CORONAVIRUS WAR: What’s the Winning Formula?

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By Justin Mupundu

What’s the winning formula of countries whose fight against the deadly Coronavirus is scoring successes? But why and how is the COVID-19 pandemic-hardest hit countries stuck with slow and undoing strategies?

About 4,210,074 million people have been infected with the virus and 287,158 people killed worldwide. (As of May 13, 2020).And only about one third or 1,470,598 million patients have recovered worldwide ever since the COVID-19 outbreak in China’s Wuhan city in December, 2019.

According to the John Hopkins University data compiled on May 13, 2020, the top ten- COVID-19 – hardest hit nations out of 213 countries infected and affected with the virus, which are grappling with the new infections, are: United States of America (USA), United Kingdom (UK), Spain, Italy, Germany, Iran, France, Belgium, Russia and China.

With over 93 percent (79,208) recoveries out of 84,011 confirmed cases, China, which is the source or origin of the outbreak, and the world’s most populous nation with over 1.4 billion people, tops the list of ten countries that have scored over 50 percent recoveries.

Germany is second with 88 percent (147,200) out of 172,723 confirmed cases. Iran with over 81 (88,357) percent recoveries out of 110,767 confirmed cases takes the third position. Spain is fourth position with 58 percent (137,139) out of 227,436 confirmed cases.

Italy and UK occupies fifth and sixth positions with over 45 (106,587) percent recoveries out of 219, 814 confirmed cases and 38 percent recoveries out of 224,332 confirmed cases, respectively.

France has 31 percent (56,835) out of 177,547 confirmed cases. The US and Russia have recorded less than 15 (232,733) percent out of 1,351,200 confirmed cases and 43,512 out of 232,243 confirmed cases, respectively.

What’s then the secret of those countries scoring successes in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic?

China’s strategy is most effective as evidenced by strong gains to stop the spread of the virus in that country: Screening or testing for Coronavirus, case management, and contact tracing, and risk communication.

Surprisingly, China, the world’s most populous nation, ranks tenth on the top ten list of the COVID-19 hardest hit countries.

All the 213 countries infected and affected with COVID-19 pandemic are implementing World Health Organization (WHO)’s technical guidelines. But the devil is in the implementation plan coupled with the health systems’ preparedness at country-level.

China, few African and Asian countries were more prepared to respond to COVID-19 than European countries, US and other American countries.

But what’s the slow and undoing fang for countries grappling with the spread of the virus?

Interestingly, China’s trade war rival, US, whose population is (over 330 million) or equivalent to 25 percent of China tops the list of the ten COVID-19 pandemic hardest hit countries.

First and foremost, US underestimated the speed at which the virus could spread outside the borders of China, and its severity.

Secondly, US ignored the WHO’s international alert on the severity of the novel Coronavirus.

Thirdly, the disease intelligence or virus surveillance system is literally dead or does not exist. This is the same with other nations on the hardest hit list of countries.

So, the winning formula against COVID-19 pandemic is mass screening, testing, case management, treatment, contact tracing, and risk communication in addition to other strategies.

The author is a freelance journalist and political analyst

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Start: 2019-07-01 End: 2019-07-31