On March 2020, the emergence of the Covid-19 virus put the city of Wuhan, China on the global map as the whole world came to a halt with a pandemic that quickly spread all over the world. After 76 days in strict lockdown, it was once again in the limelight after photos of a pool party of Wuhan citizens celebrating its victory against the contagion went viral.
Meanwhile, the largest music arena in the capital of the Netherlands was opened to 1,300 individuals for an experimental music festival which was part of a series of government-backed events.
The festival had six separate bubbles with all its attendees wearing a tag to track all of their movements set in different conditions to contribute to collection of data for
tailor-made reopening of public gatherings in the country. The United Kingdom had a similar event with 5,000 attendees to study the conditions of the spread of Covid-19 in crowds and gatherings with the hope of slowly opening public gatherings in the country. Offices in the United States have also eased their restrictions as individual states imposed their own protocols.
Leading the world in the vaccination race is Israel, as 50 percent of its population had been fully vaccinated and 60 percent had already received the first dose. The comparable figures for the United States were 45 percent and 32 percent, respectively. It is, however, important to note that every country has its own features that are characterized by its geography, population and healthcare system which, in turn, impacts vaccine delivery.
One of the countries that has been greatly ravaged by the Covid-19 pandemic is India. For the past two weeks, they have been recording 300,000 new cases per day and more than 3,000 deaths per day. With a population of about 1.4 billion, India has only fully vaccinated 26 million despite local production of the AstraZeneca vaccine. Its Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared that India had beaten Covid-19 in September 2020, as daily cases fell to 20,000 from its peak of 90,000. While PM Modi advocated for the strict compliance to protocols such as wearing of masks and social distancing in his messages, he addressed large unmasked crowds during his election campaign in five states. One event which was under heavy scrutiny was the Kumbh Mela Religious Festival which attracted over a million devotees. The Indian Federal Government will need 615 million doses to vaccinate everyone above the age of 45 — about 440 million people. There are 622 million people between the age of 18 and 44, and 1.2 billion doses are required to vaccinate them. The grave need for vaccines in India will inevitably lead to delays in exportation of its locally produced vaccines, leaving the rest of the global leadership to source vaccines from other countries.
Health Undersecretary Vergeire stated that six travelers from India tested positive for Covid-19. The travelers were among 110 passengers who arrived before the travel ban from India was imposed. This raised concern as India reported the B.1.617 variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus last year. The World Health Organization categorized the variant as a “variant of interest” as it was found that it was a result of various mutations. The B.1.617 is yet to be detected in the Philippines.
The key factor in the battle against Covid-19 would be to inoculate as many people as possible. This would require immense mobilization of resources which has been seen in heavy public-private partnerships in the storage of vaccines all over the country. The public health sector will also need further support in order to provide wider access to Covid-19 treatment for Filipinos.
Legislators have filed bills on the use of a Covid-19 Vaccine Passport which will also ease the process of securing medical supplies and vaccines for Covid-19. The Vaccine Passport program was proposed in lieu of facilitating international travel and movement across borders. The passport will have a record of the date of inoculation as well as the manufacturer, date of vaccination and name of the facility where the individual received the vaccine. With the 2022 National Elections in the horizon, the Philippines will be having its Presidential Elections which will stand as the country’s biggest reopening trial since the beginning of the pandemic.
As the Philippines waits for the full execution of its vaccination program, companies have nearly fully adjusted to the effect of the pandemic in their operations. Working from home, which most thought would not be possible, is currently the norm in most industries. With the exemption of the service, food and logistics industry, many have reduced operational costs with employees working from home. Door-to-door delivery services have seen exceptional growth as public transport and mobility have been greatly affected. One of the industries that has significantly grown is the tech industry.
With schools not seeing any physical attendance until the bulk of the population has been inoculated, long distance learning has been the new norm which has led to massive buying of computers for students. The same goes for workers as office interconnectivity has been established at home. In order to protect the continuity of learning and working at home, our company, COCOGEN Insurance, introduced its
Pro-Tech Insurance product, solely for computers and laptops. For as low as P1,500 and P1,000, desktop computers and laptops can be insured against risks such as accidental damage, liquid damage, accidental loss and breakdown due to catastrophes. The product is unique and the only product in the market which offers protection for computers and laptops.
As the public and private sector strive for the acquisition of vaccines with the exponentially growing global demand, different innovations will arise from various industries in order to face the impending reopening trials towards a better new normal.