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Defeating the COVID-19 Pandemic
Views:353 Updated:2020-03-29


The world is right now undergoing a serious health crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. As some leasers have claimed to their citizens, “We are in a war”.

 

Till 29 March, the confirmed cases of the coronavirus globally in total has reached to more than 600,000, and over 30,000 people have been reported dead. The centre of the epidemic has recently shifted from China to Europe and to the United States. Over the past few days, the number of confirmed infections across the European continent and in the United States has been seen a dramatic surge. The U.S. now has claimed more than 123,750 cumulative infections. The confirmed cases in Italy, Spain, Germany, France, and the United Kingdom have respectively surpassed 92,472, 73,235, 57,695, 37,575, and 17,089. Iran is the most heavily hit country by the pandemic in the Middle-East with over 35,408 people having contracted the disease.

 

People would generally agree that it is a bit too late for some countries to take actions now, and that they have missed the best time bought by China in the very early stage of the outbreak. It can be recalled that when the Wuhan city was shut down on 23 January, China only had 830 confirmed cases, and by then China already started to take prompt actions to curb the spread of the disease. Yet due to the severity of the virus along with the people’s higher demands in cross-city traveling upon the Chinese new year time, the increasingly tougher measures hadn’t stopped the infected numbers rising very quickly till the end of February with the number of confirmed infections having almost approached to 80,000; but after then the number of daily infections has been seen a big drop. Till 29 March, the cumulative infections in the Chinese mainland has totalled 81,470, while with 75,770 recoveries, 3,304 fatalities, and less than 3,500 remaining in the hospital.

 

For countries with high numbers of confirmed cases right now like some European countries and the U.S., apart from being committed to adhering to more concrete measures, there don’t seem to be any better solutions out there at the moment, and presumably they may need much longer time to finally get over this.

 

Anyway, the current difficult situation didn’t stop the national governments and international organizations making attempt to address the series of challenges led by the COVID-19 pandemic. An extraordinary G20 Leaders’ Summit was convened via a video link on 26 March. The international organizations including the WHO, IMF, WBG, and the UN etc. this time were also invited to participate in the meeting. The summit centred on calling on the G20 countries and international organizations to work together with confidence and unity to defeat the coronavirus pandemic, and meanwhile to take all necessary means to minimize the social, economic and financial impacts of the pandemic, safeguard the global economy, restore market confidence, protect the global demand and supply chains, and ensure financial stability through coordinated global efforts.

 

Out of the leaders’ summit, the G20 countries and the participating international organizations reached a common understanding on jointly addressing the pandemic by offering policy advice and funding support. The financial ministers, central bank governors and the representatives of the relevant international organizations will make coordinated efforts to deliver the relevant tasks. From the financial aspect, they agreed to inject 5 trillion USD into the global economy to help countries combat the coronavirus pandemic. Developing and the least developed countries with weaker public health response systems, the vulnerable groups, and the micro-, small, and medium-sized enterprises will be gravely concerned by the joint global efforts in this special period of time.

 

In addition to the joint international efforts made by the G20 countries and international organizations in addressing the repercussions of the coronavirus, on the national level, many governments in different regions and continents are believed to have subsequently issued policy measures including economic stimulus packages to help fight the epidemic. For instance, the U.S. government has decided to release 2 trillion USD to combat the disease.

 

Overall, there have been policies, measures, and support out there on both international and national levels to help address the coronavirus. Meanwhile, this article would in addition emphasize a point that without enough support of the people in relevant countries, these social, economic, and financial measures are not likely to achieve their efficiencies as early as they are expected. Therefore, one of the core issues for winning the battle against the pandemic ultimately very much relies on the support and cooperation of the people. The experiences accumulated by some countries including South Korea, China and Singapore etc. in bringing the worsening situation under control in a relatively short period of time have already proved this point. It is a people’s war against the pandemic.

 

Apart from the list of practical experiences shared already among the public institutes of the governments as well as among other wide range of sectors, here this piece would once again highlight in a very simple way a few pieces of useful practices accumulated by China to hopefully serve as references for other countries in their fighting against the disease.

 

First, setting up a leading group and a sound system. This is supposed to lead and supervise the overall anti-epidemic work, and to ensure the smooth communication, coordination, and arrangement in relation to all aspects of responsibilities and tasks against the pandemic from the top down to the bottom in general terms. It is assumed that the governments of some foreign countries should have already done detailed arrangements on this part of the work. One of the very crucial matters in the whole process concerning the efforts made by them is to ensure information transparency, which is conducive to improving the efficiency of all aspects of work.

 

Second, abiding by the principle of “early finding out, early reporting/testing, early isolating, and early rescuing/treatment” when dealing with the people with symptoms. More precisely, this principle means that, as earliest as possible, finding out all those with symptoms, diagnosing and testing them, tracking and quarantining all those having been exposed to the confirmed cases, and rescuing the infected patients timely.

 

Third, uniting the people and gaining their support and cooperation. In facing the pandemic, some foreign governments might have found this part of the work very uneasy. One of the examples is that the public officers encountered the difficulties sometimes in persuading people to stay home or to stop them participating in group activities. We have seen from the media reporting that some government officials and police officers in the European countries have already devoted a great deal of efforts to do the public persuasion work.

 

From China’s practices, majority of the work related to minding people about their social distancing and human to human contacts etc., have been done by the community workers or volunteers. The police officers during this special time have mainly been deployed to handle the kind of people who break the law or refuse to obey certain anti-pandemic regulations and measures temporarily issued by the governments.

 

Likewise, it is assumed that the communities, universities, councils, and other various places in foreign countries should have their service centres as well. Local governments and city councils, if necessary, are suggested to work closely with the service centres to temporarily recruit a large number of volunteers living inside the relevant communities or nearly to join the governments’ effort in fighting the disease at the community levels. The main tasks of the community workers and volunteers are involved to better meet the needs of the local citizens including persuading them to adhere to the rules, and regularly updating them the information related to the anti-pandemic progress and so on.

 

Fourth, wearing a mask. All people especially those currently living in the most severely infected regions by the pandemic are strongly suggested to wear masks in public places.

 

The weather is getting warmer and spring is coming. Hopefully, the people and the governments across the globe will jointly win this battle against the COVID-19 pandemic as soon as possible.

 

 

Note:

The dada of the Novel Coronavirus was cited from the China Daily Website

https://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/special_coverage/2020latestdata

 

 

 

 

 

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