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How Healthcare Sector Fared During the COVID-19 Outbreak

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The recent pandemic has brought numerous challenges for the world, many of which were seen for the first time. Along with the obvious factors like shortages of resources in hospitals, COVID-19 was also responsible for some of the most major business downfalls and high rates of unemployment. While the virus did present quite a hurdle towards the progression of normal activities, there are ways that we managed to sustain the outbreak. Thanks to these efforts, we can officially mark some regions as 100% Covid-free today. This article seeks to highlight some of these strategies and explain how they lead to controlled management of Covid.

Before going on to discuss how the outbreak was controlled, it is important to learn about the complexities of Covid, which made it so difficult to manage in the first place. Formerly, Covid was a relatively new virus. Its first case was identified in Wuhan, China, on 31st December 2019, and there was little to no information about it. As time passed, this virus continued to spread rapidly all across China, killing millions of people, which then made it a point of concern in the world. After the problem was highlighted, scientists and researchers began by observing the clinical manifestations of Covid. With the progression of time, the virus started to mutate and evolve into newer versions which demonstrated a multitude of new clinical symptoms each time.

What steps did the healthcare sector take?

The first challenge Covid presented was the realisation that there is a lack of knowledge and skills to manage the spike in patient numbers. To improve the situation, nurses and hospital administrators were encouraged to apply for distance learning programs like MHA online programs no GRE. These programs did not require any standardised testing, which led to quicker completion, and they were particularly targeted towards disease management and control.

This degree was highly valuable in training hospital staff as its focus was particularly on educating about methods to manage emerging risks. The degree also offered valuable insight on the subject of public health challenges and how to navigate through them. Moreover, since the course was offered online, it was easier to complete. By participating in clinical simulations and contributing to numerous research-based projects, individuals were able to gain leadership skills that helped them make better decisions and devise more innovative strategies that allowed the effective management of Covid.

Some other steps that clinical units took to control the situation included the implementation of strict SOPs. This meant that every staff member was required to wear masks and obligated to sanitize their hands in every station. Strict timetables were also imposed to ensure that workers and physicians were available at all times. Rapid hospital rounds by administration ensured that these guidelines were being followed and acted upon.

What steps did the Government take?

Given that Covid is an airborne disease, it had an extremely high risk of transmission. Due to this, governments had to figure out ways to stop the risk of the virus being contracted at such a fast rate. As Covid started spreading from country to country and was finally declared as a pandemic on 11th March 2020, numerous countries derived SOPs and smart lockdowns to control the spread.

Some countries enforced a strict lockdown in all public places. This included cancelling any form of gatherings, parties, dine-ins, or areas of leisure activities. There were also initiatives like educating people about masks and sanitisers through sources like TV, newspapers, and social media. With the progression of the rate of fatalities, it was made important to wear masks every time one was out in public. There were also drives that contributed to the free distribution of masks and hand sanitisers as well.

Perhaps, the biggest change noted in the Covid crisis was the cancellation of all academic activities on campus. Students were forced to stay at home and adapt to online learning methods. Teachers were made to teach the course online, and students had to attend online lectures. Any form of testing, quizzes, or assessments was done on online platforms too. The effects of this method of learning on student performance were devastating for the most part; however, stopping students from coming on campus did contribute to an effective control on the spread of Covid.

How successful were these strategies?

The answer to this is complex as certain countries did very well in this regard, whereas others were quite lacking in their strategies. Countries like New Zealand managed to be Covid-free the earliest, whereas countries like Uganda and Zimbabwe are still red-listed in terms of travel. Generally, HEDCs managed to control the outbreak much better than LEDCs. 

What’s the status of Covid right now? 

Now that vaccines have been developed, the healthcare system has oriented its focus onto getting its population vaccinated the earliest. While vaccination receives a myriad of opinions from the general public, it has still become a necessity. Countries have implemented free vaccination drives, which require each population group to be vaccinated before they can carry on activities like work or school. Universities are now opening up, and it is banned for students to enter without vaccination. Restaurants and cinemas also require you to present evidence of vaccination before you proceed. Then again, while these methods are certainly commendable, it is foresighted that the pandemic is unlikely to dissipate anytime soon. The challenge now is to vaccinate the entire population as soon as possible, but this is difficult as the virus keeps mutating too fast, and some citizens still abstain from getting vaccinated. This leads to the creation of new strains that seem to still affect people even if they have been vaccinated.

To sum up, the novel Covid pandemic has certainly revolutionized lives and changed the ways of the world. Commuting with masks, practising social distancing, and using online modes of work are just some ways our lives have been affected by the virus. Regardless of the complications presented, some countries were able to successfully dodge the virus before it could get worse, while some still cannot guarantee any progress. It is still uncertain as to how we will approach these cases in the near future. 

Adam Mulligan did his degree in psychology at the University of Hertfordshire. He is interested in mental health and well-being.

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