To deal with COVID-19, the US should look to countries in Asia and Africa

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Contrary to frequent sense, wealth has performed a smaller function in figuring out a rustic’s capability to handle the pandemic. Some growing or newly industrialized countries in Asia and Africa are experiencing just one % or much less of the quantity of COVID-19 deaths per million inhabitants seen in the United States regardless of having a lot smaller per capita incomes.

Leaders in , fast testing, and isolation protocols have emerged from countries with economies which are a lot smaller than that of the U.S. Ravi Ramamurti, college distinguished professor of worldwide enterprise, says the U.S. should pay attention to them.

This phenomenon—rich countries trying towards much less prosperous countries for options—is named reverse innovation.

“In the last few centuries, we’ve had most innovations travel from developed to developing parts of the world,” says Ramamurti, who can be director of the Center for Emerging Markets at Northeastern. “Now we’re seeing more innovation diffusing in the opposite direction.”

With the assist of fifth-year behavioral neuroscience scholar Jorja Kahn and Northeastern graduates Hugh Shirley and Jamie McGloin, Ramamurti just lately launched an internet site that outlines efficient methods developed round the world that countries may emulate in the battle in opposition to COVID-19.

The web site is “a place to organize, present and consolidate information,” says Kahn.

“We’re trying to reach out to and local leaders and add communication links so we can pool ideas from the sources themselves,” she says.

The web site affords the in general technique, prevention, testing, contact tracing, isolation and quarantining, remedy and vaccines, and reopening.

Rapid, correct testing, a method public well being officers say is important to overcome COVID-19, was mastered early on in the pandemic by South Korea the place the per capita revenue is just barely greater than half of the per capita revenue in the U.S.

As of Tuesday, South Korea had recorded 305 COVID-19 deaths.

The nation is credited with pioneering two improvements which were extensively adopted worldwide: drive-in testing and testing cubicles.

“Drive-in testing is safer because it’s outside, people don’t have to get out of their cars, and it reduces the amount of people in hospitals,” Ramamurti says. “It’s a great way to lots of people rapidly and cheaply.”

Drive-in testing methods have been first put in place in South Korea throughout the outbreak of MERS, a unique respiratory coronavirus, in 2015, says Ramamurti.

Part of the motive some have dealt with COVID-19 extra efficiently is as a result of “they’ve been dealing with epidemics off and on for the last couple years,” says Ramamurti.

To handle testing throughout COVID-19, South Korea invented a brand new sort of transportable facility for dense areas the place drive-in testing is not doable—a pressurized plastic or glass testing sales space that eliminates contact between clinician and affected person.

The affected person and clinician are separated by a window with openings for 2 rubber sleeves that stretch to the affected person’s facet permitting the clinician to extract a pattern from the affected person with out sharing the similar air or coming in contact.

This sort of sales space has already been adopted by Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, which, Ramamurti says, “proves that reverse innovation isn’t just theoretical.”

As for improvements in contact tracing, Ramamurti says Vietnam has a singular and extraordinarily efficient approach that traces contaminated people, their contacts and contacts of these contacts, plus isolation protocols to make the tracing worthwhile.

Anyone in Vietnam who checks constructive and anybody in contact with somebody who checks constructive is remoted for 2 weeks in , freed from cost, and contacts of contacts are required to isolate at residence.

Per capita revenue in the U.S. is almost 26 instances that of Vietnam, and as of Tuesday, Vietnam had recorded 16 COVID-19 deaths.

“I’m hesitant to say which country has the best contact tracing method because of the privacy issues,” says Shirley, considered one of the Northeastern graduates. “While Vietnam’s effective, it’s very totalitarian.”

Ramamurti says that individuals have questioned whether or not these successes can merely be chalked up to completely different political methods. “But what about South Korea? It’s a democracy,” he says.

Shirely agrees that “while a lot of countries we looked at are communist, a lot of them are democracies, which shows that it isn’t impossible to achieve this in the U.S. with this style of government.”

But if authorities model is not an element essentially in figuring out which rising markets may have efficient COVID-19 procedures, what’s?

In addition to the indisputable fact that many of those countries have dealt with epidemics in the previous, Ramamurti says, “Prevention is much cheaper than curing a disease. These countries have strong public health systems, but they might not have the resources to treat people who are seriously sick, so they have to nip the outbreak in the bud.”

“In the U.S., we start with the assumption that people are going to get sick. We think we have enough doctors and equipment, so we think if people get sick we can fix it,” he says.

But, as McGloin factors out, “We’re running thin on that luxury in the U.S.”

As the world prepares for a possible second wave of COVID-19 this fall, will the U.S., nonetheless unable to management its preliminary outbreak, look towards different nations for much-needed options?

“Let me put it this way: if we get another outbreak on our shores in the future, the U.S. needs to handle it very differently,” Ramamurti says. “The U.S. should look to countries where it doesn’t normally look to and learn from them.”


Coronavirus: why testing and contact tracing isn’t a simple solution


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To deal with COVID-19, the US should look to countries in Asia and Africa (2020, August 13)
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