Why is Europe and America finding it hard to curb coronavirus?
From threads I have gone through so far, I have come to a conclusion that the reason Europe and America is finding it hard to curb the spread of coronavirus are lack of preparedness, commercialisation of testing, the strict criteria for #COVID19 testing, testing delays and heavy politicization of the pandemic by these countries.
When COVID-19 was first announced in Wuhan, a city in far away China, many country leaders in the West never envisioned it to be a potential global threat may spread to Europe and America and hence never prepared for it. As a result, money was not budgeted early for the fight, there was no sensitization programmes, and boarder control and screening was lax.
Commercialisation of testing
Humanity supersedes any form of economic ideology including capitalism. For a test that is supposed to be free to encourage voluntary testing, many Europeans especially Americans have continually complained that they are made to pay through their noses in order to get screened.
For instance, it was largely reported that some countries charge $3,000 for testing and even countries that carry out the tests free ensure those with mild symptoms are excluded from compulsory testing. With this approach, many lower and middle class persons will be discouraged from going for testing.
Strict Testing Criteria
About 3 days ago, Dr Chris Higgins, a Melbourne doctor (General Practitioner) at Toraak Hospital, Australia was accused of deliberately infecting about 70 of his patients with coronavirus even when he knew he had symptoms.
In a rebuttal, Dr Higgins said he earlier told the management of the hospital where he works that he just came back from America and was exhibiting symptoms suggestive of coronavirus. He was however told he didn’t meet the criteria for #COVID19 testing and should continue with his duty of attending to patients. In his honest line of duty he made contact with about 70 of his patients and other hospital staff in the process infecting them. Read full details here.. .
Most public health experts in the US say delays in testing for the coronavirus remains the biggest obstacle for dealing with its potential spread.
The country remains “behind much of the rest of the world” on testing, said Dr William Schaffner, professor of preventive medicine and infectious diseases at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville.
That is because, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the federal agency responsible for public health, chose to create its own testing kit instead of using one recommended by the WHO and it took longer than anticipated, Schaffner said.
Heavy But Unnecessary Politics
As more European countries announce coronavirus cases, United States and Europe’s populist politicians are attempting to use the health crisis to serve their own political goals and this has worsened the crisis. The heavy politicisation of coronavirus epidemic in Europe and especially in the USA has posed a great challenge to curbing spread of the disease.
It is in public domain that it took months to convince the US President that coronavirus was in his country (that is if he has been convinced). His initial stance was “coronavirus was democrats’ new hoax just like climate change” designed to put his government in bad light and weaken his re-election chances”. Because of this thinking, money was not budgeted for COVID19 and this affected procurement of testing reagents, quarantining of suspicious cases, acquiring of testing gadgets and training of port health officials.
It was just last week that President Donald Trump finally earmarked $8 billion for coronavirus, a disease that is now in the major cities of America and have caused scores of deaths.
In the same vein, it is on record that Italy who has lost hundreds of persons to coronavirus and quarantined the whole country just budgeted €25 billion (Euros) to check the menace today, a move many health experts have labelled an afterthought.
In conclusion, for a disease now declared a global pandemic by the WHO, the western world has not shown “leadership” in the fight against coronavirus and must shake-off their growing “tardiness”.
Featured Image: The Sun