The world lives on the impact of the rapid outbreak of the Corona virus, which continues to claim victims worldwide, as the number of people infected with it has now exceeded a million and a half million, and has claimed more than a hundred thousand lives, not to mention the enormous economic and social damage it causes.
Perhaps the most prominent question in light of the continued spread of the epidemic despite efforts to reduce it is: When will Corona be eliminated? And how?
The British Guardian newspaper published an article by Professor Davy Sridar, Director of Global Public Health at the University of Edinburgh, in which he presented four possible scenarios for the end of the Corona pandemic crisis and the decline of its spread throughout the world, as follows:
1- Close and prevent infection
The first scenario is that world governments agree on a plan to eradicate the virus that relies on a rapid, low-cost diagnosis to detect people with the virus.
According to this scenario, all countries are obligated to close their borders concurrently for an agreed period of time, and launch a strong campaign to identify carriers of the virus and prevent transmission of it.
This scenario may seem unlikely in light of the widespread outbreak of the virus and the reluctance of some countries to cooperate to limit its spread, but it remains the most realistic due to three reasons:
The first is the lack of efficacy of the anti-viral treatments used to prevent infection or treat those with coronavirus.
Secondly, it may take a long time to produce an anti-virus vaccine.
Third, the acquired immunity to the virus may be short-lived, which may lead to multiple waves of outbreaks, including people who have previously been infected with the virus.
The author pointed out that New Zealand is currently trying to apply this scenario, as it closed its borders, imposed a general closure in the country, and began testing to detect HIV-positive people in the population.
The second scenario to eliminate the Corona pandemic – according to the author – is to demonstrate that early vaccine trials are promising.
In this case, countries will take steps to reduce the spread of the virus within the next 12-18 months, consisting of intermittent closings, and a continuous assessment by health authorities of the capacity of hospitals and health facilities to absorb the infected. On the basis of that assessment, which should be issued three weeks before the authorities’ decision, governments can decide whether they wish to reduce or increase quarantine measures.
The author pointed out that this scenario is very likely but not ideal, as it will overburden health care systems, not to mention the high economic and social costs of the closure. Repeated closings may cause a significant increase in the unemployment rate among members of society, and may lead to an increase in poverty and turmoil Social.
3- South Korea’s plan
The author pointed out that the third, and more likely, scenario is that countries follow measures similar to those taken by South Korea pending the production of a vaccine against the virus.
South Korea’s plan is to increase virus detection tests to identify all infected people, track the people they have had contact with, and quarantine them for up to three weeks.
These measures require extensive planning, rapid development of applications that help track individuals in contact with the infected, and thousands of volunteers are called in to help with surveying, outcome processing and quarantine monitoring.
More social measures can be taken to prevent the spread of the virus and relieve stress on health care systems.
4- Treatment rather than prevention
The fourth scenario – according to the author – includes dealing with the Corona virus by treating its symptoms rather than focusing on prevention, and we may resort to this scenario in the absence of a usable vaccine in the foreseeable future.
This requires health workers relying on the use of anti-virus treatments to prevent the deterioration of patients ’health to the extent that they need intensive care, or to preserve the lives of patients who reach a critical stage of the disease.
The author emphasized that the best solution is to use preventive treatments to prevent the onset of symptoms of infection with the Coronavirus, provided that this is accompanied by rapid diagnostic tests to identify those infected. This solution is possible in countries that have the resources to implement it, but it is very difficult, or impossible, for poor countries.