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In 2019, the coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) emerged as a highly transmittable, pathogenic viral infection. It led to a severe acute respiratory syndrome which was labelled as SARS-CoV-2 when first noticed in Wuhan, China and started spreading as a global pandemic [1Shereen MA, Khan S, Kazmi A, Bashir N, Siddique R. COVID-19 infection: Origin, transmission, and characteristics of human coronaviruses. J Adv Res 2020; 2491 Available from
nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7113610/]. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 as an International Public Health Emergency on 30th Jan, 2020. Till date, 104,404,959 cases of COVID-19 and 2,263,032 deaths have been reported worldwide [2Coronavirus Update (Live): 104,404,959 Cases and 2,263,032 Deaths from COVID-19 Virus Pandemic - Worldometer [Internet] [cited 2021 Feb 3] Available from: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/]. A number of scientific publications flooded throughout the world on modes of transmission of COVID-19 [1Shereen MA, Khan S, Kazmi A, Bashir N, Siddique R. COVID-19 infection: Origin, transmission, and characteristics of human coronaviruses. J Adv Res 2020; 2491 Available from
nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7113610/], knowledge and awareness about COVID -19 among health professionals [3Unnikrishnan B, Rathi P, Shenoy S, et al. Knowledge, Awareness and Perception of COVID-19 Pandemic Among Health Care Workers in a Tertiary Care Teaching Hospitals in Coastal South India. Open Pub Health J 2020; 3;14(1)], comparisons of COVID-19 with 1918 Flu Pandemic [4He D, Zhao S, Li Y, et al. Comparing COVID-19 and the 1918–19 influenza pandemics in the United Kingdom Int J Infect Dis [Internet] 2020 Sep 1 [cited 2021 Feb 3];98:67–70 Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science
/article/pii/S1201971220305117]. Gradually studies and reviews on different diagnostic techniques, including RT-PCR, CT Chest were reported [5Ai T, Yang Z, Hou H, Zhan C, Chen C, Lv W, et al. Correlation of chest CT and RT-PCR testing for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in China: A report of 1014 cases. Radiology 2020; 296(2): E32-40.]. Lots of work on possible modes of prevention and treatment were documented, including social distancing, Lockdown, antimalarial and antiviral drugs trials, convalescent plasma therapy [6Kumar SU, Kumar DT, Christopher BP, Doss CGP. The Rise and Impact of COVID-19 in India Front Med [Internet] 2020 [cited 2021 Feb 3];7 Available from: Available from:
/articles/10.3389/fmed.2020.00250/full-8Teixeira da Silva JA. Convalescent plasma: A possible treatment of COVID-19 in India. Med J Armed Forces India 2020; 76(2): 236-7. Available from:
7158785/]. Trials and effectiveness of chest physiotherapy on severe COVID-19 cases were reported [9Righetti RF, Onoue MA, Politi FVA, et al. Physiotherapy care of patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (covid-19)-A Brazilian experience. Clinics 2020; 75]. The short-term control measures for handling the pandemic like ‘lockdown’ of institutions and public places, restrictions on the trade and travel cannot be kept for a longer. Preventive public health measures like hand hygiene practices, masks, social distancing, quarantine, Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs), and other workplace interventions were suggested to reduce the transmission of the disease [10Adhikari SP, Meng S, Wu Y-J, et al. Epidemiology, causes, clinical manifestation and diagnosis, prevention and control of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) during the early outbreak period: a scoping review. Infect Dis Poverty 2020; 9(1): 29. [http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40249-020-00646-x] [PMID: 32183901] ].
Till November 2020, hardly any promising solution was available for clinical treatment of COVID-19. Also, effective prevention strategies which were earmarked against human coronaviruses proved to be futile. The researchers continued to develop efficient therapeutic strategies to tackle the battle against novel coronaviruses. Some of the broad-spectrum antivirals which were used against influenza, SARS and MERS coronaviruses in the past were re-evaluated. Trials of Remdesivir, Lopinavir, Ritonavir, and Oseltamivir were reported [1Shereen MA, Khan S, Kazmi A, Bashir N, Siddique R. COVID-19 infection: Origin, transmission, and characteristics of human coronaviruses. J Adv Res 2020; 2491 Available from
nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7113610/]. Many companies around the world were struggling to develop an effective vaccine against COVID-19. Issues of need for rapid animal and human trials popped-up. News on questionable efficacy and effectiveness of vaccines developed by China flashed. In these circumstances, India declared the launch of its indigenously developed vaccines [11Yadav P, Ella R, Kumar S, et al. Remarkable immunogenicity and protective efficacy of BBV152, an inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccine in rhesus macaques [Internet] In Review; 2020 Available from: https://www.researchsquare.com/article/rs-65715/v1-13Vaccine information, ICMR New delhi - COVID-19 Vaccine Available from: https://vaccine.icmr.org.in/covid-19-vaccine] and the whole world was looking towards the mass vaccination campaign against COVID-19 in India.
Amidst all this situation, prevention still remains a mainstay in COVID-19 epidemic and WASH is a key to the prevention of further outbreaks. WASH is the collective terminology for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene. The role of provision of safe water, proper sanitation and hygienic conditions is evident in protecting human health during all infectious disease outbreaks. Consistent practice of applicable WASH strategies and waste management at community, household, workplace and health care facilities can prove to be the effective prevention modality for human-to-human transmission of the SARS-CoV-2. As the vaccination campaign moves on, the immunity at the community level and herd immunity will help to decode the future scenario. Challenges are expected to be posed due to changes in viral strains. So the preventive measures and vaccination need to go hand in hand with continuous vigilance. Close follow-up of patients and vaccinated individuals should be ascertained to ensure the prevention of upsurgence of this pandemic. Any complications and adverse events in cases and vaccinated individuals need to be attended to, investigated, handled and reported carefully. Effective public health interventions need the contribution of human, animal and environmental health partners. Human health care professionals, animal health professionals, environmentalists and other experts from related fields need to come on a common platform; discuss, plan and sourceorate on the key prevention activities. One Health Approach is the critical key to control future pandemics [14One Health Basics | One Health | CDC 2020 Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/onehealth/basics/index.html,15Mackenzie JS, Jeggo M. The one health approach why is it so important? Trop Med Infect Dis 2019; 4(2) Available from:
Unnikrishnan B, Rathi P, Shenoy S, et al. Knowledge, Awareness and Perception of COVID-19 Pandemic Among Health Care Workers in a Tertiary Care Teaching Hospitals in Coastal South India. Open Pub Health J 2020; 3;14(1)
Righetti RF, Onoue MA, Politi FVA, et al. Physiotherapy care of patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (covid-19)-A Brazilian experience. Clinics 2020; 75
Adhikari SP, Meng S, Wu Y-J, et al. Epidemiology, causes, clinical manifestation and diagnosis, prevention and control of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) during the early outbreak period: a scoping review. Infect Dis Poverty 2020; 9(1): 29. [http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40249-020-00646-x] [PMID: 32183901]
Ella R, Reddy S, Jogdand H, et al. Safety and immunogenicity clinical trial of an inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, BBV152 (a phase 2, double-blind, randomised controlled trial) and the persistence of immune responses from a phase 1 follow-up report [Internet] Infectious Diseases (except HIV/AIDS); 2020 Dec [cited 2021 Feb 3] Available from: http://medrxiv.org/lookup/doi/10.1101/2020.12.21.