COVID-19 pandemic is a global public health emergency crisis causing acute infectious respiratory disease, which has brought even the most powerful nations to their knees. COVID-19 has already claimed 883,782 lives. Around 9% or 20 lakh of Dhaka city residents could be COVID-19 positive with 78% of them showing no symptoms, said a study jointly conducted by the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control And Research (IEDCR) and International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b). The percentage is much higher than the figure provided by the health directorate of Bangladesh, which indicates there are many more undetected cases.
Bangladeshi scientist's stress on ecological balance
An internationally renowned medical microbiologist and recipient of the first-ever Independence Day Award of Bangladesh, the late Major General Mahmudur Rahman Choudhury was an eminent medical scientist and physician of Bangladesh. The late Professor Emeritus Dr Mahmudur Rahman Choudhury was a pioneer of immuno-electron microscopy in Bangladesh in 1978.
Professor Choudhury mentioned in his book 'Modern Medical Microbiology' in the section 'Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Diseases' that "the myth that infectious diseases are being controlled and are fading away has evidently been found to be incorrect. There exist definite indications that alterations, which we make in our lifestyles and environment, could have profound impacts on the dynamic biological changes in the microbial world. The results can be disastrous. It is quite obvious that microbes can strike us back whenever the delicate ecological balance is disturbed".
Professor Choudhury's prediction and a recent British epidemiologist's observation in July 2020 are similar. Professor Choudhury was correct years ago, in view of the fact that he speculated that this might happen if we do not keep the ecological balance intact. In other words, 'the ecological balance must not be disturbed'. Hence, it is evident that to eradicate this paradox of pandemic, the ecological balance needs to be restored in the global atmosphere, otherwise humans will suffer more in the future from microbes.
COVID-19 did not originate in China
Rather than originating in China, COVID-19 may have been lying dormant across the world until emerging under favourable environmental conditions, Professor Tom Jefferson from the Centre for Evidence Based Medicine at the University of Oxford said in July 2020 in the Science Focus. He has pointed to a string of recent discoveries of the virus's presence around the world before it emerged in Asia as growing evidence of its true origin as a global organism that was waiting for favourable conditions to finally emerge. Traces of COVID-19 were found in sewage samples from Spain, Italy and Brazil, which pre-date its discovery in China.
In 1918, around 30% of the population of Western Samoa died of the Spanish flu, and they had not had any communication with the outside world. "The explanation for this could only be that these agents do not come or go anywhere. They are always here and something ignites them, maybe human density or environmental conditions, and this is what we should be looking for," he added. Coronavirus traces found in Spanish sewage samples from March 2019, were reported by the Reuters in June 29 this year.
The writer is a Ph.D. Candidate at the University of Newcastle, Australia.