Countries are easing Covid-19 restrictions such as smart or partial lockdowns and ban on social gatherings. New Zealand, one of the very first countries to initially declare itself Covid-19 free is now seeing international sports with houseful in stadiums, China’s epicenter of pandemic – Wuhan province – recently hosted a music concert in one of the biggest theme parks, Taiwan also followed suit when a baseball match saw spectators in thousands in the stands, moreover social life is completely restored in Vietnam where all the eateries have started functioning in a bid to return to normalcy.
The countries mentioned here are one of the very few and first to speed up efforts so that people can return to their normal lives. Many of these countries never even imposed a complete lockdown or even a lockdown – the case of Taiwan. Some other among these countries opted for a more pragmatic strategy of smart lockdown where areas reporting highest number of cases were locked down and movement was restricted while the rest of country resumed its business as usual. Some of these countries such as China and Vietnam have large population residing in them, but they are among the countries which reported very few deaths as low as single digit in some.
On the other hand, there are some countries which downplayed the threat of Covid-19 in the beginning and took it for a common cold. Same information was conveyed to the public which resulted in rapid spread of infection through a major chunk of population of these countries. As soon as the situation started spiraling out of control, lockdowns were imposed which are effective to date in some countries while in others they are a recurrent affair as old lockdowns are eased, and new ones are imposed.
The strategies deployed by different countries and their positive or negative outcomes lead to one question that what should be the ideal way to tackle Covid-19 in a population. Some experts say that herd immunity as a solution whereby a population becomes immune to the contagion by rapid infection and development of population-wide immunity. Herd immunity however leaves the elderly and vulnerable at a greater risk of developing the infection and can cause death. Another information regarding Covid-19 has recently emerged that this infection does not only affect the liver as almost all vital organs including brain and kidneys are severely affected with chances of developing a condition called long term Covid-19 effect.
According to a study there are three key factors that need to be addressed if Covid-19 menace is to be controlled in populations across the world.
1. Smart lockdown can be imposed after rapid smart testing with robust contact tracing techniques so that viral spread can be curtailed to the maximum extent. Once at least 80% contacts are traced then measures should be in place to ensure 14 days quarantine to be strictly observed.
2. Individual safe social practices need to be promoted in the society whereby the practice of avoiding crowded places and the habit of wearing face mask is deemed ingrained in the masses.
3. Border control measures need to be restricted which will ensure that no new cases are imported into a country from other countries.