The outbreak of the novel Coronavirus disease, widely known as COVID-19 or 2019-nCOV was first recorded in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China in December 2019. Currently, it has been confirmed on six continents and in 182 countries. According to a report from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 25,000 cases have been reported in the United States and it was revealed that older patients were more vulnerable to the risks of the disease with those under-65 admitted to intensive care.
According to the WHO Situation Report as released on the 21st of March, 2020, 266,073 cases of the Coronavirus disease have been confirmed globally with the most intense cases in the European Region (128,541 confirmed cases and 6000 deaths), followed by the Western Pacific Region (94,037 confirmed cases with 3426 deaths), Eastern Mediterranean Region (22,355 confirmed cases with 1466 deaths), American Region (18,877 confirmed cases and 235 deaths), South-East Asia Region (979 confirmed cases with 38 deaths), and the African Region (572 confirmed cases and 12 deaths). Noteworthy is the fact that the WHO Risk Assessment on a global level is relatively high. The rippling effect of these huge numbers on Universal Health Coverage would be impossible to overstate.
Universal health coverage as a broad concept is aimed at ensuring equity and equality in the healthcare delivery irrespective of background, race, location, financial constraint or any factor that will pose as a barrier to enjoying good and healthy standards of living globally. Seem as it may, no country is prepared for any pandemic whatsoever as this will plummet the economy of such nation and place her inhabitants in a state of fright and disarray and hence, will lead to more occurrence of deaths or severe health conditions due to the outbreak which will have a relative effect on the population of countries across the globe. The novel Coronavirus has indeed continued to pose as a threat towards achieving universal health coverage and sadly enough, no vaccines or prophylactic therapies have been approved to be effective and of utmost therapeutic effect against it.
The deadly virus has cost a huge fall-out in the global economy and many nations have reportedly suffered a loss in their economic activities. Seemingly, should things continue this way, several countries might get indebted and eventually face recession. Companies are also not exempted from this unfortunate loss as huge amounts of money will be lost. Currently, studies have revealed that a trade war is ongoing between the USA and China which had not been in favor of the Chinese government as their economic trade value reduce drastically. Sequel to the travel ban that has been placed on several countries in the world today by other nations, airlines, and transport companies have suffered economic setbacks and huge losses. Workforce capacity has reduced globally as people are now been forced to work from home. These issues are being encouraged greatly by the widespread Coronavirus disease.
As a means of addressing this global menace, monoclonal antibodies which are passive immunotherapy has been identified to be effective, hence medical personnel should engage in a collaborative approach in order to ensure its development. SARS-CoV is related to COVID19, hence, stronger studies are needed to establish feasible facts and evidence that can be translated into the development of a vaccine.
Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) measures should also be adhered to, as no vaccine has been proven to cure the disease yet. Furthermore, infected persons should ensure to stay at home and seek treatment from medical personnel as this will help prevent hospital transmission which was reported as one of the common means of transmission in China. To prevent the incidences of infection, people are strongly advised to wash hands with soap and clean water or alcohol-based sanitizers, avoid social or crowded gatherings, wear a face mask if sick, always maintain good hygiene and quickly visit the hospital for medical aid if conditions are perceived to be symptomatic with COVID-19.
Coronavirus is a fatal pandemic affecting the healthy living of individuals across the globe. It has been declared as a global health menace hence the need for medical personnel to work in collaboration to combat and develop a vaccine and various curative measures which will be of paramount importance in sustaining and improving public and global health. When necessary and precautionary measures are been taken, the global impact of the Coronavirus disease on universal health coverage can be managed and controlled.
The views and opinions expressed in this opinion article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of The Eastern Herald.