A pandemic on this scale was something very few of us could have imagined a year ago. Of course, viral infections are nothing new, but we haven’t seen an outbreak on such a worldwide scale in our lifetimes. The overall death toll now sits at 1.08 million. Many governments are still struggling to overcome the virus and keep their people safe. Around the world, there have been debates about how best to tackle COVID-19. The world’s response to coronavirus has been varied. What has worked well? What has been less effective? We’ve obviously heard lots about the UK’s response to coronavirus, but today we’ll look at how some of our European neighbours have reacted.
Germany’s Response to Coronavirus
Total Cases: 326,000
Infection Rate: 11.6 per 100,000 people
Germany’s management of the pademic has been widely regarded as one of the best in the world. The government was swift to implement restrictions in late February and early March. The government banned mass gatherings and put travel restrictions in place. In mid-March, schools began to close. Shortly afterwards, there was a “contact ban” which encouraged people to maintain a 1.5 metre distance from one another.
All of these rules slowed the spread of the virus drastically. Polling indicates the public is supportive of the measures as Chancellor Angela Merkel’s ratings are “the highest of any politician”. Because of these restrictions, Germany came out of lockdown quickly. This in turn meant that the economy was not too heavily impacted. Germany is also continuing to offer a generous furlough scheme which is set to run until the end of 2021.
South Korea’s Response to Coronavirus
Total Cases: 24, 703
Infection Rate: 0.8 per 100,000 people
Evidently, South Korea responded quickly and efficiently to the pandemic. They were one of the first countries to be hit with the virus, yet their response to coronavirus saw infections drop quickly. South Korea reported no new COVID-19 cases by the end of April. They began mass testing and strict contact tracing. Within 2 weeks of the first reported case, they had testing kits rolled out.
South Korea has been critiqued for the way in which it traces infected people. They contact trace using surveillance and there have been reports of looking over bank and phone records. This has raised some issues over privacy, but for the most part, South Koreans agree that it is necessary to suppress the virus. Masks are mandatory and going out without one is virtually unheard of.
The government has done a great job with relaxing and restricting rules as appropriate. Schools opened in May but some were closed again as soon as local cases surged. Restaurants in the capital have a strict curfew of 9:00 pm but social distancing rules are down to their lowest level. With continual reviews and adjustments to the rules, life is almost back to normal in South Korea.
Spain’s Response to Coronavirus
Total Cases: 861,000
Infection Rate: 70.5 per 100,000 people
Spain has unfortunately been hit very hard by the virus. It currently has one of the highest infection rates in Europe. There are reasonable concerns around the lack of testing kit availability depending on which region in Spain you are in. The ministry for health has an app to track and trace Covid, but less than 10% of Spaniards have installed it on their phones.
They do have a generous furlough scheme which has been extended until January. Unfortunately, due to Spain’s deeply polarised political system, there have been clashes between national and regional governments. As a result, recent research by the National Statistics Institute found that 57% of Spanish citizens had little to no confidence in the government’s response to the crisis. They recently introduced emergency lockdown measures in the areas with the highest infection rates.
The Netherlands’ Response to Coronavirus
Total Cases: 181,000
Infection Rate: 38.4 per 100,000 people
Over the summer months, the Dutch government relaxed many of its tighter restrictions. Similar to the UK, the Netherlands was not well prepared for the second wave to come as quickly as it has. Tests are currently in short supply, as are staff to administer them. In March, the country put itself in what it dubbed an “intelligent lockdown“. It phased in wearing masks but the staggered rules appear to have impacted compliance.
However, it must be said that the Netherlands has one of the most generous economic packages. The government is supporting employees for up to 90% of their wages and providing some businesses with a £906 a month “gift”. Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s handling of the outbreak has nonetheless drawn criticism and public approval has taken a nosedive, going from 75% to as little as 65% in some cases.
Protecting Your Loved Ones During the Pandemic
Not being ale to visit loved ones is incredibly difficult, particularly when you know they are vulnerable. A Careline alarm will give you peace of mind that your loved one is protected in their home. If they ever need to call for help (after a fall, for example) they would simply need to press their Careline button. Our expert Care Team will answer the call in seconds and arrange help straight away.
Our Customer Service Team is available to answer any question you may have about a Careline alarm. To order your alarm, or for more information, call us now on 0800 101 3333. Alternatively, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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