Kaieteur News – The good news is that the global coronavirus pandemic is coming to an end. The bad news is that it will not end in Guyana anytime soon; and the ugliness of it all, is that the outbreak may never fully go away because of extreme high levels of vaccine hesitancy.
Most persons follow the daily infections and deaths both of their respective countries and of the world. However, this can be terribly misleading and at times be tortuous because the numbers tend to decrease very slowly and over a long period of time.
The pandemic numbers – for both deaths and infections – tend to follow a slightly skewed bell curve (skewed to the right mainly) or normal distribution. The skewed to the right is indicative of the extended period it takes for infections and deaths to plateau. Thus, by examining the bell curve assessments can be made about the state of the pandemic, and estimates made about particular waves.
The present shape of the bell curve indicates that the global pandemic is coming to an end. Vaccinations are working and are crushing the pandemic.
The pandemic should be over by the end of September. Total daily deaths have almost halved since the end of April, reducing from an average of 15,000 to just above 8,000 this week and from an average of 900,000 daily infections to around 400,000 for the same period. So globally, we are witnessing a downward trend, which suggests that the pandemic, as we knew it, will end sooner rather than later.
This however does not mean that the virus will disappear. Given the scale of the pandemic and the highly transmissible nature of the virus, it is most likely that there will be periodic outbreaks.
The countries, which for months had been the prime drivers of the virus, were the United States, Brazil, Mexico, India and the United Kingdom. We can now say that the pandemic is now under control in the United Kingdom with only five coronavirus-related deaths reported Monday in a country, which on January 23 of this year recorded 1,823 deaths.
Many states in the USA are now fully reopening as the numbers plunge. The USA recorded a mere 213 deaths on Monday as compared with 4,463 on 12th January this year; and it registered 9,306 new infections.
Caseloads and deaths are also falling in India and Brazil. However, Brazil remains a major cause for concern. Once the numbers continue to fall in these two countries, and once the virus spread is checked in emerging hotspots such as Colombia, the World Health Organisation (WHO) should be able to declare the pandemic as over.
The bad news is, that Guyana is in poor shape. Deaths and infections have surged since January and have gotten worse with the increases in arrivals from overseas. The tale of the tape suggests that we are not likely to exit this pandemic until next January, unless there is some dramatic intervention.
The public should not be fooled by the plunging number of active local cases. There is a serious problem with testing as evidenced by the positivity rate, which still remains stickling at over 10 percent. By now, all the Regions should have had their own independent capacity to test and pronounce on the results of those tests. By now, it should have taken two or more days for test results to be determined. By now, mass testing should have been completed to allow for a better estimate of the incidence of the virus.
Recovery is being affected by poor enforcement of COVID-19 regulations. The government is breaching its own regulations. Those regulations provide for rotation within government agencies, which is not taking place. The government had promised an increased presence of police and army to enforce the regulations; this is not visible. The regulations prohibit recreational activities along rivers and creeks. Yet, our leaders are engaged in midnight fishing.
There has been a scarcity of vaccines globally. The rich countries monopolised vaccine stocks and starved the rest of the world of vaccines. They are now pretending to be good Samaritans by pledging to donate one billion doses to poor nations. But when the world needed vaccines, they were not sharing. They are only doing so now to benefit their companies, which manufacture the vaccines.
But like Guyana, the rest of the world is being confronted with vaccine hesitancy. Even in the United States, which has the highest number of coronavirus infections and deaths globally, vaccine hesitancy remains high. This is affecting their vaccination campaign. Even though the United States has sufficient vaccines for its entire population, the rate of inoculations have declined from 3.5M doses administered on 13th April to a mere 610,000 doses on Monday, and this despite the fact that only 53.4 percent of its population have so far received their first doses and 47 percent both doses.
Vaccine hesitancy – which refers to the delay in being vaccinated or the refusal to be vaccinated – is a problem globally not only in the United States. Surveys had pointed to high incidence of vaccine hesitancy in minority groups and even though a recent survey suggested that this is waning, there has been no corresponding uptake in inoculations.
But vaccine hesitancy is only one aspect of the ugliness of the vaccination process. The other is that there remains an acute shortage of vaccines. It is estimated that the world requires 10 billion doses. However, global vaccine production is still struggling at a mere 1.73B doses.
As Bob Marley sang, “Many more will have to suffer. Many will have to die. Don’t ask me why.”
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper.)
Aug 01, 2021Fresh from their April 30, 2021, grading from white to brown belt, the Moses sisters from Wowetta have done it again! On Friday, July 23, the GKC sisters, Rose and Pauline Moses, and 13-year-old...
Aug 01, 2021
Aug 01, 2021
Aug 01, 2021
Aug 01, 2021
Aug 01, 2021
Kaieteur News – I have never been ethnically inclined. It is one of the instincts embedded in Homo sapiens that I missed... more
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]