Posted by : Posted on : 24-Mar-2020

Focusing on finding the sick, isolating them and testing every possible suspect for coronavirus.

It is suggested that the examples of China, Singapore and South Korea, which coupled restrictions with rigorous measures to test every possible suspect, provided a model for Europe, which the WHO has said has replaced Asia as the epicentre of the pandemic.

As Solomon Islands considers a range of options in its fight to keep out COVID 19, the World Health Organization’s top emergency expert said on Sunday that lock downs are not enough.

“What we really need to focus on is finding those who are sick, those who have the virus, and isolate them, find their contacts and isolate them,” Mike Ryan said in an interview on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show.

The danger right now with the lockdowns ... if we don’t put in place strong public health measures now, when those movement restrictions and lockdowns are lifted, the danger is the disease will jump back up.”

Solomon Islands has shut down schools in the capital Honiara, restricted international flights, and has recently banned foreign nationals from entering the country. The government has also opened new quarantine centers, with the aim of putting all new arrivals in 14-day isolations, even if they show no symptoms of the virus.

Much of Europe and the United States have followed China and other Asian countries by introducing drastic restrictions to fight the new coronavirus.

 “Once we’ve suppressed the transmission, we have to go after the virus. We have to take the fight to the virus,” Ryan said.

Source: Solomon Times on Line.

In terms of finding the sick, isolating them and testing, I believe it is important that the Solomon Islands has the capability to carry out testing locally and vital that there is a facility at the National Referral Hospital (NRH) in operation with qualified staff and recourses to do the work. 

The Prime Minister said a few days ago when addressing the nation regarding the preparations and safeguards for tackling the coronavirus threat that consideration was then being considered to the establishment of a virus testing unit at the NRH.

Testing for possible corona virus infection was previously carried out in Melbourne for the Solomon Islands Ministry of Health and Medical Services but Australia is now in lock-down and testing for coronavirus needs to be done at home, but are we ready yet?

When it comes to enforcing quarantine requirements, it is important that those being required to self-isolate for 14 days need to know precisely the conditions and the reasons for the quarantine period so as not to cause panic or misunderstanding.  Equally, anyone required to enforce the quarantine stay must themselves, or as a group or organization, understand the impositions placed on those ordered to ‘self-isolate’ and not act harshly, without any degree of empathy or lack of understanding.

Everyone should know what the hidden virus is and how it can easily be spread if not properly contained by the quarantine measures now believed to the best way of controlling the infectious disease.

Perhaps this information will prove useful

The virus is arguably non-living by itself. It is nothing but a hull around few proteins, and genetic material, which, when comes in contact with any person, starts its journey from hand, mouth, eye, nose, etc. to the lungs of the infected person. When it reaches the lungs, it multiplies exponentially and affects the lungs, up until this point of time; the infected person feels none to mild symptoms of dry cough and fever. But, after the virus has infected the lungs, it attacks the immune system and creates more copies of itself. The infected person becomes the epicenter of the virus again to spread again to any other person through cough, touch, or breath. Since we do not have any scientific vaccine to kill the bacteria till date, we should socially re-engineer ourselves to behave as a social vaccine. There are only two things that we need to take care of, one, not getting infected; the other is not infecting others. Although it might sound very orthodox but washing hands with soap actually is an excellent remedy for fighting against the virus, but since the solution to the problem is so simple, people tend to overlook it. The coronavirus, as stated earlier is nothing but a hull around some proteins and genetic materials; the soap that we use breaks the hull which is made up of fats, which renders the virus unable to infect you.”

Source:  9 Scroob.

Meanwhile, the Asian Development Bank is considering the deployment of a $US6.5 billion Covid-19 rescue package for developing countries, including those in the Pacific.

The director general of the bank's Pacific Department, Leah Gutierrez, said she was closely monitoring how the coronavirus was affecting Pacific countries.

The bank was also in discussions with governments in the Pacific to ensure its aid reflected the health and economic priorities the Pacific was facing.

Source:  Radio New Zealand.

Yours sincerely

Frank Short

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