Currently over 200,000 of COVID-19 cases across the globe, and so far 8, 000 fatalities.
- More than 80% of all COVID-19 cases have occurred in two regions: Western Pacific and Europe. Not surprisingly, the countries affected have been extremely overwhelmed by the scale of cases and extensive transmissions.
- Different communities and countries are affected differently but the WHO warns NO country or person is immuned. Each country and person should “prepare” as if they will be affected or infected respectively. “Don’t assume your community will not be affected” […] “don’t assume you won’t be, prepare as if it will be “[ …]”you will be.”
- Each country or community is advised to prepare according to their specific situation in accordance with WHO protocols recommended for government, heads of states, CEOs, health facilities and healthcare workers.
- To slow down community transmission, “social distancing measures” is highly recommended. These include cancelling sporting events, concerts and other large social gatherings.
- To suppress community transmission and alleviate the burden on locals healthcare systems, WHO recommends that every suspected case be “isolated”, “tested”, “treated” and contact “traced”. Failure to implement these measures have resulted in “accelerated transmissions” in areas where cases were previously “sporadic” and “cluster[ed]. In such cases, slow transmission became accelerated easily once social distancing restrictions were lifted.
- Most countries are following and implementing WHO’S full package to prevent accelerated transmissions. This is evidenced by South Korea (SK) which experienced :extensive community transmission” just weeks ago. The Republic’s COVID-19 cases declined from 800 per day to just about 90 within a month by March 17.
The Republic (SK) “educated, empowered and engaged” its communities. SK also isolated, innovatively expanded laboratory capacity for aggressive testing. They rationed mask use, traced contacts, isolated suspected cases to designated facilities rather than hospitals and homes.
In the nutshell, WHO recommends that to prevent “onward” transmission, countries should isolate COVID-19 cases to be treated and monitored by “trained health professionals” in designated areas whenever possible and to refer only specialized cases to hospitals. Home treatment with “home care service” is not ideal and be pursued only if the above options are unavoidable.
As individuals, we must stay in tune with our governments, national and local health authorities and follow their guidelines and information tailored to our specific area. Above all, we’re all encouraged to continue to practice infection prevention and control (IPC) measures including regular handwashing with soap and water, social distancing and sneezing into tissue or elbows. Wearing a mask when sick, coughing and sneezing.
Remain safe, obey rules and save your life and those of others.
March 18, 2020