The global response to the PANDEMIC | Pakistan Today

The global response to the PANDEMIC

  • The world can learn from African countries

By: Abdul Rahman Malik

Covid-19 has spread around the world rapidly .Thousands have died in China, Iran, France, Italy and the USA. As hundreds of cases are reported positive daily, fear, economic crisis, education and health effects have played havoc. In Pakistan, Sindh has been the worst affected with most of the cases imported from Iran via Taftan. Covid-19 has caused more deaths than the Ebola fever outbreak in Africa. However, the Ebola experience has enabled the African nations to develop a comprehensive plan to fight the Coronavirus.

Companies such as Google, Yahoo, Twitter, Microsoft and Apple have advised their employees to stay at home and work from their home. They also circulated the WHO guidelines among their employees and avoid gatherings of more than 10 people as announced in the latest guidelines of WHOM.

Countries are strictly following the preventive measures communicated to the people by WHO experts and putting bans on unnecessary travel in the city or out of city or borders.

It is an alarming situation since as no vaccine nor treatment been developed yet. WHO cautions countries with limited facilities to conduct tests and treat patients advising preventive measures until a vaccine could be discovered.

At the moment Covid-19 has caused more deaths than the Ebola outbreak in African countries, especially in Congo.

According to calculations based on the Center of Disease Control’s figures, betweeb 2.4 million to 21 million people in the USA. could require hospitalization, potentially crushing the nation’s medical system, which has only about 925,000 staffed hospital beds.

WHO has cautioned the developing countries around the world to take preventive measures to stop people from falling prey to this pandemic, especially those with limited resources and so ill-prepared

The number is very low for the huge number of people who will infected. It may cause panic in a developed country like the USA. Less than a tenth of those beds are for people who are critically ill.

It would be disastrous to deal with the pandemic given the Medical facilities available in the USA and African states.

At the moment, Spain and Italy are the worst hit along with the USA.

Luckily, the situation in Africa is under control. The African nations have started preparations for fighting this deadly virus, they have had the advantage of fighting Ebola and thus learning lessons such as health and hygiene requirements.

Though African countries have limited resources and facilities they have started following the WHO Precautionary measures to deal with a possible outbreak.

Its implications are dreadful and catastrophic for the world at large. The world has been struggling to deal with this pandemic with schools, colleges, universities, restaurants; places of worship all being shut to stop public gatherings.

People are advised through media campaigns and instructions circulated by WHO to adopt precautionary measures. Symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty in breathing.

Medical scientists and microbiologists have been unable to discover any antidote to control the spread. Even WHO appears to be helpless. Physicians have been advising common treatment for fever such as Paracetamol, cough syrup and self-isolation.

Till date, there are 100 reported cases in African Countries with two deaths happened in Morocco and Egypt each.

So far, the situation in African countries is normal only Egypt has the maximum number of cases reported.

The African Countries have been well prepared to contain the outbreak that has played havoc around the world. There are at least 800,000 reported cases worldwide and over 39,000 deaths owing to this deadly virus, by Tuesday afternoon.

The Ebola experience has enabled the African nations to develop a comprehensive plan to fight this Novel Corona Virus.

Most of the cases in Egypt are those passengers who had travelled abroad and ship’s crew members coming from badly affected countries. The reported cases are just imported from out of Africa as there is not any domestic viral outbreak.

However, apart from the rest of world, African states have done a tremendous job to contain Covid-19 by adopting strict preventive measures, completely banning travel from the worst affected countries.

In this connection, Rwanda had not reported any case, yet it advised to maintain hygiene and installed hand-washing Taps and sanitizers. It has since reported 70 cases, but no deaths so far.

Similarly, Kenya had not reported any cases, yet it established the 120-bed quarantine centre and two Testing facilities at Nairobi. It has since reported 50 cases, and one death.

Nigeria also made it mandatory to use hand sanitizers after visiting banks, restaurants, offices and supermarkets.

Even several health workers were deployed at international airports to screen passengers.

The experience of Nigeria’s dealing with Ebola enabled the African nations to adopt preventive measures. The airlines suspended their flights including Rwanda Air, Kenyan Airlines, and Royal Air Morocco.

African Nations had learnt from the Ebola experience that hand washing is the first line of defence against any viruses.

China has also been able to overcome the outbreak by bringing the number of new cases to single digits. WHO has also recommended learning from China how it faces this pandemic.

The Chinese experience should be utilized to help control the pandemic in Italy where the death toll crossed 11,000 people and Iran 2900 people.

Even WHO should take experts from African countries, China and Europe to develop a strategy to fight this pandemic. The pandemic has been contracted in India with confirmed cases of 1251, Pakistan with confirmed cases of 1865 by Wednesday afternoon. The numbers are constantly growing, increasing concerns about preparedness of various nations.

The cases reported and confirmed in South Asia are mainly those who travelled to Iran, Syria, and China. There is so far no confirmed case of domestic nature o.

Luckily, SAARC leaders held an online video conference on levels of readiness against this Novel Corona Virus, at the request of Indian PM Narendra Modi. SAPM Dr Zafar Mirza proposed a regional mechanism to fight covid-19 and even demanded India lift the curfew in Kashmir over pandemic concerns.

It is essential to follow WHO prescriptions to remain secure until the vaccine could be developed. Medical experts claim this may take 18 Months.

WHO has cautioned the developing countries around the world to take preventive measures to stop people from falling prey to this pandemic, especially those with limited resources and so ill-prepared.