Coronavirus comes from a family of viruses that cause illnesses such as common cold to severe diseases like Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome. Coronavirus or COVID-19 is a new strain of viruses that have never been defined in humans before (Hogue, King & Brian, 2014). The primary source of this disease is still unknown, but from the data collected, it can be transferred from animals to human beings. As the disease continues to spread all over the world, Oxfam continues to find ways of curbing the situation because of vulnerable communities. The essay will elaborate more on the public health response of COVID-19 in the US.
Drawing from substantial lessons learned from expertise concerning disease outbreaks that took place in the past, the organization is ready and prepared to respond. Several measures have also been put to protect and secure the staff assisting fight the pandemic (Hogue, King & Brian, 2014). According to WHO (2019), the incident management team assigned to respond to COVID-19 are working very closely with partners globally to support nations strengthen their operational and technical networking in coordination to the pandemic.
The facilitation of the day-to-day operations includes involving the global team, such as UNICEF, fighting the pandemic. The major partner that coordinates the mechanism, however, remains the Global Health Cluster and the Emergency Medical Team. The response network and outbreak alert team, which involves NGOs like the CDC, the Medecins Sans Frontiers, and other organizations, have prepared themselves by putting the issue a core element of health operations (CDC, 2019).
They have aligned a team comprising of surveillance, contact tracing, laboratory departments, infection control and prevention, and the clinical care and management units to prepare for the pandemic. In the community engagement and risk communication, WHO, UNICEF, and IFRC have also facilitated a tripartite group to implement and scale-up activities in the world.
To prepare for the pandemic, the GOARD partners and WHO have established international technical assistance for response mission and support preparedness due to the request of the country (WHO, 2019). Even though the support capacity of WHO is in Geneva, they have also involved the Indo-Pacific Health Security, the CDC for China, and the public health England. They all report to the headquarters for the preparedness of fighting the pandemic (WHO, 2019). The country health clusters and the GHC, in this case, have emphasized:
- Readiness planning
- Supporting America to key pillar agencies and leads
- Mapping geographical presence and partner capacity
- Ensuring collaboration and coordination on technical support and guidance for response and preparedness for vulnerable and fragile populations
The role of the Emergency Medical Team involves working with regional and global emergency networks that are in the frontlines of political support and outbreaks in deploying support where requested and needed (Cretikos & Bellomo, 2018). The primary focus, in this case, is preparedness to contact the traced and detection of new evidence. The only way this could function well to support the nation is when partners work with Go.Data on the implementation and deployment to investigate through field data collection during pandemics. Cretikos and Bellomo (2018) also added that more than 50 countries, in this case, have requested the GOARN partners to support them in implementing strategies that can support and help stop COVID-19.
The Preparedness in America
America was ranked as the best-prepared nation in the world with the ability to handle the COVID-19 pandemic by the John Hopkins Center for Health and the Nuclear Threat Initiative (Ugarov, 2020). Even though the country was at odds because of the Democrats claims that the Trump administration left the nation in danger, it was able to handle the matter with care. The first thing America did was to do a testing fiasco to stop the flaw that undermined the countermeasures.
If the country managed to track how the virus spread, then they could have facilitated their pandemic plans. The nation would have allocated rooms for treatment, assigned specific areas to fight the disease, and ordered extra supplies. This never happened. But due to this, the health-care system decided to deal with the pandemic. Even though there was a severe flu season, the government tries to avoid the sudden spread of the COVID-19 virus all over the country (Ugarov, 2020). Even though the hospitals became overstretched and overwhelmed, the state added more protective gear like gloves, gowns, and masks before they go in and out. Beds were also added to fit the number of ventilators that give oxygen to patients, especially the ones that were besieged by the disease.
In places where stockpiles became low, the doctors were forced to reuse the mask to attend more than one patient. Due to this, the Emergency Medical Team called for donations from the public, particularly the ones that had sewing machines. Such shortages occur of the medical supplies are made by order. The Strategic National Stockpile is also deployed to attend to the hardest-hit states of America (Ugarov, 2020). The reason behind this is because the stockpile is usually inexhaustible and can take time before re-ordering. Upon seeing this, Donald Trump invoked the Defense Production Act by launching the wartime ability, which allowed the US manufacturers to create the medical equipment's.
The pandemic has made the US have a discussion with Google, Facebook, and several tech organizations about the chances of using movement and location data from citizen's smartphones to fight COVID-19 (Freitas, 2019). The technology advocates know that the move can change the perception for the organizations when it comes to the privacy of data. The effort of spreading the information is facilitated by the 60 tech company.
The organizations work closely with the science and technology department in the White House and the Office of American Innovation. All companies ranging from small to large such as IBM, Apple, and Twitter, including the public health leaders from Harvard and other learning universities, were involved (Freitas, 2019). The fact that more than 223,000 existing cases and over 9,000 deaths exist in America, it shows that the virus was not ready to stop.
The American officials know that when data clean into people's phones, then they could decipher where the cases will happen next. The idea is to use specialized expertise to reach the community on behalf of the government to lessen the spread of the virus. Even though the government lacks the resources to vet information, it is still offering the technological help to make sure that each citizen is informed (Freitas, 2019). The task it has is to analyze several solutions, recommendations, and the proposal by focusing on clinical data, telehealth, location data, and the social isolation problem.
Home management is the best way America's government came with to take care of the patients that have mild infections such as cough, fever, and myalgia to be isolated from other patients. The moves were facilitated to prevent people from transmitting the disease to others through clinical deterioration immediately after hospitalization (Niepel, Kranz, Borgonovi & Greiff, 2020). The idea here was to clinically evaluate patients prone to have severe illness even if mild symptoms were seen.
Such patients who received care from home always communicated with the health care provider in case they developed any signs or symptoms. The reason why the government established this is that outpatient management is primarily supportive of antipyretics, analgesics, and hydration (Niepel, Kranz, Borgonovi & Greiff, 2020). This means that outpatients that had symptoms of COVID-19 were advised to stay at home to separate them from animals and people of the same household.
It was a must then for everyone to wear masks when sharing the same room, in the same vehicle or when visiting the health care settings. Every time the person touched the surfaces, it was important for them to disinfect frequently to avoid germs contamination. Due to the rapid spread of the virus, the minimum duration of home isolation is 14 days because the diseases can stay into someone's body for up to six days before the symptoms are noticed (Niepel, Kranz, Borgonovi & Greiff, 2020). The centers in America, such as the CDC, recommended that the choice of self-isolation depends on the population. For instance, random testing will be conducted, and patients will discontinue home isolation when they have a high fever, any respiratory symptoms, or persistent headache.
Patients that needed oxygen support were transferred to rooms that contained noninvasive positive pressure and high-flow oxygen ventilation to ensure that safety is guaranteed during aerosol-generating procedures (Niepel, Kranz, Borgonovi & Greiff, 2020). Patients that develop signs of acute respiratory distress symptoms went through mechanical ventilation to avoid difficulties of breathing. Fatality management, in other words, takes care of all diseases.
Public Health Laboratory Testing
Testing is vital because it assists in tracking the pandemic. Hospitals that test for the coronavirus are crucial in managing the information they collect. For instance, if a patient portrays COVID-19 symptoms, nurses and doctors treat the individual as if they are infected. Anytime they approached the patients, they have to gear themselves with PPE (personal protective equipment), even if the patient tests negative for coronavirus (Gruson, 2018).
Even though most tests come out negative for COVID-19, the hospitals end up burning the PPE's and putting on others when attending to other patients to prevent spreading the disease. In response to this, the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) works together with other government facilities to strengthen the laboratory systems in monitoring, detecting, and responding to the pandemic (Gruson, 2018).
APHL also supports the clinicians during the pandemic with technical assistance, quality reporting, testing, and communication. The organization also makes sure that other testing needs, such as ongoing newborn screening, continue during the pandemic (Gruson, 2018). APHL is also working very closely with the public health partners and the federal to coordinate the testing process through communication.
The media address the information to the public to direct them to the testing centers and the procedure that will take place once they visit the facilities. Even though the number of both public and private health laboratories has the capability of expanding, the country is still going through challenges such as shortage of materials (Gruson, 2018). Due to this, APHL has limited the number of tests by using the heat detector until the testing supplies become readily available worldwide.
Emergency Operations Coordination
Ever since 1918, the humanitarian system has never gone through unprecedented uncertainties as to the one of COVID-19. Before the outbreak, the emergency relief program requirements have always outstripped the resources in that 166.5 million citizens in 35 countries were to benefit from the support (Binnicker, 2020). Now since there is a major crisis of COVID-19, nations like Yemen, Syria, Congo, and most undeveloped countries have begun to find ways of protecting the vulnerable populations.Emergency workers, in this case, are forced to look for ways to make sure that the requirements of social distancing are adhered to in emergency shelters and evacuation sites. Si...
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