Winning and loosing the Covid-19 battle

Winning and loosing the Covid-19 battle…

With the world’s deadliest Covid-19 outbreak, Italy was hard-hit by the pandemic in February 2020. North Italy evolved to be the epicenter of the pandemic and the world witnessed Army trucks that transported victims of the virus for cremation. Italy came to a stand-still throughout the spring 2020 with extreme restrictive country-wide measures imposed by the Italian government emphasizing everyone to ‘stay at home/ resta a casa’ which gained international praise. As a result of this, Italy was hailed as a model to the whole world as it battled this deadly virus.

One year later, as the world continues to battle with the deadly virus – with the second wave, third wave and so on. It shows how unprepared and vulnerable we are individually and collectively.

The Italian politics on the other hand was paralyzed for a brief moment – with the resignation of the then Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte. Nevertheless, Italy emerged stronger with a new Prime Minister, Mario Draghi an economist who is administering and managing the pandemic efficiently, attempting to re-open schools, compensating businessmen who are affected by forced closure, reviving tourism, creating a recovery plan in totality etc..

Although there are a number of hiccups with respect to vaccinations and as policymakers around the world struggle to combat the rapidly escalating virus, the Italian government is very keen on vaccine-related projects issuing contracts to build about 1,200 primrose flower shaped pavilions (a temporary structure made out of recyclable material) wherein vaccines will be administered. As on April 11, 2021, the number of active Coronavirus infections in Italy was 5, 33,005. The total number of Coronavirus cases in Italy surpassed 3.7 million.

A classic example of containing the virus was the classification of Italian regions and autonomous provinces, into four zones – red, orange, yellow and white – correspondingly, the red, orange are regarded as “high risk” zones with tight restrictions in place such as the following:

  • It is forbidden to eat or drink in streets and parks from 6 pm to 5am and bars are restaurants remain open only for takeaway from 5am to 10pm.
  • Except for pharmacies, para-pharmacies, grocery stores, tobacconist shops, newsagents, bookshops, nurseries and other necessary goods shops other shops and shopping malls remain closed.
  • Museums, exhibitions, theatres, cinemas, gyms, and pools are closed.
  • Physical or sports activities are only permitted within the vicinity of their respective homes.
  • Public transports are authorized to operate with only 50% of passengers.
  • Travel by car limited only to spouses, cohabitants and those in stable relationships.
  • Non-cohabiting people can travel by car with up to 3 non-cohabiting people including the driver. Everyone in the car must wear a mask.
  • It is obligatory to wear masks in Churches during religious gatherings.

One of the greatest achievements of Italy is it’s first state-run Covid-free &  High-speed trains between Rome and Milan in one of Italy’s busiest route. The Ministry of Health in Italy devised an application called the Immuni App, and has recommended its residents to track infections. The app also alerts its users who have had a risky exposure (even if they are asymptomatic) attempting to contain the epidemic.

The predominance of novel viral variants with higher transmissibility is evident, and there is a pressing need for radical reduction of physical interactions. With a tsunami of Covid-19 cases and a drastic increase in trajectories the crisis erupted in India with over 2,00,000 Coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours with the almost 1,40,00,000 cases and 1,73,000 deaths – situation is grave, deadly and completely out of control as hospitals are running out of oxygen beds, ventilators, injections etc.,.

A Covid patient died outside the hospital due to pure neglect in Bihar. Even as Dr,Parul M Sharma a renowned doctor pleaded the Indian Government against the authorization of large gatherings due to the fear of collapse in healthcare system and as young doctors on Covid-19 duties are already fatigued – over 3,200,000 people attending the Shahi San Kumbh Mela at Haridwar, massive road-shows of political leaders campaigning without masks is deliberate disregard for Covid-19 appropriate behaviors.

Associated factors such as fear, anger, sadness, worry, numbness, frustration, changes in appetite, energy, desires, and interests, difficulty concentrating, decisions-making, difficulty sleeping, nightmares, headaches, body pains, stomach problems, skin rashes, worsening of chronic health problems, worsening of mental health conditions, increased use of tobacco, alcohol, and other substances are also ignored and needs immediate intervention.

As emphasized by the World Health Organization, the world’s unpreparedness and irresponsive response to the Covid -19 pandemic is obvious and there is a pressing need to rethink and craft a vigorous health-care system that will be more resilient especially during emergencies.

2020 has taught us that health is not something we can take for granted. Stopping the spread of virus is paramount and the measures to reduce transmission can be exclusively achieved by limiting travels (by public or private transport) except for reasons of work, study, health, or other dire necessity. In addition to this, washing hand, wearing a mask, physical distancing, good ventilation and avoiding crowded places is the only way to reduce the opportunity for the virus to mutate.

Recalling the words of late Legend Justice V.R.Krishna Iyer, trust and faith of people imposes a prodigious responsibility on those who are charged with dispensing justice. As the Government is battling the pandemic on a larger extent, let us with compassion dispense justice to ourselves and our neighbors, even if we can’t be Good Samaritan in this deadly crisis lets us try to be reasonable human beings!

The authors of the articles are:

Dottoressa.Maffi, Advocate, holds a degree in law from London, a Legum Magister in Legal Practice from the City University, UK, A Master of Arts in Human Rights, a Legum Magister from United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute, Italy and a Certificate in Migration and its link to Peace, Security, and Sustainable Development Agenda from University for Peace, Costa Rica.

Mr. Pavol Prokopovič, a Lawyer, from Slovakia, is a Master of Political Science, Master of Law, holds a Certificate of Proficiency in Children&  Human Rights and a recent graduate from with a Master’s Degree in Transitional Crime and Justice from United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute, Italy.

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