Best of the Global responses to Covid-19

Different countries handled Covid-19 in different ways. Worked for some, you know about the rest. We look at the examples of smart leadership that managed to keep the numbers low. First wave that is.

Let’s dive right in.

You read those numbers right, that’s latest, from the neighbor of the epicenter of a global pandemic.

Taiwan has set an example for the world. They didn’t stop the economy from affecting businesses. Instead quickly closed borders and began mobile Sim-tracking to identify and ensure those in quarantine zones were abiding by the rules. While the count was low.

Yep, the use of SIM-tracking has given rise to some legitimate privacy concerns. But for now, Taiwan’s response ranks among the world’s best. And it didn’t hurt to have an epidemiologist vice president.

BBig difference from the previous one in the number of cases, no doubt, but look at the deaths count.

Singapore was among the first countries hailed a “winner” for its pandemic response, a well-deserved reputation on its aggressive approach to contact-tracing and widespread testing. The government built temporary bed spaces at breakneck speeds to house COVID-19 patients, keeping the casualty rate low (<0.1% of confirmed cases).

Set an example with maximum testing and minimal locking. Even when 80% of the korean population lives in the metro cities.

Not just that, South Korea began developing Covid-19 tests scaling up production to thousands-per-day while its own toll was still below a hundred and then helped export tests and medical supplies abroad in the critical early days of the global pandemic.

Look at that count!

New Zealand’s first case was detected on Feb 28th, and relative to other governments, moved swiftly to shut down the country — less than three weeks later, the country shut its borders to outside travelers, and a week later had not only shut down non-essential businesses but went even further, instituting a “level 4 lockdown” which meant that people could only interact with people within their home in an attempt to “eliminate” the virus altogether

Quiz: What other viruses belong to the coronavirus family?

a. SARS and influenza
b. SARS and MERS
c. SARS and HIV

Aehehehe, This is interesting. From being praised for the earliest and one of the strictest lockdowns out there with astringency score of 100, to meme community now celebrating the 1 Million cases achievement. Somewhere it’s visible it didn’t quite work out. And hence the separator above this, keeping India a bit apart from the best responses’ list.

First, let’s look at the graph for comparison with other countries:

Unique indeed. India started Unlock after hitting 1Lakh positive cases. Within one and a half months it has increased 10-fold. Was it too early to unlock?

[Personal opinion]
Well, I think it was too early to lock. Look at the graph, the cases in the march were basically too low to perform a national lockdown.

While lockdown should’ve fixed stuff anyway. Focus on the national — the whole country needn’t be locked down so early. This affected employment in many places (added financial panic to individuals). And caused panic stocking of groceries as well. Both those waves of panic brought people together.
Temporary panic is okay, but for a lockdown that could go for months, it’s easy to also see people losing all the hope rather quickly.

Two, the government did absolutely nothing else apart from asking us all to clap for frontline workers or to light candles to wish away the darkness caused by the pandemic. The lockdown could instead be used to scale up proactive testing facilities. Aarogya setu is one good initiative but the problem: it’s reactive.
[End of personal opinion]

The End

That’s all. How’s it being carried out in your country? How well is it going? I’d love to know shoot comments below.

Answer to quiz: b. SARS and MERS (reference)

Also, this blog post is a part of my Knowledge•Day newsletter, born during the lockdown, wherein I cover a new topic watering my own and everyone’s knowledge. I’d love if you join along with the journey..

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Yash Yadav

Software developer with interest in open source and love for Linux! I also have a non-tech blog-letter: