanghai Stock Exchange principle index SSE Composite has fallen nearly 8%. The outbreak has also started effecting export-import operations to and from China. 

Image Credits: The Jakarta Post

Aniket Singh Chauhan

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With the era of Post-globalization dawning upon us, migration has become the most widely discussed and misunderstood issue across the world. 

Since the beginning of his presidential campaign, Donald Trump has been pressing for a wall to be built on the US-Mexico border, in order to prevent illegal immigration of Mexican workers into the States. Misinformation mixed with xenophobia led to people believing Trump and voting him to power in 2015. Since then, policies have been targeted to cease the flow of people across borders. But do people really want to leave?

Xenophobia is at its peak, thanks to populist leaders who keep adding fuel to the fire. Economic impacts of the same have been grossly miscalculated by the people. A survey of 22,500 native respondents from six countries revealed massive misperceptions about the number and composition of immigrants. In Italy, for example, the average perception of the share of immigrants is 26 per cent, while the actual number is close to 10 per cent. The share of certain communities is also overestimated by such respondents.

Aversion to immigrants stems from a basic concept of Economics, demand and supply. People think that an increase in the number of people seeking jobs would lead to a fall in the wage rate. While the logic seems fine on the outset, it is flawed to the core. First, immigration might result in an increase in labour supply, but it is also accompanied by an increase in demand for goods and services, which vacates better jobs for the natives. Second, people do not wish to move in the first place, owing to a number of reasons. There is a greater risk involved in leaving the land where they grew up, a lack of connections to begin a new life, and a feeling of complacency which makes them stay home.

Natives of the West believe that migrants arrive on their shores to escape dire levels of poverty in their own nations, which is false on many levels. Places like Iraq, Syria, or Yemen, where people seem desperate to leave, are far from being the poorest in the world. Per capita income of these countries is fairly high, which dismantles the belief held by people of first world countries. People trying to escape these nations do so due to the collapse of everyday normality at their home. As written by the Nobel prize winners of 2019, Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo, ‘(these people) were running from the mouth of the shark. And when that happens, it is almost impossible to stop them, because in their minds there is no home to return to’.

Most people do not get a chance to migrate, even if they wish to, due to lack of resources and a dependence on a lottery of some sort. And others prefer to stay at home. Risk is one factor. Potential migrants overestimate the risk of dying, which makes them stay in their own country. A lack of connections is another crucial factor. Most employers do not hire simply on the basis of the wage rate. Even if a person is willing to work at a rate lower than the minimum, the degree of scepticism won’t go down. An employer would hire on the basis of trust, which can only be established if there is a connection with the worker in some way. This is the reason why most people living in a commune flock to the same place, as the necessary connections have already been established as a result of continuous migration.
Migrants also carry a fear of failure with them, which makes them think twice before leaving. Like ordinary people, they wish to protect their image among their kin, and therefore choose to stay.

There is good evidence that people hate mistakes of their own making. A concept called “Loss Aversion”, given by Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky, tells us that people wish to avoid any loss that may worsen their life in comparison to the status quo. This explains why many buyers end up choosing expensive “extended warranties”. 

A factor that goes unaccounted for by most economists is the migrants’ affinity to their motherland. The comforts of home cannot be denied, even by a person who’s barely surviving somewhere. Warsan Shire, a British Somali poet wrote:


no one leaves home unless

home is the mouth of a shark

you only run for the border

when you see the whole city running as well

your neighbours running faster than you

breath bloody in their throats

the boy you went to school with

who kissed you dizzy behind the old tin factory

is holding a gun bigger than his body

you only leave home

when home won’t let you stay.

Feature Image Credits: Al Jazeera

Kuber Bathla

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The University of Delhi (DU) gives admission to students from not just India, but abroad as well. This article brings to you what international students feel about the University.

A lot of people talk about their perceptions of DU, but there is little mention of an international student’s perspective of the University. These are the students who have crossed miles just to be in a college of their choice. The motivation of coming to India for some is to experience cultural diversity, while for others is the ranking of the University.

After contacting a lot of students studying in various colleges of DU, belonging to countries all around the world, DU Beat found out about their mixed experiences. While some students praise the University for everything, others did not have their expectations met. What a student experiences might also depend on the college that they are studying in and the facilities they are provided with.

The problems that international students face are very different from the ones that the Indian students face. The issue of homesickness remains the most important issue. The fact that they do not find too many people belonging to the same place as them also becomes depressing at times. The language barrier also creates trouble. Culture differences constitute both advantage and disadvantage. While some people get to meet and be friends with people from different places and diverse cultural backgrounds, others feel excluded.

Naomie, a student at Miranda House shared her experience of being an international student. She said, “DU is a really good university and being a student at Miranda House has been very advantageous for me. I have seen a lot of professionalism here. The classes are well-arranged, and there are good teachers. Although, I was very scared in the beginning as I did not see many international students here. But, I have made many Indian friends here and have started feeling like home.”

She further added, “The administration staff is also very welcoming. However, I feel like not much is done for international students by the college. I haven’t seen any societies which involve international students. On events like freshers’ party, I have seen students dancing to the tune of Bollywood songs.”

Another student said, “In my college, a lot of professors deliver lectures mostly in Hindi which makes it very difficult for me. However, the University is good on an overall basis, but the language barrier is the biggest issue for me.”

Mohammad from the Gambia said, “My first experience in DU was that of cultural diversity. I met people and made friends from different cultures, different backgrounds, and different countries. when I joined the University, it was highly intriguing and fascinating for me to find people from such varied places and backgrounds.”

Another student from Kenya, Edwin Kipchirchir Kiptoo said, “After taking admission in DU, I have experienced meeting different types of friendly people and different type of Indian food. My best experience is being exposed to the vast cultural diversity among the students of the University.”

Thus, it can be said that the experiences of international students differ from person to person and college to college. The journey has its pros and cons. The inclusion of more and more international students is also important for making DU recognised globally. It is true that if the University wants to get more students from other countries, then it needs to start providing them with more and better facilities to make them feel included.


Feature Image Credits: Hindustan Times


Priya Chauhan.

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