Osman Mia
Latest World

Actions Countries Can Take to Stop the Coronavirus

Take aggressive steps while ensuring the people's basic needs are met

4 April 2020
e've established that to stop Covid-19, the number of new cases must be brought down to zero and that it must be zero for at least two weeks.

I wrote the note that three days ago. Since then, the rate of new cases daily in most countries had gone up, not down. The rate of new cases in the US went from about 20,000 to about 30,000 per day. The rate in the UK went from about 3,000 to about 4,000 per day.

I am sure that the US, the UK and other governments are doing their best in aggressively tackling this crisis.

And let me say that you can learn a lot from studying how the Chinese are dealing with the crisis. The number of new cases in China has dropped to about 30 per day.

South Korea seems to have done well, too. Their rate dropped to about 90 a day.

If we can bring down the rate of new cases to zero by end of April, then we can resume regular movements and travel by end of May.

Some of the actions that countries can take:

1. Start collecting and reporting accurate data on daily new cases, by area.

2. Start zoning areas. Give the colour red to high-risk zones. Then orange and the yellow to lesser risk zones. White is for zones that are established to be clear of the virus, i.e no new Covid-19 case for at least two weeks.

3. Do not allow people to move from one area to another, except between two white zone areas.

4. Within the zones, establish quarantine centres. People with the possibility of having the virus are to be placed in these centres for at least two weeks if they are not tested positive to having the virus. If they are tested positive, move them to hospitals or treatment centres.

5. Within the zones, strictly keep movements to a minimum. Do not allow people to move about freely. They are to stay at home and go out only if they absolutely have to. Even then, limit the number going out to just one from each household. Encourage home deliveries as opposed to going out to buy groceries or food.

6. Get people to practice social distancing at home with family members who have to regularly leave the house. And to take the steps to keep safe.

7. Keep foreigners from entering the country, unless both your country and the visitor's country are both established to be white countries. "White" here means free of the coronavirus. Allow citizens and residents to return, but ensure that they are quarantined at the quarantine centres for at least two weeks.

8. There are many who would be economically affected by a lockdown, and that is essentially what the above actions construe. Identify these people and provide welfare assistance in terms of food and toiletries and help them. Otherwise, they will have no choice but to go out.

9. Use the police and army to enforce the above. If this is not enough, then recruit volunteers but establish a clear organisational hierarchy.

By the way, Malaysia, where I live, implements much of the above. However, the rate of new cases has still gone up from about 120 when I wrote my other note to nearly 200 today. Goes to show that it is not easy to control people, even if the government is earnestly doing its best.

If your country has yet to take aggressive action, then be among those to implore them to start.



© Osman Mia