The government has been quick to adopt a multipronged strategy, including issuance of clear guidelines to ministries for coordinated action, imposition of travel restrictions, suspension of visas, large-scale screening and contact tracing as well as regular dissemination of information to the public. Mounting a swift response involving all stakeholders in a country of India’s scale and diversity is undoubtedly commendable. With these measures in place we can be confident that India will be able to successfully limit the spread of the disease. Meanwhile in Italy, the number of coronavirus cases and deaths continue to surge. Doctors and nurses are under increasing pressure and are calling out for help while medical supplies run out rapidly. In the US, dozens of health-care workers have fallen ill with covid-19, and more are quarantined after exposure to the virus, an expected but worrisome development as the U.S. health system braces for a surge in infections. The need of the hour is to build a resilient public health system that can prevent diseases, promote good health and respond quickly to minimise loss of life when faced with an outbreak of this magnitude.