COVID-19: a thief in the night

It was January 2020 when we were starting to gain our new hopes for the new year, setting goals for self-betterment, and fulfilling our bucket list. But as couple of months pass quietly, there was a sudden turbulence that not only halted us from working on our goals but also caused precious lives as we were blanketed by a suspected airborne disease called nCoV or novel coronavirus.

It is indeed very hard to suppress an enemy that cannot be seen or touched. It is very challenging to win a fight against something that works and spreads beyond man’s ability.    

As of July 2020, the country’s confirmed cases rose up to over 40, 000 amidst the implementation of government protocols and ordinances and observing safety precautions as advised by LGUs.

As defined by the World Health Organization (WHO), the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), a new strain of virus first detected in Wuhan, China in 2019. COVID-19 is known to target a person’s respiratory system. Infected patients may exhibit symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, and in some cases, muscle pain and sore throat. Some patients may also be asymptomatic, those who present no symptoms of disease.

This is a new disease, caused by a novel (or new) coronavirus.

Trepidation paved its way to the remaining unguarded provinces as Bacolod confirmed its first case on March 20 which brought Western Visayas to its first recorded case, a precursor for the implementation of Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) in Antique. With the governor strictly imposing a border lockdown, Antiqueños were complacent that acquiring the disease is far-fetched, until a 74-year-old man from Parañaque City arrived in Semirara Island on March 9, who was observed having symptoms and was later on confirmed as positive for SARS-CoV 2,  the strain of coronavirus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)

“We are having a difficulty in suppressing it because it is a newly discovered type of disease hence the limited amount of information on treatment. Active participation of each member of the community and implementing a comprehensive approach are effective ways in controlling the disease,” Dr. Leoncio Q. Abiera Jr., Provincial Health Officer II of IPHO-Antique said.

Dr. Abiera also introduced the 4R’s in controlling the spread of the disease. This includes resilience (both physical and mental) of individuals which would improve their health status by taking care of their immune system. Since this pandemic created panic and made us paranoid, individuals should learn to calm their minds and avoid negativity in their thoughts. Reducing transmission, reduction of contact and reducing the duration of disease completed the said prevention.

“If we practice physical distancing, new normal, and minimum health standards at least we could say that we’re protected. Cognitive restructuring and health advancement is what we need.” he pointed out.

Dr. Leoncio Q. Abiera Jr., Provincial Health Officer II of IPHO-Antique, discusses the safety protocols that the province has implemented. He encouraged Antiqueños to practice physical distancing as an effective way to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Presently, the province of Antique under Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ) has two new confirmed cases with 14 recoveries.  The MGCQ is the newly implemented strategy by the province wherein the reduction of transport and contact was remained, mass gatherings were allowed as long as participants are limited to 50%, offices and establishments were allowed to operate providing the proper implementation of guidelines and individuals aging 21 to 59 without COVID-19 symptoms and comorbidities are allowed to go out from home and travel within the region.

It has been months that the community quarantine restrictions were eased, which caused an increase to the country’s cases, from thousands to fold of thousands. Though the mortality rate of the said disease is low, it is still very alarming for it continues to spread everywhere.

To reduce the dispersion of the disease it has been highly advised by the experts to stay at home, maintain social distancing and obey the provided safety measures by the Department of Health (DOH) such as by washing hands regularly with soap and water.

Until now, the research for the vaccine is still in its stage for clinical trials and we are just relying on some western, traditional and home remedies that may alleviate symptoms of COVID-19. For instance, governor of Cebu suggested tuob or steam inhalation as a cure for COVID-19. However, doctors in Cebu do not agree that steam inhalation can kill viruses.

On the other hand, there are a lot of information spreading that led to some misconceptions. One of this is the identification of confirmed cases wherein people are confused about testing measures such as the Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT), Immunoglobulin G (IgG), Immunoglobulin M (IgM) and Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR).

RDT is the screening procedure of antibodies that are present. IgG test detects IgG antibodies and indicate that you may have had COVID-19 in the recent past and have developed antibodies that may protect you from future infection. In IgM test, your body slowly develops antibodies of IgM. When IgM is detected you may be infected and can be a probable case. Lastly, the RT-PCR is the confirmatory test that detects the nucleic acid from SARS-CoV-2in upper and lower respiratory specimens.

Written by Marianne Palcat and Louie Servancia

Author: theprismdaily

The Official Student Publication of University of Antique Main Campus

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