A glimmer of hope fighting coronavirus
These are difficult days and testing times in many corners of the globe. But in difficult times one must never be pessimistic, never defeated, never without hope. And yes, even though there are fears and concerns about coronavirus, this is a time where we should look at the positives that are emerging — signs that perhaps we are at the point where the tide is turning, where the numbers are indeed beginning to look good. In China, the epicentre of the Covid-19 outbreak, the number of infected people continues to decline, particularly over the past 48 hours. Doctors are seeing fewer cases, there are fewer deaths, and there is reason for cautious optimism to be at able to take hold. President Xi Jinping has visited the city of Wuhan and met with public health officials and those who dealt with the initial outbreak. The very clear message then is that the extensive measures put in place in China — the quarantine measures, the shutting of schools and colleges, the extended breaks for factory workers, the tireless efforts of doctors, nurses and front-line health practitioners and the concentration of the full powers of the Chinese state to combat coronavirus — seem to have indeed paid off.
The virus has plateaued and now appears to be waning there. That is indeed a positive. While China was the epicentre, coronavirus has spread globally — but apart from noticeable hotspots, the lesson seems to be that public health measures to contain and prevent the widespread contamination seems to be working. Prudence and listening to the advice of public health professionals has prevented this outbreak from reaching its full negative potential. For those living in Iran and Italy, Covid-19 remains a very real threat, with governments forced to enact extraordinary measures to prevent its further spread. Yes, there are cases spread around the world with numbers at the smaller scale, and there are hotspots that are challenging the ability of medical staff to quarantine those infected. Thankfully, however, many who suspect they might be infected are being prudent in self-quarantining and are listening to the medical experts. The lesson here is that we cannot afford to be complacent in ignoring the risks posed by coronavirus. The advice given by officials has been to self-isolate if you suspect you have Covid-19. We cannot, however, drop our guard just yet — the World Health Organisation is cautioning that this still has the capacity to be a full-blown pandemic. Caution is still the watchword.