The coronavirus is spreading at an alarming rate and the world breathes a sigh of relief that so far, an airborne spread hasn’t been reported yet for COVID-19.
Last Thursday, every 3 minutes, somebody in New York died of the coronavirus. New York particularly has seen the disease spread exponentially, but across the world, deaths are occurring at alarming rates as well.
As the number of deaths continues to increase, and the coronavirus has been officially declared a pandemic, countries the world over are being forced to step up their efforts to bring the virus under control.
Lots of restrictions introduced
Restrictions in many countries have already been introduced to foreigners traveling into countries and some have banned all foreigners entering by means of air travel. Many countries have closed their borders too and they’re adopting other sweeping measures to contain this deadly coronavirus.
They’ve closed schools and universities, and restaurants and bars have had to close their doors. Businesses have closed and governments are instructing their citizens to adhere to social distancing rules to curb the virus and to stay home.
As cases increase, world leaders such as Donald Trump have had to change their attitudes toward the threat of COVID-19, and casual dismissals about it have changed to immediate mobilization.
While a country like Singapore earned praise for its containment of COVID-19, nobody can predict the ways of the virus. Things have changed and the country will go into lockdown now following a spike in cases.
Transmission of the virus can’t be stopped, but it can be slowed down. This will assist healthcare systems to cope with the increased demand on their burdened services.
The public is expected to practice social distancing, to do frequent hand washing, not to constantly touch the face, follow cough and sneeze etiquettes and to sanitize hot-spot surfaces.
Unfortunately, the public gets mixed information. Authorities change their ideas on facemasks every day, and even healthcare professionals don’t know who to trust for reliable information.
Trump said, ‘I won’t wear a mask’, but he and other world leaders have now urged their people to wear masks before they leave home.
The message about wearing face masks has been confusing, since politicians and public health authorities have previously claimed masks don’t help.
Slowing the spread of the virus has several benefits and one is that it can help delay the peak outbreak and reduce the burden it places on health services.
A long way from controlling the virus
The coronavirus is a public emergency and yet medical experts don’t fully comprehend the nature of the virus. The world is therefore still a long way from controlling the coronavirus and high human death tolls may still be evident in the months ahead.
World leaders and medical experts don’t really know the best course of action to take, especially when there isn’t going to be a vaccine anytime soon.
Other interventions to stop the spread of the disease include early detection of the disease. The virus started in China and scientists there were able to quickly isolate the virus, sharing information with the international research community. Their quick action was able to accelerate global efforts to develop testing kits and therapies.
That speed of detection is critical when responding to outbreaks. These interventions can be far more effective and have a greater impact when introduced swiftly.
As the pandemic continues its cycle of destruction, governments around the world face difficult decisions about how best to prevent the disease from spreading. It’s not just up to governments because without people co-operating and adhering to the strategies, the rules in place won’t be effective.
We all have an essential role to play in slowing the spread of the coronavirus. Small changes in human behaviour can all help to slow the spread of the virus as the world waits for scientists to develop a vaccine.
Doctors and public health experts are constantly providing information to the public on how to protect themselves and the community. They provide constant communication and guidelines on what to do now and in the future to curb the spread of this frightening virus.