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Exclusives - 06 April, 2020

‘China must tell ‘raw truth’ of the deadly pathogen to the world’

A US survivor of COVID-19 wants China to tell the deadly pathogen's "raw truth" to the world so that scientists and doctors could find its cure... #Chinamusttellrawtruth...

Washington: An eminent Indian-American attorney and survivor of COVID-19 wants China to tell the deadly pathogen's "raw truth" to the world so that scientists and doctors could find its cure, saying nobody will go out until a vaccine is available.

New York has emerged as the epicentre of coronavirus in the US. By Sunday, more than 1.2 lakh people have tested positive for COVID-19. The city has reported more than 4,150 fatalities, the highest in the US and more than China, from where it all started in November-December time frame last year.

"I wish for humanity to survive this deceptively friendly coronavirus. I expect China to tell all - the raw truth - so every nations, scientists and doctors, not just our hero Dr Anthony Fauci can use ‘open source’ data and find a vaccine as soon as possible," said New York-based attorney Ravi Batra, who and his family recently recovered from COVID-19 which has killed nearly 70,000 globally.

"Having talked to death, I feel energised to do good as never before," he said. Along with him, his wife Ranju and daughter Angela tested positive. "Until a vaccine is available, nobody is going out to work, play or go to school. The economy, national, regional and global we knew is dead, it’s not coming back," he told PTI.

Earlier this week, he engaged in a Twitter war with China's ambassador to the UN Zhang Jun. "Thanks to the joy of seeing Ranju and Angela daily, spending whatever waking time together, accepting dearest (Union Minister) Hardeep''s (Singh Puri) daily booster call, and the tsunami of prayers - we are alive today. President Donald Trump was right: with this lockdown, people will discover their family again.

A New Yorker, which is the hub of global activities, Batra now has doubts over the continuation of globalisation in its current format. "We are going to see global supply lines become domestic. Ricardo’s ''Comparative Advantage'' principle is dead in these pandemic days. Our ventilators have parts made all over the world. This will stop. We will make our ventilators and N95 masks in the good ole USA.

"Export-based economies will shudder. Globalisation is the OBOR for pandemics and that too must be disrupted for public health reasons," he said.

The One Belt One Road (OBOR) is a pet project of Chinese President Xi Jinping, focussing on improving connectivity and cooperation among Asian countries, Africa, China and Europe.

"Let honour and humility, not greed and arrogance, define the brave new world after coronavirus is whipped, even as our casualties will be enormous during this near-Biblical war with Mother Nature," Batra said.

Not aware of when he got infected with coronavirus, Batra said all he knows is that on March 14 he not only had fever, but a strange feeling in body.

On March 20, he received report saying they all tested positive. The doctor prescribed him Plaquenil, and Zpak for all three of them.

"During the 104.3 fever days, when I was on fire and was putting ice cubes in my eyeballs, head and wrists to cool my blood, I rejected Ranju'’s calls to go to the hospital - as I knew our home was cleaner and had fresh air from Long Island Sound. These fire days lasted 2-3 days, and I was richly aware that death was waiting outside my door for me," he said, adding that after sixteen days, he hit 98.6 degrees and became fever free.

"Since then, we’ve continued to remain in quarantine and self-isolation; which means we sleep in separate bedrooms and have separate individual bathrooms.

"Even when we sit around the dining table for meals, we maintain social distance of 6-10 feet," Batra added.

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