The Covid 19 epidemic shook the whole world, with the number of deaths due to infection reaching more than 2.5 million and more than 115 million confirmed cases.
Jane Corbyn, from BBC-Panorama, conducted research to find the best examples of anti-virus strategies around the world, and ways to treat the leading countries of the epidemic across the four continents, finding four main areas that were most effective in containing the spread of the virus and preventing deaths due to it:
- Take early and effective measures to control borders and monitor arrivals
- Test, track, and trace every person suspected of having the disease
- Taking care of those in quarantine and supporting their social affairs
- Effective leadership, consistent messaging and timing
Of course, no one can say that he got everything perfectly. But the steps listed below highlight some of the policies that have proven effective around the world. And if you put it all together, you’ll get a chart of an “Epidemic Index” (a guide to managing future infectious disease outbreaks).
When Stanley Park, who lives in Seoul, South Korea, went to pick up his daughter, Jo Yun, from the airport, he did not receive her with a hug as usual, but with a mask he wears on his face and a sterile spray bottle.
For Stanley, this is not his first experience in living with the conditions of the epidemic, as he remembers the devastation and fear caused by the outbreak of Mers disease in East Asia in 2015, the experience from which his country learned a lot. The South Korean government has undertaken 48 reforms to enhance preparedness and response to emergencies in public health.
The experience paid off when the Corona virus broke out.
Officials have been able to control how quickly the epidemic will spread without the need to shut down businesses or enforce tighter restrictions nationwide, such as requiring people to stay home.
After arriving from Atlanta, Joo Yun completed a strict two-week quarantine at her parents’ home, downloaded an app on her mobile phone to track her movements, and received six calls from relevant authorities to take the test.
Joe took the quarantine so seriously that she didn’t even go out to the park, just out of caution.
“We have put in place comprehensive preventive measures from the beginning, to prevent the same thing from happening again,” said Prime Minister Chung Se Kyun.
2- Test, track and trace
David Hodges, a general practitioner from north-eastern England, told BBC Panorama in March 2020: “It is very difficult at the moment, and I have no idea whether or not the patients I see have coronavirus, maybe there are hundreds. Of the cases that we did not discover. “
With the number of cases rising before the first general lockdown was imposed in late March, the UK government has stopped tracking contacts and testing where people live.
It only had the capacity to run tests in hospitals, and the government program was officially launched in May for tracking and testing.
Most countries in East Asia began tracking contacts of people with the disease in January.
In Britain, it may take a day or more for the result to appear.
The tracking and tracing team follows up every suspected case from the hospital in the city center, and the team may be a forensic specialist and has complete information about the person and has the right to obtain credit card and mobile phone data, and the surveillance cameras deployed throughout the area are at their disposal, and the government sends teams To clean the streets when necessary.
The South Korean Prime Minister, Zhang Se Kyun, took charge of the situation in the country personally even before one confirmed case appeared in the country, giving priority to the three measures, testing, trajectory and tracking.
He added, “By implementing this strategy, we have achieved a good and meaningful result.” In South Korea, with a population of 52 million, the number of deaths was only 1,693.
The British government says its testing system continues to advance and is doing everything it can to develop it for the better.
3- Support Who are in Quarantine
“Keeping people indoors is the main reason that helped us contain COVID-19,” says Usha Kumari, a health worker in Kerala state, India.
Usha is one of the 30,000 certified social health activists known as “Asha workers”.
Usha’s role was to make sure that those in quarantine in the area she ran had access to their purchases, their medicines and anything they might need, lest they have to leave their homes.
And their support does not end there. Community kitchens there provide about 600 free meals to these people, whether they stay in their homes or hospitals, in addition to mental health services since the beginning of the outbreak.
Financial aid was provided, and in some cases, their bills were temporarily frozen.
In Britain, the government did not grant financial aid to people who were self-isolating until September. But two-thirds of all applicants were rejected in the first four months.
And according to the Emergency Scientific Advice Group report released in September, less than 20 percent of those who were asked to do so had actually isolated themselves in quarantine in Britain. The government says that four million people are currently eligible for financial aid.
The Indian state of Kerala, which has a population of 35 million and had the highest number of cases in India, in March 2020, succeeded in turning into a state with the lowest death rates in the world, taking advantage of its experience in facing previous epidemics.
4- Elderly protection
At the beginning of April, General Physician Lisa began conducting Corona tests in care homes in the old city of Tübingen, in Germany, to prevent the virus from infiltrating it and allowing visitors to visit it.
“We have to build a special shield for people most at risk,” said the city’s mayor, Boris Palmer.
Palmer has designated the city budget as a priority for care and support for elderly townspeople, including taxi service, free masks, free home delivery, and specific hours for shopping.
This led to the university hospital in the city receiving fewer Covid patients, and he did not have to cancel other health measures.
Britain, despite having been banned from visiting care homes from the start, has been criticized for slow testing. The government did not declare that all people discharged from hospitals to nursing homes were required to undergo testing until April 15.
By July, at least 20,000 people in care homes in England and Wales had died of COVID-19 since the start of the outbreak, according to the Office for National Statistics.
5- Vaccination strategy
More than 26 million people in Britain have received at least one dose of the Coronavirus vaccine, part of the largest vaccination program the country has ever launched.
Although it comes after Israel – which has more than half of its population fully vaccinated, Britain has achieved exceptional success with its vaccination program.
The success is largely due to the tremendous effort in planning early. The Department of Health and Social Care began planning a comprehensive vaccination program before there was confirmation of the first case of the virus in the UK.
In the summer, the government signed a contract to acquire 100 million doses of the AstraZeneca / Oxford vaccine and 30 million doses of the Pfizer Bionic vaccine.
In Europe, the story is different. Planning began after Britain, and the date to start work was slow as well.
Only 8 percent of the population in Europe has received the vaccine so far, compared to 36 percent in Britain.
The vaccine deals were struck in Britain three months before the European Union agreements.
Michael Cotta, one of the many people who volunteered to participate in a trial conducted by Dr. Linda Gill Becker, in Cape Town, South Africa, to test the J&J vaccine.
Michael does not know if he received a vaccine or a placebo in the trial, but he says it was worth: “It’s the only chance I have had to survive the epidemic … My family still needs me.”
Many poor countries rely on Kovacs deliveries, a plan led by GAVI – the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations – that aims to ensure universal access to vaccines.
Britain is one of the largest contributors, donating nearly £ 500 million. South Africa signed the initiative. However, the vaccination strategy must be an international effort.
In countries where access to the vaccine is limited, the virus will have a chance to mutate and develop, as it did in South Africa and Brazil, which generates new strains that are more susceptible to infection, which can spread abroad as well.
‘A heavy price’
The British government says there will be an independent investigation, in due course, into the problems that have emerged. Currently, it is focused on the epidemic, which is a challenge to health systems around the world.
As work continues to distribute the vaccine globally, it appears that we are past the dangerous stage in our battle against the epidemic.
Professor Dale Fischer says, “We can only draw lessons from the past 12 months, we were badly affected and paid dearly. And when this problem is over and we are back to normal, one of the worst things will be not taking advantage of what happened and not drawing lessons, history repeats itself.” .