April 14, 2024

Containing the coronavirus disease-2019

Most Filipinos are now scared of the occurrence of the coronavirus disease-2019 (Covid-19). When the enhanced community quarantine was declared in the evening of March 16 covering Metro Manila and the whole of Luzon, it was reported there were 140 people infected with the virus and has claimed the lives of 12 others – a very small fraction of the 107 million population of the Philippines.
We know that the Covid-19 is contagious and precautionary measures are being imposed and undertaken, but is there an authoritative statement tracing the infection cases to the virus and an urgent home quarantine is necessary?
We lack the capability in laboratory equipment and expertise to accurately diagnose the disease. The media say, spread facts, not fear.
The month-long quarantine pronouncement was abrupt and caught us unaware – for us to properly prepare specific, desirable, doable, and effective guidelines, and to mobilize resources to have quick responses to manage the health disorder.
Movement is inconvenient. There is a lockdown of work, but how will people get money to be able to meet their daily subsistence in a no work, no pay policy? Will the financial assistance to be given them sufficient? How about the self-employed, where will they have the means to survive?
It is said that people stay home and relief goods will be given. Can it really adequately reach the houses of millions of people to be served? Proper nutrition to strengthen the immune system to overcome the disease should also be considered.
People who go to public and commercial buildings or traverse border points are subjected to thermal scanners and inspection. Those who have normal body temperatures and wear face masks are allowed entry, while those who register high temperatures and do not have face masks are refused to enter, and there are several establishments that just disregard them instead of assisting them to undergo medical examination and health care. It also helps when people are tested right in their homes.
Face masks and alcohol are out of stock in outlets because of fright buying. How can people now comply with the hygienic directive? How about requiring only those confirmed infected with the virus to wear face masks and use sanitizers to prevent the transmission of their illness. Normally, it is only the sick of respiratory ailments who should wear face masks and be cleansed.
Social gatherings are discouraged and we missed holding activities that mold our well being. I think worthwhile events could still proceed as long as safety measures are observed.
Classes have been suspended but students have to go to school to learn more the fact they ranked last in reading comprehension and second lowest in mathematics and sciences in an international student performance assessment. Academic institutions can still go on if students are given home study lessons or homework or by employing distance or online learning.
A scientific approach in managing the virus should also be taken into account. The disease triangle having three points show that disease developments depends on (1) pathogen (corona virus), (2) host (humans), and (3) environment.
We must ascertain the extent of incidence of the virus, its mode of transmission, and it could be possible also that it is carried by insect vectors. How about animals and other forms of life, are they also alternate hosts of the disease? A correlation of environmental factors to the enhancement or suppression of the infection should be known. These should be established and integrated with practical measures to enable us to effectively combat the virus.
Several church masses have been suspended, but no need to pray in the house of the Lord. The impact of the coronavirus was felt at the start of the Lenten season, a period of meditation and repentance, and there is an accompanying message. There is no known treatment for virus infections. Realize that it is only God who can cure coronavirus if we cleanse ourselves of wickedness. — PERCIVAL B. ALIPIT, Baguio City