How are countries around the world fighting against COVID-19
203 countries and territories around the world have been affected by the coronavirus which has shown an exponential rise due to its easy transmissibility. However, digging a bit deeper we’ll see that although many countries have shown exponential rise, some have also been successful in flattening the curve and/or curbing the growth rate of the virus transmission.
Some of these nations and the proactive steps taken by them are:
1. Taiwan: Even though the first case was discovered as early as 21st January, Taiwan has been able to restrict the cases to 329 as on 1st April with only 46 of them being from local transmission. The island country, which is just 130 km away from the epicenter country China, has tackled this pandemic using preparedness, technology, and transparency. Learning from the SARS outbreak in 2003, Taiwan later that year, authorized the creation of a Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) to coordinate across government departments and mobilize the necessary resources during future crises which has come in handy after 17 years. Activated on 20th January, CECC put scores of measures into effect to aid in containing the disease and preventing its spread into the general community. This included screening incoming travellers for fever and implementing a system of rationing face masks to prevent hoarding. Other steps include mandatory quarantine for people who had travelled abroad while the neighbourhood warden system ensured that meals and proper assistance was provided to these people. As a precautionary measure, Taiwan also banned entry of foreign visitors from China and Hong Kong as early as 6th February.
2. South Korea: At a point being one of the worst affected countries after China, South Korea has effectively been able to bring down the growth rate of COVID-19 transmission domestically. With wide scale testing and contact tracing, the country has been able to tackle the virus effectively. By using the credit card and phone data of infected people, their paths were identified and duly informed to all citizens so that they could avoid taking those routes. Individuals who have been sent on mandatory isolation are monitored via an app. It is also rumoured that South Korean firms started developing and stock piling kits when Chinese scientists first published the genetic sequence of COVID-19 in January and by the time things got worse, they had the ability to test 10,000 people per day, free of cost for everyone.
Statistically, it is observed that countries who had suffered SARS or MERS outbreak earlier, were better prepared to combat COVID-19 as opposed to others. Lockdown and restricted movement at a lower number of COVID-19 positive patients in India symbolizes the proactive mindset of the government which is necessary in the 2nd most populated country in the world. Rescue operations in foreign countries, relaxation in procurement of essential medical equipment and MPs using MPLADS to fight coronavirus are few of the many positive steps which show the steadfast approach of the country in combating COVID-19.