Covid-19 and Its Healthcare Impact on the System of the World

Unless someone has been living under a rock, the knowledge and uproar caused by COVID-19 a few years ago isn’t surprising. Medically, Covid-19 is a viral illness, classified as a syndrome (SARS) within the family of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). Hence, it’s often referred to as SARS-CoV-2. Its first signs appeared among residents of Wuhan province, China. Since then, it has infected millions worldwide, prompting the World Health Organization (WHO) to declare it a pandemic. While many claim it caused massive disruption everywhere, the healthcare system can be logically considered the most affected field.

Healthcare systems face tremendous challenges due to various factors. Firstly, minimizing the effects of Covid-19, whether after infection or for prevention, depends on the availability of healthcare resources. For instance, access to medical facilities varied between urban and rural areas due to differences in infrastructure. As mortality rates soared, healthcare workers had to put their lives on the line. Fear, illness, and tension permeated society, exacerbating the difficulties of organizing effective responses.

Moreover, countries reliant on imports suffered greatly, experiencing shortages of essential medical supplies such as cylinders, PPE, masks, and antiseptics. The lack of provisions for those infected compounded the strain on healthcare systems. Border closures further disrupted the supply chain, exacerbating the situation in countries unable to meet demand domestically.

Political conditions and government policies also played a significant role. In countries with unstable systems, frequent policy changes made healthcare services unavailable to the general public. Healthcare workers faced excessive workloads and risked their lives, yet were criticized for their inability to meet demand. Public entities and institutions added to the strain by questioning healthcare workers’ salaries and engaging in disputes.

The prevalence of COVID-19 also affected other healthcare fields. Ongoing programs aimed at healthcare improvement and public awareness had to be suspended. This led to a lack of information dissemination and increased infection rates, particularly among uneducated and underprivileged populations. Misinformation and misguided beliefs further fueled the spread of the virus, leading to a surge in infections and overwhelming healthcare systems.

Overall, COVID-19 spread rapidly and had a profound impact on healthcare systems worldwide, leading to shortages of essential medicines, PPE, and medical equipment. Disparities between urban and rural healthcare systems widened, exacerbating existing inequalities. However, with attention to scientific policies and effective execution, the detrimental effects of COVID-19 on healthcare systems could have been minimized.

By: Pritam Raya Chhetri (Science, F2 )

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