COVID-19 wave III and the lessons learned

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Moushami Priyadarshini, a Final Year MBBS student from MKCG Medical College and Hospital, Berhampur, of state Odisha, India. She is affiliated with the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writers and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.


The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak came to light when on December 31, 2019, China informed the World Health Organization (WHO) of a cluster of cases of pneumonia of an unknown cause in Wuhan City in Hubei province. On January 9, 2020, the WHO issued a statement saying Chinese researchers have made “preliminary determination” of the virus as a novel coronavirus.

COVID-19 symptoms can include fever, cough and shortness of breath. The illness also causes lung lesions and pneumonia. Milder cases may resemble the flu or a bad cold, making detection difficult.

Coronavirus can survive on different surfaces for a long time – plastic (72 hours), stainless steel (48 hours), cardboard (24 hours), and copper (4 hours). As regard to contact spreading, the virus can be effectively inactivated by surface disinfection with 70% isopropyl alcohol, 0.5% hydrogen peroxide, or 0.1% sodium hypochlorite. Hence, thorough cleaning with disinfecting solutions in health facilities and public places is warranted. Health care facilities are advised to use personal protective equipment (PPE) with triple-layered masks or N95 masks and to educate the staff about the proper disposal of the equipment.

At the community level, the most important measures for reducing infection spread rely on case detection, isolation, and contact tracing of positive cases, followed by quarantine for those exposed. Temperature screening has been introduced at airports, railway stations, and bus stations, as well as the entrance of the main community buildings.

There was a limited investment in proactive tracing, home care, and monitoring, and protecting healthcare workers. Recently, the epidemic curve flattened, and the number of new cases and deaths stabilized started decreasing only when enormous measures of containment were accomplished. Social media campaigns, movement tracing by the police, and closure of all non-essential activities were finally working; on the other hand, conversion of public places and existing hospitals into intensive care units contributed to the reduction of the fatality rate.

Social discrimination like Asian Americans have been experiencing a rising number of episodes of violence and hate after U.S. President made hurtful and misleading comments as “China is to blame “and calling COVID-19 the “Chinese virus. “

The impact of COVID has been also affecting sectors like entertainment, tourism, restaurants, and the travel industry, with a tremendous escalation of job losses. Disrupted supply chain and declining stock markets are the final consequences of these social changes, thus hitting the global economy. Finally, a greater incidence of panic disorder, anxiety, depression, and other psychosocial issues has been reported.

Multiple trials are currently underway to develop novel treatment options as well as a vaccine to treat the respiratory syndrome, but results are still awaited. Moreover, months are needed before a vaccine is developed and approved. Even though herd immunity develops over time, vulnerable groups as the healthcare workforce and elderly people should still be preserved. Smart working and staggered shifts may have to be adopted to mitigate COVID-19 transmission in the future.

One of the last concerns regards the Second wave of COVID-19 outbreak.

About the author

Moushami Priyadarshini is a Final Year MBBS student from MKCG Medical College and Hospital, Berhampur, of state Odisha. She is an aspiring writer currently working on the collecting information on COVID-19 and helps others to motivate on the current scenario through various social media platforms like most of the people are suffering from anxiety. For any medical emergency she would definitely help and she is having contacts from different states through WhatsApp groups where the present shortage of any medical emergency can be fulfilled within hours. For further any queries can email her on: -moushamipriyadarshini@gmail.com

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