Daniel Halliday
May 4 · Last update 11 days ago.

What are the success stories in the battle against COVID-19?

The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly been overwhelmingly tragic, but there have been a range of different approaches to the health crisis, and the efficacy of each approach is equally varied. By looking at the success stories of the pandemic we could possibly begin to recognise patterns and effective methods that could lead to determining the most successful method in dealing with the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak. Without diminishing the scale of the tragedy of the pandemic, what are the success stories in combatting the pandemic, and what are the pros and cons of this approach?
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Germany – immediate action
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Cuba – internationalism
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Germany – immediate action

In Europe Germany has managed to achieve a low fatality rate when compared to other European hot spots of Italy and Spain, experts believe that Germany has faired well so far due to carrying out one of the most aggressive testing regimes in the world, maintaining a high level of trust in the government, and the country’s immediate and decisive government action and messaging. Germany’s government quickly sought the advice of the Robert Koch Institute, the national disease research institute, and immediately put in place a national pandemic plan; closing schools, prohibiting nursing home visits, closing borders, impose curfews and travel restrictions. The good domestic handling of the pandemic demonstrated by Germany is in stark contrast to the lack of handling internationally by nations that were slow or disorganised in their reaction to the crisis, however some have criticised Germany for their slow international effort at fighting the virus. For this reason Germany may be a positive populist demonstration of successfully controlling a massive viral outbreak.

Pros – Good pre-emptive handling of the virus, clear messaging, strict guidelines, high level of government trust, robust and well resourced healthcare system. Cons – Despite all the adequate planning in Germany the government failed to communicate with manufacturers and suppliers and subsequently suffered a mask shortage, similar throughout many countries. They were also slow to help neighbouring regions, imposing limits on medical exports, and potentially worsening the virus elsewhere.

dw.com/en/germanys-coronavirus-response-separating-fact-from-fiction/a-53053822 nbcnews.com/news/world/why-are-so-few-germans-dying-coronavirus-experts-wonder-n1168361 foxnews.com/health/germany-coronavirus-outbreak-no-deaths theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/11/italy-criticises-eu-being-slow-help-coronavirus-epidemic

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Daniel Halliday
May 15
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DH edited this paragraph
Pros – Good pre-emptive handling of the virus, clear messaging, strict guidelines, high level of government trust, robust and well resourced healthcare system. Cons – Despite all the adequate planning in Germany the government failed to communicate with manufacturers and suppliers and subsequently suffered a mask shortage, similar throughout many countries. They were also slow to help neighbouring regions, imposing limits on medical exports, and potentially worsening the virus elsewhere.

Cuba – internationalism

The Cuban protocol to dealing with the COVID-19 outbreak was informed by a long history of economic sanctions from the US, prolonged investment in public healthcare, and a tradition sending doctors abroad in order to boost the country's image and international relations. Before even being significantly hit by the virus, 22 antiviral medicines were made available from Cuba biotech firms. Through developing treatments both domestically and in joint ventures with China, Cuba generated a large enough product inventory to deal with an outbreak “equivalent to treating practically all the infected cases that occurred in China” [1]. Cuba has been so well prepared on the medicinal front they are even helping other nations in dealing with their COVID-19 outbreak, having requests from 15 nations for Cuban drugs and sending healthcare professionals and assisting other nations with planning and infrastructure to help in the fight against the pandemic. Pros – Developed there own medicines, repurposed manufacturing for medical supplies, have very high number of doctors per capita, engaging in international diplomacy to help other nations. Cons – This may have only been possible due to the fact that the island nation is isolated and currently has a fairly low level of viral outbreak.

jacobinmag.com/2020/3/cuba-coronavirus-braemar-doctors-health-care [1] oncubanews.com/en/cuba/cuba-has-medicines-for-thousands-of-possible-cases-of-covid-19 eturbonews.com/567170/could-cuba-save-italy-and-the-world-from-coronavirus

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Daniel Halliday
May 4
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