self-isolation or complete lockdown

in developing countries


Coronavirus infection, now a pandemic,basically started as an epidemic from the city Wuhan, China.
It is a respiratory virus with comparatively larger size that makes it settle down instead of travelling through the air. Thus it is transmitted more through the contact with the surfaces containing the virus rather than through the respiratory droplets until unless the sneeze or cough of the affected person directly throws the virus on you. The mortality is higher in the old aged patients, small children, people with low immunity and having co-morbidities.
Signs and symptoms :
The signs and symptoms are flu like symptoms, fever, difficulty in breathing, lung infection, lung failure and death if the risk factors are present.
Prevention and treatment:
No specific treatment for the virus like any anti-viral drugs or vaccines are available to the date. The only way to be safe is to take precautions from getting infected. The precautionary measures include isolation of the patients, putting on masks by the patients with flu-like symptoms or confirmed coronavirus cases, washing hands properly and repeatedly with soap or using commercially available hand senitizers. Self-isolation avoiding the gatherings, contact with affected persons and un-necessary going out of the home where the vulnerability increases several folds of getting contaminated by the micro-organism.
1. Morbidity and mortality:
The virus has affected the whole world in many ways in addition to the primary morbidity it is supposed to cause. The fear of death and the quick spread of the virus is the primary concerns of the population.
2. Economical effects:
But the other aspect which has been noted after taking the preventive measures has proved to be equally disastrous which will probably be the main issue in the developing countries in the coming days. The lock-down condition of the cities and countries though a very effective measure to prevent the spread of the virus, has brought a great fall to the stock markets and the overall economy of the countries. China, USA and the other developed countries have the backup to sustain the economy loses with availability of basic needs of life to their citizens. But when it comes to the developing countries like Pakistan, India and other third world countries, the lock-down leading to starvation is more of a problem than the coronavirus.
                 In these countries, already the economical conditions are poor with no sustainability to falling stock market and when it will come to lock-down the major population which survives on daily wages basis will have no earning of money to buy food for their families and themselves leading to starvation, deaths due to malnutrition in already poorly nourished people, suicides, psycological problems and an overall negative impact on the whole nations. The mortality from the virus would be increased in these starved people leading to very alarming situations. So the lock-down is not the best possible measure in the developing countries.
What to do:
1. Awareness:
Here the important thing is to first of all to educate and beware people about the realities regarding the virus, its spread, its mortality rate and side-effects of not taking preventive measures as well as the disadvantages of the lockdown effecting the uneducated, poor, below average living people the most.
2. Self-isolation:
the best possible thing to be done is to self-isolate oneself which means not going out of your residence and neither allow other persons to come into your homes.
3. Maintaining safe distance:
A safe distance is to be maintained with no hand shakes, hugs or touches with the people.
4. Avoiding unnecessary gathering or going out:
this should be ensured at all levels.
5. Bewaring disadvantages of compelled complete-lockdown:
The need of hour is to tell people that if they will not take preventions on individual levels and their vicinities, the governments will be forced to close and cease all the activities which will be a great loss to individuals and to the country as well. The ground realities about the death rate of the virus and the effects of starvation are to be compared and make the locals understand those facts that self-isolation and adapting the measures properly will help them and others more than the compelled lock-down.
6. Shortage of health facilities:
The people should be made to realize that the spread of the virus will lead to a bulk of patients facing towards the hospitals which will shorten the capacities of the facilities and availability of the doctors which will cause a panic and painful condition for all the citizens.
Analytically and sensibly interpreting the situation, working on individual, family, town and then district or city level measures by each citizen, spreading and encouraging the precautions regarding the spread of the disease and self-isolation are required at utmost basis so that the government and the officials may not be pushed against the wall for locking down the whole county, ceasing the activities and making life of each individual to be miserable even if he is not a victim of coronavirus.
         dr saadia hafeez




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