Israel Figa explains that the Covid-19 is a coronavirus and coronaviruses are an explicit subcategory of virus that have some exclusive features as viruses. Covid-19 has been titled as the novel coronavirus because until December 2019 there existed only six kinds of coronavirus and Covid-19th is the seventh type. Israel Figa describes how the outbreak is being or can be tracked and what restrictions are globally being adopted to limit the spread and if at all they are serving the purpose.
Tracking the Outbreak
The symptoms of coronavirus range from mild fever to dry cough to headache to body aches to very fatal viral pneumonia. According to Israel Figa it is this range of symptoms that has made it so difficult to trail the outbreak. When Covid-19 first emerged no one knew what it really was, it was gradually when the virus became an outbreak in Wuhan did they realize what it really was and what the destruction it was capable of causing. From outbreak it became an epidemic and it did not take World Health Organization much time to call it a pandemic given the speed at which it spread worldwide.
Global Interaction with the Planet
Israel Figa reminds people that Covid-19 is not the last of major outbreak that the world is going to see. It is a given that outbreaks and epidemics are here to stay and this is primarily because of the way human beings are interacting with the planet. Choices people are making globally is what is driving the world into a position where it will see more outbreaks. According to Israel Figa it is also about climate change and the warming climate is making the world more inviting to viruses and bacteria. The temperature is suitable for the virus to not only survive but thrive. As long as remote places are made less remote the outbreaks are going to keep happening and disrupting life.
Are Quarantine and Travel Restrictions the Right Approach?
The life as we see it today is all about quarantine, isolation and travel restrictions. It is a global perspective and the first impulse that the outbreak can be restricted with quarantine and restrictions on travel. But Isreal Figa asks if that is really the case? If quarantine and travel restriction could really curtail the spread? Israel Figa notes if that was the case then over this span of more than one year the spread of the virus would have been curtailed but that is not true.
In fact, the virus keeps spreading like wildfire even today when more than a year has gone by with countries all over the world practicing isolation and social distancing and restricting travel. This common approach to stop people from moving to stop the outbreak is not really helping. This is because it is difficult to put an effective quarantine in place or set up an efficient quarantine in place. Even countries like US and South Korea that made significant investments in public health are not able to get that kind of restriction in place.
What is Causing the Spread?
Israle Figa notes it could take from 2-14 days from the time you were infected with the virus to the onset of the symptoms and in some cases you might even be asymptomatic, meaning thereby that you don’t show any symptoms at all. So this means that people are roaming around with the virus while showing no signs or symptoms of it. By the time they realize they have the virus the damage has already been done.
Moreover, there are some significant costs attached to quarantine and travel restrictions. Due to financial constraints not every household has ample rooms to isolate the family members. While developed countries such as China did set up massive quarantine centers to isolate patients, not every country has that kind of resources especially developing countries. Secondly there is a social stigma attached to Covid-19 which prevents people from informing others they have interacted with about contracting the virus. People start treating Covid-19 patients differently and go by a common perception that once a covid-19 patient always a covid-19 patient.
Global Healthcare System Can Only Limit the Spread
What is even more alarming is the fact that Politicians and government officials are concealing information for fear of triggering a quarantine protocol. So it’s not only the people but also the governments worldwide that are being dishonest about the situation and this is what is causing the spread.
This can be fixed if countries can get better at quarantine and travel restrictions. However, according to Israel Figa in the long-run to make the outbreak less serious the best way is to build a global health system to support core healthcare functions in every country. This would ensure that all countries including the poor ones are able to promptly recognize and treat new infectious diseases as they emerge.