COVID-19 crisis has become the biggest threat to humans throwing several challenges, especially to their existence. The world is seized with this crisis exploring several actions and solutions to come out of this virus.
The global leaders must have both a short-term and long-term vision to counter COVID-19. As a short-term measure, they must stop spreading the virus globally and as a long-term measure, they must encourage to invent a vaccine to end this pandemic permanently. In the short-term vision, they must collaborate with others who are fighting against it relentlessly. They must plan carefully and communicate clearly and regularly about the action steps they have taken to combat it.
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They must be transparent, create trust in the people, and share the updates and progress about the virus regularly. Leaders must marshal their resources swiftly and effectively. Leaders must use technology especially big data and information effectively and measure their success by flattening the curve. Leaders must share the information about their progress with other leaders globally to enable the latter to learn lessons and improve their communities and countries. They must stand united at this hour of the global crisis to save the humans forgetting their petty politics.
Lessons COVID-19 crisis from Countries
When COVID-19 originated from Wuhan, China identified the virus immediately and shared it with the World Health Organization (WHO) resulting in developing test kits, treatment options, and vaccines. It created awareness about the virus, united their people, and mobilized them swiftly to combat the virus. Although China incurred economic losses by suspending the business during strict enforcement, it saved their people. It was a courageous decision with correct action at the right time.
Taiwan prevented the outbreak of the virus under the leadership of President Tsai Ing-Wen successfully. Taiwan monitored the incoming passengers from Wuhan. It took preventive measures. It introduced travel restrictions and established quarantine protocols for high-risk travelers.
South Korea, which once had the second-largest coronavirus outbreak after China, undertook large-scale testing and intensive contact tracing to slow the spread of coronavirus. It adopted a four-pronged approach of testing, tracking, tracing, and treating the people. Testing was followed by extensive tracking and tracing. South Korea has succeeded due to a combination of factors including preparation, communication, and cooperation of its citizens with a track record of sustained health expenditure and nurturing cutting-edge biotech companies. It is the first country to conduct elections successfully during the pandemic.
Singapore combated the virus successfully because of a combination of factors including infrastructure, strong healthcare facilities, and strict law enforcement. It had experience with the 2003 SARS outbreak. And it used early infections to establish an advanced contact tracing system. It started a text and mobile web-based software solution through which people placed under home quarantine could report their location to the government. Thanks to Singapore’s small population!
Italy which had the highest number of deaths has come out of COVID-19 crisis successfully. There are several lessons the world must learn from Italy’s flattening curve. The decrease in the number of newly reported cases can largely be attributed to the intense lockdown measures implemented by the Italian government, which has shut down most establishments as well as non-essential production and has restricted all unnecessary movement throughout the country. Italy set up a very aggressive policy both in terms of contact tracing and investigation and scaling up measures to prepare for the increased demand in terms of care. Italy, on the whole, has performed more tests than other European Union countries.
Germany tested out quickly as the epidemic was growing resulting in the lowest deaths with a fatality rate at just 0.9%. Additionally, Germany has better healthcare facilities with a high number of intensive care beds.
When nations around the world are struggling to flatten the curve, New Zealand wiped out COVID-19 crisis completely. The world must learn some lessons from it. New Zealand is relatively isolated with a low density of population. It has a coherent public health system. People are disciplined. They are asked to stay at homes unless it is essential to go out. Borders are shut, and swimming at the beach is banned.
Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand consulted health officials and took early and bold decisions. She was calm and composed during the crisis. She leveraged technology and communicated with their people about the strict lockdown measures. The lockdown measures have been paired with isolation, quarantines, widespread testing for anyone who is suspected of being exposed and contact tracing. Once a case is identified, that person’s close contacts are tracked down and required to self-isolate.
India has the second-largest population in the world. It is a huge challenge to contain coronavirus outbreak. India can come out of this crisis successfully because of its experience of eradicating two pandemics—small-pox and polio.
Learning from the experiences of China, Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore, Italy, Germany and New Zealand, it may take a maximum of three months to stop coronavirus if adequate precautions are taken immediately and earnestly. It may take a maximum of a year to find the vaccine for this virus. Therefore, the nations must test the suspects, isolate the confirmed cases effectively and quarantine them successfully. People must understand the gravity of the situation and cooperate with all stakeholders to save humankind. At the end of this war, humanity will triumph against the virus. It is essential to learn lessons from coronavirus and invest in the healthcare and draw a blueprint to prevent pandemics in the future.
This Too Shall Pass
The Spanish-flu pandemic became the deadliest in human history a hundred ago. Currently, we have better healthcare facilities. We have an instinctive capacity to heal. We will rise to the challenge and overcome the crisis successfully but be prepared for a series of battles to end this war on the virus permanently.
The human mind and imagination are more powerful than the so-called virus. Hope keeps us to be alive while despair drives us to death. So, let us not lose our hope. Let us be confident. We will surely come out of COVID-19 crisis very soon with flying colors.
Note: Adapted excerpt from my award-winning book, “COVID-19: Humans’ Search for Humanity”
About the Author:
Professor M.S. Rao, Ph.D. International Leadership Guru
Professor M.S. Rao, Ph.D. is the Father of “Soft Leadership” and Founder of MSR Leadership Consultants, India. His vision is to build one million students as global leaders by 2030. Rao was ranked #1 Thought Leader and Influencer on Culture Globally by Thinkers360. http://professormsraovision2030.blogspot.com. He is a prolific author and a dynamic, energetic and inspirational leadership speaker anf can be reached at [email protected].