COVID-19: Strategies to Avoid

Ministers will announce plans for a unit to fight malicious online 'disinformation' linked to the virus © Philip Toscano/PA

After the Coronavirus outbreak, every country in the world had a strategical response against contagiousness. Some were criticized, while others got credit. This short article will be about various strategies of governments against the outbreak.

The Coronavirus pandemic made governments concerned about taking action against the contagiousness. Since the virus is highly spreadable due to its nature.

Close contact, respiratory droplets of a cough or sneeze are the most common reason for the spread. However, COVID-19 is also different than some other viruses by its transmission called community spread which means the infected people are unaware of where or how they got infected, once the area they are in is infected.

So, this simple reason makes governments take action against the rate of spread.

 

Chinese Strategy

The first government that should be analysed is the first country that has this outbreak thusly, the government of the People’s Republic of China’s strategy has the first place on the list.

The strategy of China can be considered as aggressive and radical, due to their decision of lockdown and how they applied it. It is observed that the doors were sealed in China by welding fences to prevent people from going outside and the people who resist the lockdown were handcuffed.

The streets are deserted in Wuhan, which has been under lockdown since January 23. Photo: AP

This approach is related to society; Chinese society can be named as militaristic. So that, it can also be said that to apply those aggressive and radical acts are easier than other societies. Submissiveness of society ensures to be disciplinable.

From all the reasons above, the Chinese strategy panned out against COVID-19 spread. The number of new cases decreased and the number of cured patients traceably increased.

 

Herd Immunity

In the United Kingdom, the strategy was totally different than in China. The British Government decided to stick with the herd immunity strategy which can be summarised as the reduction of infection or disease in the unimmunised segment as a result of immunising a proportion of the population.

This can be simplified as; the quarantine will be on the risk groups only everybody else who is not involved in risk groups will continue their daily life as is before and get immune against, in this case, Coronavirus. Therefore, the schools will not be closed in order to make the youth of society grow immunity against COVID-19 and lead the vaccination to be improved.

Due to its application, the herd strategy found risky and unethical by the authorities of health. However, the reason why this strategy had chosen was explained with the potentiality of the mutation of the virus in the next autumn. Plus, it is defended that the psychological effects of massive lockdown in such a long period may not easily pull round.

Boris Johnson GETTY/AP

British Priminister Boris Johnson has been criticised for moving ‘too slowly’ to stop the spread of coronavirus. However, according to the latest news, British Priminister Boris Johnson clarifies that they changed their strategy against COVID-19 and announced the schools to be closed and 3 weeks long lockdown in the U.K.

 

Widespread Coronavirus Testing

This is another strategy especially adopted by South Korea, widespread testing is supported. Not only the patients who are suspected to have COVID-19 symptoms but simply every single person in society is tested against the contagiousness of the virus. Thus, there was no lockdown call and everybody continued their daily life, based on the belief that the coronavirus can be fatal only for the elder people.

South Korean soldiers wearing protective gear walk on a street in front of Daegu’s city hall after the rapid rise in confirmed cases of the coronavirus on March 2, 2020. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

So, they keep calm and carry on testing in South Korea.

 

Transparency to the Society

As these protection strategies are directly related to the situation of the society, there are cases where aggressive and rigid solutions, herd immunity perception or widespread testing may not be applied like in Turkey. Turkish government chose the strategy to be transparent to Turkish society about novel coronavirus cases in order to prevent society from disinformation. Therefore all the lists of measures are published to show the reality about the contagiousness of the COVID-19 in Turkey.

‘Stay home,’ Erdoğan says as Turkey ramps up measures against COVID-19 APA

However, the problem here is the Turkish society has issues with the degree of trust to the Turkish Government is lower than normally expected. Therefore, society was still skeptical and would like the government to be more transparent than they are now.

The reason for the trust issue explained as the understanding of Turkish governments as the Turkish State, thus this perception may lead to misunderstandings in such overwhelming periods. This leads a fraction in between society one half believes everything that the government does due to their respect to the Turkish State, others are always skeptical about the acts of government due to their representation of the State.

Furthermore, the belief of fate in Islam has a great impact on Turkish Society which causes the idea of “nothing will happen, if anything will happen its the Allah’s will”. However, the authorities of the Government continue to spread information about amid COVID-19 outbreak all around Turkey.

Consistent, regular communication

Singapore’s response to the coronavirus has been held up by many around the world as a model. The country has had 266 total cases (with zero deaths), and its infection rate is much slower than the rest of the world.

In February, Singapore made it clear again this virus had the potential to have major health, social and economic consequences. Therefore, Singapore didn’t let the patients which test positive COVID-19 back into the community.

 

The Government of Singapore decided to encourage society for home quarantine. People who are at home quarantine need to be sure that they are nor transmitting the virus. It is thought that it’s better to hive off society and look after them until the virus is gone. People with mild cases are kept in hospitals as there was enough space for all the patients who test positive.

 

The Conversation, CC BY-ND Image: EPA

Singapore has contact tracing teams, who identify all the contacts of an infected person and ring them up. Often these people have early symptoms and we’ll arrange for them to be picked up and tested.

It can be said that there is strong community engagement in Singapore. The messages sent: if you are sick, stay home. If you are sick and have had contact with a COVID-19 patient, come in for a test. If you can’t stay home and you have to go out, wear a mask. If you cough, cough into your elbow. Avoid crowds, particularly indoors.

To everyone else, it is recommended to apply social distancing. For restaurant and bar owners, try and reduce the number of people in your businesses. People know what to do and they know if there’s a lockdown, they’re going to be closed. There’s a lot of business and revenue to be lost.

Everyone understands and adapts.

The Taoiseach Leo Varadkar explained in the announcement made on March, 24 that Ireland is also applying the same strategy as Singapore.

Health Minister Simon Harris and The Taoiseach Leo Varadkar

 

 

 

To sum up, the strategies that are taken by governments are directly related to society’s situation and how they will those strategies will perform will soon be visible. Hopefully, whatever the strategy of the government, we are in this together and we can protect ourselves by staying at home when it’s not necessary to go out and applying social distancing when we are outside for a necessary reason. And of course, by washing our hands frequently.

This might be the first time in history that the human race can save themselves by only staying at home. Please respect.

Feel free to share your ideas on comments.

About Alara Erdem 10 Articles
A freelance journalist writing from the ROI who happens to study Journalism and Media Communications, Griffith College, Dublin. Here she collects and shares her thought-provoking articles from around the web, and mainly focuses on local news, politics, international politics, political history, law, social media, interpersonal communication.