COVID-19: Solutions We Can Import From Other Countries

The twenty-seventh day of February 2020, marked a turning point, as it earlier had in some countries, in our lives, and collectively, as a nation. The incidence of index cases was accompanied by various emotional reactions from the public space.

Because, of course, seeing countries with even political and economical structures fidget with the containment of the spread of the virus, sends a troubling message to a country like the United States, where a massive number of cases have so far been recorded.

Despite series of lockdown, with the first on the 20th of January, 2020, extending till date in most of the states, the number of cases, which should normally have plummeted, continues to skyrocket by the day.

At the period of writing this article, cases in the United States have soared from an index in January, to 3,788,799 in July, with 1,743,987 discharged cases, and 142,377 deaths in total. 

What these scary figures subtly tell us is that we're not doing the right thing or we're doing the right thing, the wrong way. 

And the good news here is that some countries are winning the war with covid-19 from whom we can import a solution or two, which could be the miracle we need to reclaim our space from the hands of this worldwide pandemic.

Here are five clear-cut solutions we can import from other countries in cancelling COVID-19 out of the U.S.

 1. Contact tracing: 

Apart from the already present contact tracing, sim tracking is another, and more effective measure that's worth adopting. 

Sim tracking is a technological leverage that works with the location of phone/sim users. It affords government and health officials the subtle privilege of ensuring that public health rules are adhered to, by people in quarantine.

Not only will this development help get rid of instances of escape from quarantine; consequently, it will also help in flattening the multiplying curve.

2. Speedy provision of temporary bed spaces

A country like Singapore owes its minimal casualty rate to the provision of temporary bed spaces at breakneck speed. 

Taking actions reflective of a sense of urgency is the way forward. In less developed countries, where active cases virtually exceed the number of available bed spaces, there's a need for the appropriate sectors to intensify efforts, enlarge existing facilities, and establish new ones.

 That way, they’ll be able to present sufficient capacity against the virus. 

3. Extensive testing

While the ongoing efforts of the government in this regard are worthy of commendation, there are still a lot more grounds to cover. As earlier mentioned, the response from most African countries on Covid-19 pandemic is evidently from a place of unpreparedness. Low testing rates does a great attestation to this fact.

A country like Nigeria can test only 2,500 samples a day, and just about half of these get administration each day. This has to do with reasons ranging from a shortage of human resources, laboratories, testing kits, and case distinction for testing that involves symptomatic cases and their contacts.

As of the 30th of June, for a population of 200 million in Nigeria, only 138,462 samples had been tested. It comes in contrast with South Africa, where 1,630,008 tests have been conducted for a population of 58 million people. In other to significantly reduce both the rate of infections and casualties, testings have to be extensive and intensive.

4. Widespread public communication

The importance of pervasive public communication cannot be downplayed in the war against any crisis. And as the world hurries to contain the coronavirus pandemic, the role of effective communication is becoming increasingly needful.

The least the general public deserves from both the government and health officials in a sensitive time as this is a credible, reliable, and authentic source of information. That way, they can have a precise understanding of the situation on a timely basis, be aware of precautions, and stay observant of necessary measures.

The World health organization presents an excellent example of how effective communication can be leveraged in the fight against global disease outbreaks by maintaining a constant flow of information through its daily press. 

A similar development worthy of note happened in Vietnam, where the ministry of health reasoned to launch a website and a mobile application. These work to ease the medical process, as well as disseminate accurate information with rapidity.

The digital tool helps them stanch the spread of rumours, in addition to legal actions against the spreader of such misinformation.

One key way to ensure extensive public communication is by visiting communities, reaching out to them through credible media and respected leaders. 

This goes a long way in sharing correct information, allaying fears, and at the same reserving honesty on the part of the government and health officials, thereby establishing the collective trust that is required to push through the tough time that we all are presently in.

 5. Proactivity

If there's any major deficit in all the proposed measures, put forward by the government, it is in the level of proactivity. While it is one thing to set measures, it is entirely another thing to enforce and be proactive with them.  

Rules and laws meted out to ensure public health are lackadaisically managed, even by some government officials, to not speak of the people. 

Over the months, people have flouted laws banning interstate travels, mass gatherings, physical distancing amidst other measures. And the consequence this leaves on the populace is a dangerous buildup of public health hazards.

Vietnam is one country that exemplifies proactivity. Vietnam could not conduct as many tests as did its neighbours - Taiwan and South Korea, due to lack of resources, and subscribed to selective but proactive testings, with stringent enforcement of laws. 

The result is a brewing victory in the fight against Covid-19. Having talked about the five clear-cut solutions importable from other countries against COVID-19, the best and direct solution is unarguably a vaccine.

However, the U.S. can draw on, and leverage the factors that have given other countries the victor's crown. Covid-19 has altered our world, take it or leave it, and our response to this deadly enemy will be what makes a difference on the long haul.  

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