As a result of the freshly confronted eruption of a contagious disease commonly referred to as the COVID19, there has come about committed attention on the scale of potential public health considerations that have been taken into account to battle such a dreaded viral emergence. For instance, the liability of an infected person to others, personal rights of concealment, authorised limitations on autonomy, and the privileges of movement in this pandemic distribution of the available vaccines, among others. All these concerns raise notable legal and ethical issues.
COVID-19 is a communicable disease engendered by a recently disclosed coronavirus (Anderson & Mossialos, 2020). In most cases, individuals who get ill mayhem will encounter mild to modest features and may even recuperate without necessarily having undergone an exceptional treatment. The virus resulting in COVID-19 is majorly conveyed via the particles initiated when a contaminated individual coughs or sneezes (Anderson & Mossialos, 2020). Resultantly, one can easily be infected by taking in the virus if in close contact with an infected individual or by merely touching contaminated areas and consequently touching one's mouth, eyes, and nose.
A pandemic is elucidated as an epidemic taking place globally, or beyond an extensive area, far-reaching international borders and customarily exerting influence on many people (Collignon & Carnie, 2006). In most cases, a pandemic can come about yearly in one and all of the benign southern and northern bisections, given the recurring outbursts traverse international borderlines and attack a broad aggregate of people (Eastwood, Massey & Durrheim, 2006). Nonetheless, patterned epidemics are not contemplated as pandemics.
Very Real Population Health Risk
COVID 19 has resulted in severe population health challenges. According to the existing research, the aging population and those living with pre-existing chronic health disorders are placed at an extreme potentiality in attracting dreaded outcomes from the novel coronavirus pandemic (Bennett, 2009). This is to say that the disease hard hits those regions with a higher proportion of the aging population and the category of people who have lived with disabilities. Resultantly, countries worldwide have responded to the disease by initiation measures intended to curtail its spread (Bennett, 2009). Some of the steps include public health strategies such as social distancing to shield the susceptible population categories. This is because the vulnerable populations may have pre-existing conditions that play a notable role in enhancing the risks associated with COVID-19.
Conversely, a population characterised with obesity and hypertension is considered an independent severity feature resulting from COVID 19. Significantly, even though the virus that results in COVID 19 affects people of all ages, research has shown that it is a severe population health risk. Two categories are considered most vulnerable, and these include those with more than 60 years old and those with existing medical challenges such as diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular illness, respiratory diseases, among others (Bennett & Carney, 2010). Furthermore, research indicates that the disease's vulnerability slowly but steadily expands from 40 (Bennett & Carney, 2010). Resultantly, the World Health Organization (WHO) advised that these categories of the population are shielded from the pandemic without stigmatisation and isolation to protect themselves and others. Besides, the health systems in Australia and across the world are encouraged to focus on population health strategies to individuals with persistent conditions to realize positive results from the containment of the spread of the raging COVID 19.
Again, from the COVID 19 reactions aimed at minimising its spread, significant effects warrant severe public health risk. Firstly, hundreds of thousands of people are projected to experience high poverty levels. Secondly, a good population has lost income and compelled to incur substantial out-of-pocket expenses for healthcare (Bennett & Carney, 2010). Thirdly, the pandemic has resulted in high food insecurity cases as well as massive unemployment levels. It is opined that by the end of the epidemic, there could be an experienced global lower educational achievement that could have a disproportionate influence on morbidity.
The Key Stakeholders
The primary stakeholders in response planning and implementation are those groups of people, individuals, or organizations that participate in, are influenced by, or incorporated in the planning, reaction to, or the recovery from a particular situation that may be deemed emergence. In Australia, for instance, the government, in collaboration with the Australian Health Emergency Response Plan for Novel Coronavirus, take a primary role in the containment measures of the spread of COVID-19 (Anikeeva et al., 2008).
The response plan is structured to control the country’s reaction to the disease by, for example, undertaking projects that are intended to firstly, observe, and explore outbreaks when they take place. Secondly, the stakeholders pinpoint and categorize the infection's complexion and the clinical severity of the disease. Thirdly, they research breathing disease-specific administration policies. Next, they respond instantly and efficiently to reduce the effects of COVID 19. Again, these stakeholders commit policies to keep down the risk of the continued spread of the disease (Anikeeva et al., 2008). Equally important is the stakeholders' responsibility to contribute to the expeditious and optimistic healing of persons, confraternity, and services.
The stakeholders' principal aim in Australia's health response and implementation is to shield the country's economic and social purposes. The primary activities involved in the containment of the disease in Australia takes place in two main stages (Anikeeva et al., 2008). That is the Action stage and Stand-down stage. In the Action stage, activities include minimisation of transmission, preparation of, and bolster up of health structure needs, among others (Anikeeva et al., 2008). On the other hand, the Stand-down stage involves support and conservation of quality care, evaluation of systems, and revision of strategies.
COVID 19 patients should take effective care to ensure they do not spread the disease to others. For example, such individuals are required to self-isolate themselves from family members, friends, and the general public. They do this by, for instance, attending to quarantine facilities. However, these patients' isolation and quarantine limit their rights and freedom of movement and association (Kotalik, 2005). Again, the World Health Organisation (WHO) advises that those with COVID 19 symptoms stay home. But these strategies raise ethical severe and existential aspects. For instance, limiting movement and compelling individuals to remain at home, especially in the informal sectors, are hard hit. For example, their daily lives rely on daily incomes. As a consequence, the inability to go for work heightens impoverishment and continued suffering.
Besides, the real ethical problem is presented from the antagonism between disease control and poverty. Whereas it may be necessary to limit people's movement so that the infection rate is minimized, the levels of hunger and starvations are likely to increase (Kotalik, 2005). Consequently, it forces both the government and the individuals to make poor decisions.
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