Akeel Rashid

The fight against COVID-19 is as difficult as can be, yet as simple as can be

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The humanity is dealing with an unusual medical problem which has shown the potential to break any healthcare system of the world. For instance, the world-class health system of Italy has been pushed to the breaking point by Coronavirus. The country has become the new epicentre of the pandemic as the country’s death toll from COVID-19 climbed past 5,400 on Monday. The matter of the fact is that no healthcare system has been designed to treat everyone at once. Yes, it is not. There’s nowhere in the world like it. It goes without saying the treatment and care that a Covid-19 infected patient needs is not available in abundance. More to the point: The doctors in developed countries like the United States and Italy are complaining about the shortage of masks and other important medical equipment, what seems so unbelievable. But it is happening now.

Dr Emily Landon, a leading epidemiologist at University of Chicago, while making a Coronavirus plea to the world said that this virus is unforgiving and all we have is slow the virus by sheltering in place. She gave one of the serious and factual speeches ever on #COVID19. “The real problem is not the 80% who will get over this in a week, it is 20% of the patients, the older those that are immune-compromised, those that have other medical problems who are going to need a bit more support –some oxygen, or maybe a ventilator, life support. We do amazing things like this to save patients in our American hospitals and across the world every single day but we can’t take care of everyone at once. And we can’t keep that low mortality promise if we can’t provide the support that our patients need,” she said.

As the best doctors around the world point it out, if this virus goes out of the hand then there will be no hospital, doctor or vaccine left to save people from it. The only way to save the lives of people is by stopping the transfer of the virus. This is to be done by practising social distancing and maintaining adequate hand hygiene. We have to save as many people as possible from becoming infected with Coronavirus in the first place because there is no better choice available than that. The 1918 pandemic, known as the Spanish flu, is a cautionary tale for our time. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the flu killed between 50 and 100 million people around the world and its control efforts worldwide — that certainly seems to be the case with Coronavirus — were limited to non-pharmaceutical interventions such as isolation, quarantine, good personal hygiene, use of disinfectants, and limitations of public gatherings, which were applied unevenly.

The doctors, health workers and administrators are ready to take the COVID-19 challenge head-on and the time has come to do our part. If we want to keep the ventilators and hospital beds from being overrun, we have to slow the spread of this deadly virus. Strictly-implemented social-distancing measures will reduce the overall expected number of cases of the novel coronavirus pandemic by 62 per cent and the peak number of cases by 89 per cent, according to the country’s apex health research body. Right now, it is really hard to feel like we are saving lives by staying at home but in the coming days, we may realize that we were really saving lives.

The author can be reached at Akeelsofi@gmail.com

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