Journal of Clinical Sciences

SHORT COMMUNICATION
Year
: 2020  |  Volume : 17  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 49--50

Preventing the progression of coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic to community transmission stage in the Western Pacific region


Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava1, Prateek Saurabh Shrivastava2,  
1 Member of the Medical Education Unit and Institute Research Council, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet District, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet District, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava
Professor, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth (SBV) – Deemed to be University, Tiruporur - Guduvancherry Main Road, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet District, Tamil Nadu - 603108
India

Abstract

The pandemic of Corona Virus Disease-2019 (COVID-19) has resulted in the loss of lives of thousands of people, socioeconomic commotion, and overwhelmed health care facilities. In the Western Pacific region, despite of the significant decline in the number of reported cases in China, the region accounted for 943 cases and 20 deaths in a single day and it is an indication that the disease continues to spread. The nations in the region have begun the task of scaling up of all essential activities with an aim to ensure that they are ready and well-equipped with facilities to facilitate quick detection and subsequent actions against the disease. In conclusion, like the global community, the Western Pacific region has to step up their efforts to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. We have to ensure that we are ready with our capacity building and resource before the emergence of the outbreak in the region and this will essentially require a coordinated and concerted approach from all the involved stakeholders.



How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Preventing the progression of coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic to community transmission stage in the Western Pacific region.J Clin Sci 2020;17:49-50


How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Preventing the progression of coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic to community transmission stage in the Western Pacific region. J Clin Sci [serial online] 2020 [cited 2020 Sep 26 ];17:49-50
Available from: http://www.jcsjournal.org/text.asp?2020/17/2/49/284274


Full Text



 Introduction



The pandemic of coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) has resulted in the loss of lives of thousands of people, socioeconomic commotion, overwhelming of the health-care facilities, shortage in the supply of personal protective equipment, spread of myths about the disease, and stigmatization of the population groups, including doctors.[1],[2] Since the start of the outbreak in China, a total of 372,757 cases and 16,231 deaths have been reported worldwide, which are shocking estimates.[1] It is important to note that at present, the European region and the Western Pacific region together account for almost 78.3% of global caseload and 84.3% of the reported deaths worldwide. The present scenario is a major cause of global health concern, especially because none of the population groups or nations is resistant to the infection.[1]

COVID-19: The Western Pacific

The Western Pacific region cumulatively has accounted for 96,580 cases and 3502 deaths, which amounts to a case fatality rate of 3.6% in the region. In the region, a total of 14 nations have reported cases of the disease, whereas seven nations have reported deaths of the infected persons.[1] There are no doubts that after the initial struggle and loss of lives of thousands of people in China, due to the accelerated response of the public health authorities on a war foot basis, there was a significant decline in both the incidence as well as the count of reported deaths each day.[1],[3] However, despite this significant decline, the region accounted for 943 cases and 20 deaths in a single day and it is an indication that the disease continues to spread.[1] In the region, China, Republic of Korea and Australia are the leading nations in terms of caseload, accounting for 84.6%, 9.3%, and 1.8% of the caseload in the region. Moreover, China (3283 deaths), Republic of Korea (120 deaths), and Japan (42 deaths) are the top three contributors for disease-attributed deaths in the region.[1]

Ground reality

Realizing the havoc and the sufferings which the novel viral infection has created across the world, regardless of being a developed or a developing nation or the quality of health infrastructure, the nations in the region have begun the task of scaling up of all essential activities with an aim to ensure that they are ready and well-equipped with facilities to facilitate quick detection and subsequent actions against the disease.[2],[4] As of now, 12 of the affected nations have shown evidence of local transmission and our aim is that it should not extend to community transmission, as in that case, it will complicate the entire plan of action for the containment of the infection.[4]

Outbreak readiness and Emergency response

Specific impetus has been given for active surveillance, case detection, isolation, provision of appropriate treatment, infection prevention and control measures, risk communication, management of patients, contact tracing, and strengthening of the International Health Regulations.[5] Apart from social distancing and lockdown, which many nations have imposed within their jurisdictions to prevent the onward transmission of the disease, we will be able to defeat the disease only if these measures are well complemented with an active search of cases and effective contact tracing.[2],[4],[5] To avoid the problems linked with contact tracing, including recall bias, South Korea has adopted an innovative approach wherein they are utilizing medical records, global positioning system, card-related transactions and videos obtained from closed-circuit cameras to track the pathways or various places visited by the confirmed or the suspect cases.[6]

Need of a solidarity response

Furthermore, all the nations in the region are in connection with each other and together adopted a joint plan comprising various strategies to contain the infection, including reducing the possibility of importation of cases.[4] Interventions have been taken to train the health staff about infection prevention measures, formulation of comprehensive case management protocols, Provision of reliable information to the community to improve awareness about the infection and to sustain the supply of laboratory and personal protective equipment in different settings.[3],[4],[5]

 Conclusion



In conclusion, like the global community, the Western Pacific region has to step up their efforts to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. We have to ensure that we are ready with our capacity building and resource before the emergence of the outbreak in the region, and this will essentially require a coordinated and concerted approach from all the involved stakeholders.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

References

1World Health Organization. Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Report – 95; 2020. Available from: https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/situation-reports/20200424-sitrep-95-covid-19.pdf?sfvrsn=e8065831_4 [Last accessed on 2020 Apr 25].
2Ward MP, Li X, Tian K. Novel coronavirus 2019, an emerging public health emergency. Transbound Emerg Dis 2020;67:469-70.
3Wang H, Wang S, Yu K. COVID-19 infection epidemic: The medical management strategies in Heilongjiang Province, China. Crit Care 2020;24:107.
4World Health Organization. Pacific Steps up Preparedness Against COVID-19; 2020. Available from: https://www.who.int/westernpacific/about/how-we-work/pacific-support/news/detail/21-02-2020-pacific-steps-up-preparedness-against-covid-19. [Last accessed on 2020 Mar 25].
5World Health Organization. 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV): Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan. Geneva: WHO Press; 2020. p. 1-3.
6COVID-19 National Emergency Response Center, Epidemiology & Case Management Team, Korea Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. Contact transmission of COVID-19 in South Korea: Novel investigation techniques for tracing contacts. Osong Public Health Res Perspect 2020;11:60-3.