The scientific journal Science has published a rather pessimistic interview with leading virologists and epidemiologists at the universities of Oxford and Harvard. The infection route of the coronavirus COVID-2019 is gaining worldwide scope and it is becoming increasingly difficult to deal with it every day.
People with previously unknown infections are already on all continents. Coronavirus attacks the Middle East: Oman, Iran, Bahrain. More than 10 cities in Italy were quarantined. The coronavirus epidemic in South Korea is rapidly gaining momentum.
And Japan admits that putting the Princess Princess airliner on quarantine for 14 days was a bad idea: news about new cases among passengers on the ship is still coming.
Scientists from King’s College London give disappointing data: most likely, about two thirds of coronavirus infections have not yet been identified. What can it talk about? Alas, about the global pandemic.
CLOSING BORDERS DOES NOT RESCUE
The World Health Organization (WHO) is still trying to avoid this terrible word. But the scientific community is inclined to the idea that the chances of containing the epidemic are ever less.
“I’m pessimistic,” says Christopher Dai, epidemiologist at Oxford University, and notes that the spread of coronavirus is no longer possible to control. The specialist and his colleagues believe that it is necessary to review the work of sanitary and medical services in the current environment.
So far, all their powers have been concentrated on containing the virus. The task was to prevent the infection from escaping from China. Prevent the entry of coronavirus into other countries, track those who have been in contact with infected people, quarantine them for two weeks …
But, when the epidemic of coronavirus actually became global, the measures to limit international travel no longer look as effective as initially. It is time to develop a new tactic.
It is worth considering closing schools and universities, mass preparing hospitals for patient admissions and introducing draconian quarantine rules. Plus, the situation will begin to change when the optimal vaccine is made and tested.
“The fight now is to keep the healthcare system in working condition and prevent panic,” says Alessandro Vespignani, a specialist in modeling infectious diseases at Northeastern US University .
QUARANTINE IN CHINESE
The closure of flights with China, the prohibitions on flights to Italy, Iran, South Korea, these restrictions worked, but not fully.
“If we had not introduced restrictions on international travel, then we would have had much more cases of infection than there are now,” said Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the United States .
Some virologists are inclined to believe that states should not concentrate and throw all their forces into closing borders. This becomes especially meaningless when there are already “thousands of infected people” inside the country.
WHO Representative Bruce Ailward worked in China for two weeks on the international commission. He notes that if it were not for the super-efforts of the Chinese in Hubei, there would be much more cases of coronavirus infection in the PRC.
“The COVID-2019 epidemic in China peaked between January 23 and February 2,” says Ailward. – The measures taken in Hubei Province gave doctors from other provinces time to prepare for the virus. It is important that other countries understand this. For this, it is not necessary to introduce a total blockade, but we must not forget about the strictest control.
While coronavirus is not raging in other countries, such as China or Italy, Iran, South Korea, doctors and authorities around the world need to be alert. They have time to prepare. You can take on arms some elements of the strategy that Chinese physicians and Chinese authorities adhered to. We are talking about the suspension of public transport, the closure of entertainment venues, the ban on holding public events.
“These measures worked, they helped reduce the number of infections,” admits Christopher Dai, an epidemiologist at the University of Oxford.
Hospitals and clinics around the world are advised to purchase equipment for ventilation of the lungs and breathing apparatus, and plan the placement of additional beds. Use vaccines against influenza and pneumonia (the symptoms of these diseases are very similar to the coronavirus COVID-2019).