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ONGOING AIR TRAVEL: THE IRONY

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Imagine having a water tap that is leaking and you want to fix it. What do you do? Do you first close the tap and then work on it or do you just try to stop the leakage with whatever you have available while the tap is open and water is leaking? Obviously, what would make sense here is to first close the tap and then fix the problem. That way you save water and it would be easier for you to repair it.

With COVID-19 confirmed in your area, the first thing you need to do is to restrict travel from abroad and to send foreign nationals back to their original countries. You also need to implement social distancing as much as possible. The virus is likely to affect thousands of people so what a country struck by Covid-19 should aim for is to keep the number of people infected that would need hospitalization low so as to not overwhelm the health capacity of the country also known as FLATTENING THE CURVE. For that to be possible, the spread of the disease has to be slowed down.

A country mitigation plan has to focus on slowing down the spread. This prevents the finite medical resources from being exhausted. Not shutting down borders and flights incoming into the country, and not implementing social distancing means more people can get infected and might need medical care. The higher the number of people infected at any given time, the higher the likelihood of the health system not being able to accommodate them. And here comes the prioritization of lives because health care workers, at this stage, are forced to choose between who gets care and who doesn’t. They are pushed to pick between who lives and who dies. And this is the breaking point where by slowing down the spread a country aims to prevent.

Allowing flights and quarantining people who fly into the country is not the solution. It will deteriorate the situation. Suppose someone who is quarantined develops the symptoms and gets diagnosed with COVID-19. That someone is likely not to receive the proper health care and might die from complications caused by the disease. The problem here is the risk of this individual passing the disease onto others. Medical workers are the ones who are at the highest risk. The other people s/he is quarantined with are also at risk. As such, the risk of spreading the infection to other healthy individuals is there. To avoid this, it is best to not allow anyone into the country before this pandemic is over.

This country’s health system is among the weakest in the world. It can’t cope with this disease. The only option it can opt for at the time being is MITIGATION – slowing down the spread of the disease. By doing so, the total number infected by the disease will be lowered and along with it, the number of people this virus is likely to claim will be reduced. Unfortunately, more flights and more people being allowed into the country are only going to make matters worse. Battling this pandemic while borders are open is more like trying to fix a leaky tap that is open. This is not a time for politics. CLOSE BORDERS AND SAVE LIVES.

Author Info
Dr. Mubarak Ahmed

Dr. Mubarak Ahmed

An M.B.B.S degree holder from Sudan with a vast experience in managing diabetes and hypertension. Currently the Primary Care Provider at Saafi Clinic with a vivid vision aimed at improving and modernizing the care provided to patients affected by diabetes and hypertension.

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