As Chinese travellers and business persons are staying in Mandalay, the city must brace for the possibility of Coronavirus infections. We need to be prepared to take effective emergency measures to quickly respond to the infection, and to minimize damage in case of an outbreak.
The fatality rate from the deadly infectious disease has reached 2.8 per cent of those infected, and with higher rates of infection possible health authorities should beef up their current surveillance and preventive measures in Mandalay, especially at factories.
Despite there being no great challenge in dealing with infected patients, so far, we should not reduce our current efforts. Some patients are still quarantined at hospitals in Mandalay, while others entering from China show no symptoms. We should not forget the fact that those who entered Mandalay over the border illegally can show symptoms of the disease anytime, though they display no symptoms during the incubation period.
Hence, priority must be given to the monitoring of all travellers and patients who appear ill, so that they can immediately receive appropriate treatment in case they are confirmed to be infected by the Coronavirus.
To make a decision on preventing the spread of the deadly disease, health authorities in Mandalay are urged to take approaches based upon social, economic and medical points of view.
The most important point is that most Chinese nationals who entered Mandalay by air are staying in rented homes. Surveillance in these areas should be speeded up and measures should be taken to provide rapid response to potential patients with the virus.
Probably, because of the nature of the new coronavirus, in some countries there have been cases in which medical institutions initially failed to correctly diagnose people displaying suspicious symptoms.
Similarly, to carry out the surveillance to seek out patients with suspicious symptoms, cooperation by local people is playing the most important role in this monitoring.
As the fight to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus is a long battle, the Ministry of Health and Sports, along with local health authorities nationwide, need to ensure that sufficient manpower and materials will be available, and the people are urged to cooperate with the authorities without leaving the burden of the mission entirely to medical bodies.
It is also important to distribute information about the infection by detailing what measures are being taken to deal with the situation to minimize anxiety among members of the public.