Tough road ahead - GulfToday

Tough road ahead

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Photo has been used for illustrative purposes.

Whilst most countries are gradually easing the lockdowns, there are also cases where the COVID-19 cases are spiralling. It’s reported that Australia may seek the help of its military to manage a fresh surge. Some states in the US like Florida, Arizona, Texas are also witnessing an increase in COVID-19 cases. In India, Delhi and Mumbai cities, the cases have exceeded 70,000 each.

Some health authorities are warning that Pakistan may see COVID-19 touch four million cases by August 2020 and Delhi city may see about 500,000 cases. These staggering numbers will require war-time preparations to manage patients. It is not merely adequate to convert large stadiums or schools into isolated quarantine centres, to isolate patients.

Photographs in various newspapers show row after row of beds neatly placed next to each other in many cities. However, there is no medical equipment next to the beds. These large quarantine centres also needs medical equipment, oxygen facilities in deteriorating emergency cases, doctors, nurses and ward boys in large numbers to look after the patients.

There should also be kitchens attached to these quarantine centres to provide meals to the patients. Since the infection can spread through clothing, there have to be adequate number of laundries which can disinfect clothing and launder it.

In some quarantine centres, there are no arrangements for meals and family attendants are required to provide meals and service to the patients. This increases the chances of further infections. Care at the quarantine centres has to be holistic and compete, not piecemeal. Some countries may think of imposing lockdowns again, in view of the augmenting COVID-19 numbers. It may be wise to impose selective lockdowns, in specific areas and localities, rather than blanket lockdowns across states or regions.

The challenges posed by COVID-19 are manifold and are multiplying daily. The leadership of countries must measure up. After all, they volunteered for their jobs, by standing for elections. Now, they must deliver.

Rajendra Aneja — Mumbai, India




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