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The covid 19 pandemic also known as the coronavirus pandemic , is an ongoing pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 It was first identified in December 2019 in Wuhan, China. The World Health Organization declared the outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern in January 2020 and a pandemic in March 2020. As of 25 January 2021, more than 99.3 million cases have been confirmed, with more than 2.13 million deaths attributed to COVID-19.
Symptoms of COVID-19 are highly variable, ranging from none to severe illness. The virus spreads mainly through the air when people are near each other.[b] It leaves an infected person as they breathe, cough, sneeze, or speak and enters another person via their mouth, nose, or eyes. It may also spread via contaminated surfaces. People remain infectious for up to two weeks, and can spread the virus even if they do not show symptoms.
Recommended preventative measures include social distancing, wearing face masks in public, ventilation and air-filtering, hand washing, covering one’s mouth when sneezing or coughing, disinfecting surfaces, and monitoring and self-isolation for people exposed or symptomatic. Several vaccines are being developed and distributed. Current treatments focus on addressing symptoms while work is underway to develop therapeutic drugs that inhibit the virus. Authorities worldwide have responded by implementing travel restrictions, lock downs, workplace hazard controls, and facility closures. Many places have also worked to increase testing capacity and trace contacts of the infected.The responses to the pandemic have resulted in global social and economic disruption, including the largest global recession since the Great Depression. It has led to the postponement or cancellation of events, widespread supply shortages exacerbated by panic buying, agricultural disruption and food shortages, and decreased emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases. Many educational institutions have been partially or fully closed. Misinformation has circulated through social media and mass media. There have been incidents of xenophobia and discrimination againsChinese people and against those perceived as being Chinese or as being from areas with high infection rates.