COVID-19 : Have we learnt any lessons at all from last year?

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Sharvari A Khandkar, a MBBS graduate from Medical College Baroda and SSG hospital. 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.


More than a year after the start of the pandemic, the world is enduring a grim 3rd wave. The latest pandemic surge in Europe, triggered by the spread of the now dominant B.1.1.7 strain of the virus first noted in England, is now being called the “third wave”. According to the who’s epidemiological update, globally new covid-19 cases rose for a 7th consecutive week, with over 5.2 million new cases reported in the last week and the number of new deaths increased for a 5th consecutive week, increasing by 8%. The largest case incidence being noted in South-East Asia (most notably India) and East Mediterranean regions.

As with the onset of the vaccination drive, the trend among people more than 80 years of age has diverged from the trend seen in every other age group. The vaccination drive in some countries has already led to reductions in weekly hospitalisation rates and deaths caused by covid-19, but with little difference in others.

But the main question stands, “why are we experiencing a third wave despite vaccination?”. This could be attributed to a lot of reasons. Firstly, the extensive travel by people across the continent for work as well as for leisure. Secondly the lack of discipline pertaining to use of masks and following strict hand hygiene. We have failed to realise that the virus has not gone anywhere, and that vaccination alone will not be protective for prevention of transmission. Thirdly the crippling status of the healthcare system, which can be attributed to a deficiency in prioritising healthcare above all in times of a deadly pandemic. It seems we have not fully learned the lesson from the past one year.

Safe and effective vaccines will be a gamechanger: but for the foreseeable future we must continue wearing masks, physically distancing and avoiding crowds. Being vaccinated does not mean that we can throw caution to the wind and put ourselves and others at risk. As far as vaccination is concerned, it can prevent mortality and chances of progression to severe disease, not infection. We have prioritised frontline workers and the high-risk groups, and yet a large population remains to be vaccinated.

As the year has progressed, we have seen more and more recent advances in terms of medications for battling covid-19, and newer drugs being approved for use. The emphasis remains on the 3 major pillars i.e., prevention by means of- masks, social distancing and hand hygiene.

The important measures like “Stay at home” and “work from home” soon lost importance as we saw the reopening of offices and schools after the first wave, followed by resurgence of new cases. It is pertinent to note that the virus is still at large, and newer mutant strains have been found which makes detection and treatment exceedingly difficult for the healthcare workers. Lockdowns and or increased restrictions are necessary in these times, especially when the hospitals are saturated.

As the world still searches for the cure, we have certain drugs like Remidesivir authorised for treatment and others under rolling review. We are still far from finding a cure.

In conclusion, we must keep following basic precautions meticulously if we want to avoid the next wave.

References

  1. https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.who.int%2Fhealth-topics%2Fcoronavirus&psig=AOvVaw0L7qu3SC5mCvcAeljAzS_g&ust=1619436573176000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CAIQjRxqFwoTCIjaqvGpmfACFQAAAAAdAAAAABAL
  2. WHO epidemiological update on covid-19 , 20th April 2021. https://www.who.int/publications/m/item/weekly-epidemiological-update-on-covid-19—20-april-2021.
  3. https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus#tab=tab_1
  4. FINANCIAL TIMES https://www.ft.com/content/d1af353b-709f-41d5-ac88-4ac38ee7dc6c
  5. https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/covid-19-vaccines

About the author

Sharvari A Khandkar is a MBBS graduate from Medical College Baroda and SSG hospital. She has worked shifts as an intern in an COVID hospital during her internship. She believes that an effective doctor patient relationship is required for the betterment of a patient in a whole. She has always been a passionate learner and enthusiastic student. These are difficult times and she believes that together we can get through it.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Top UN rights official urges transparent probe into Khashoggi disappearance

Neither side stands to benefit in US-China trade spat, UN says

Questions and Answers on issues about the digital copyright directive

EP President calls for emergency assistance to migrants stranded on Open Arms boat

Women’s rights face global pushback from conservativism, fundamentalism – UN experts warn

Team Europe: €34 billion disbursed so far to tackle COVID-19 in partner countries

Here’s why China’s trade deal with Mauritius matters

Data marketplaces can transform economies. Here’s how

Eurozone: Even good statistics mean deeper recession

Primary Care: a way to provide Palliative Care in Universal Health Coverage

To solve the climate crisis, we need an investment revolution

Creating shared value: an opportunity and challenge for entrepreneurship

Bulgaria: MEPs call for EU values to be fully and unconditionally respected

JADE President opens JADE Spring Meeting 2014

Being blinded by labels stops social change. Art helps us see a better future

As threats to IoT devices evolve, can security keep up?

Innovation and entrepreneurship can cut waste and deliver the circular economy

EU Budget 2020 conciliation talks suspended

Global immunization is having its annual check-up. What can we learn?

UN cooperation with League of Arab States ‘pivotal’, UN chief tells Security Council

EU Budget 2019 to focus on young people

Three experts on why eradicating plastic pollution will help achieve gender equality

Berlin wants to break South’s politico-economic standing

This is where teachers are most (and least) respected

Understanding the gender gap in the Global South

European Parliament approves new copyright rules for the internet

Chile ups foreign bribery enforcement but flawed case resolutions are insufficient to ensure transparency and accountability

India’s economy is an ‘elephant that is starting to run’, according to the IMF

What will Germany look like after the next election?

Half the world’s population is still offline. Here’s why that matters

As G7 calls time on coal, have you checked your supply chain?

Campaign kicks off with High-level Event on #FairInternships

Could 2021 be a turning point for forests and climate change?

New UN Syria envoy pledges to work ‘impartially and diligently’ towards peace

The sustainable fashion revolution is well underway. These 5 trends prove it

Arrest of three Libyans wanted for grave crimes ‘would send strong and necessary message’ to victims, urges top Prosecutor

Rule of Law mechanism applies without further delay as of 1 January, MEPs stress

Indonesia has a plan to deal with its plastic waste problem

Rise in violent conflict shows prevention ‘more necessary than ever’: UN chief

Yemen: ‘A great first step’ UN declares as aid team accesses grain silo which can feed millions

Using CO2 as an industrial feedstock could change the world. Here’s how

Protecting European consumers: toys and cars on top of the list of dangerous products

MEPs call for the protection of fundamental values in the EU and worldwide

The West and Russia accomplished the dismembering and the economic destruction of Ukraine

WHO chief underscores need to address climate change following visit to Bahamas

After the George Floyd protests, what next for racial justice in the US?

80,000 youngsters at risk in DRC after forcible expulsion from Angola: UNICEF

Don’t take African generosity towards refugees for granted, says UN refugee chief

Humanitarian action: New outlook for EU’s global aid delivery challenged by COVID-19

Food choices today, impact health of both ‘people and planet’ tomorrow

From DIY editing to matchmaking by DNA: how human genomics is changing society

How global tech can drive local healthcare innovation in China

Here’s why the tech sector could be the next target for Chinese investment in Africa

Is South Korea set to lose from its FTA with the EU?

Artificial Intelligence raises ethical, policy challenges – UN expert

The future of manufacturing is smart, secure and stable

European Semester Autumn Package: Bolstering inclusive and sustainable growth

Can the world take the risk of a new financial armageddon so that IMF doesn’t lose face towards Tsipras?

GSMA Mobile 360 – Africa: Rise of the Digital Citizen, Kigali 16 – 18 July 2019, in association with The European Sting

Universal Health Coverage will ‘drive progress’ on 2030 Development Agenda

More Stings?

Comments

  1. Not much, I think. Thank you!

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: