ANKARA: Every country around the world is struggling with the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic in its own way, but some of them have shown remarkable success.
The pandemic caused a worldwide public health crisis, and while European and North American countries suffered heavy losses, some countries in various parts of the world took successful practices that can be an example in combating the outbreak.
Some countries from Oceania to the Far East, from Southeast Asia to the Middle East, from Africa to South America, have made good progress in fighting the virus their own way.
New Zealand: Strict, early measures
New Zealand is one of the rare countries in the Oceania region to control the pandemic through confining virus cases and deaths.
In the country, which has a population of 4.8 million, so far there are 1,497 cases confirmed, 21 people have died, and 1,386 people have recovered.
The government, led by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, has tried to prevent the virus from spreading from the beginning of pandemic with a policy of “apply early, apply tight.”
New Zealand closed all its borders on March 19 and stopped all entry into the country, except for its own citizens. All businesses that failed to meet necessary needs were closed, and domestic travel and large gatherings were restricted.
Level 4 quarantine measures started to be implemented on March 25. People were only allowed to have social contact with the people they live with.
Ardern declared victory against the virus on April 27, adding that there would have been an estimated 1,000 new cases a day if they had not implemented quarantine measures.
On May 4, for the first time, no cases in the country were found.
South Korea: Monitoring single cases stemmed spread
South Korea, two hours from China by plane and the second country to detect Covid-19, got a positive result in the fight against the virus through a strategy of monitoring single cases.
They developed test kits which gave quick results and distributed them to healthcare centers. Additional test centers were set up.
Mobile apps were developed to help people self-diagnose and to get official information about the pandemic.
Tracing individual cases became key to control the outbreak. For instance, this helped them get under control an outbreak of the disease centered around a Catholic church community in the city of Daegu in February.
A woman known as “patient 31” was found to flout the isolation rules and so infected other member of church. In light of this, all members of the church and the people in contact with them were given Covid-19 tests.
In the country, which has a population of 51.6 million, 10,909 cases were found, 256 people died, and 9,632 people recovered.
Vietnam: Detection, tracing, isolation
In Vietnam, which shares a long land border with China where the outbreak emerged, no deaths from Covid-19 have been so far recorded.
The Southeastern Asian country has a population of 95.5 million but only 288 cases have been confirmed, with 249 so far recovered.
Since the virus was seen in three people who came from Wuhan, China in January, the detection, tracing and isolation of the cases were done meticulously.
The Vietnamese government gave priority to tests. They tested every person who had gone abroad and the people they were in contact with.
Vietnam has so far given tests to over 261,000 people, giving it one of the smallest case-to-test ratios in the world.
Schools in the country reopened on May 4 and economic life began to return to normal.
Jordan: Early and systematic action
The Jordanian government set up a committee to combat the outbreak five weeks before it saw its first case.
With the approval of King Abdullah II, the government introduced state of emergency regulations including a curfew and quarantine restrictions to be enforced by the army when necessary.
Schools, businesses, public institutions and the borders were closed. There was a curfew every day from 6 p.m. to 10 a.m. Large gatherings were suspended and mosques closed.
After the quarantine bore fruit, all restrictions on economic activities were lifted on May 3.
While only 540 cases have been seen in the country, nine people have so far died.
Ghana focused on virus’ geographic footprint
The West African country of Ghana has been distinguished by its effective testing and monitoring processes, despite its limited economic resources. After South Africa, Ghana has carried out the second-largest number of tests in Africa, with over 160,000.
In the country of 29.7 million people, 4,700 cases have been reported and 22 people died. The government quarantined the cities of Kumasi and Accra, where the outbreak was concentrated, after the first cases in the country were seen.
For the government, understanding the virus’ geographic footprint has been key to directing test efforts to the right places.
Venezuela wages struggle
Despite difficult days before the pandemic due to US sanctions, Venezuela waged a successful fight with Covid-19 compared to other South American countries.
The country, which has a population of 28.8 million, saw only 414 cases of the virus and only 10 deaths, while it did over 512,00 tests for Covid-19.
Turkey passed major test
The above countries were in an advantageous position due to their geographic locations and relatively manageable populations.
Countries with large populations and geographical locations open to international economic activities and human mobility found themselves in a more vulnerable position. Especially the US and Europe faced large losses due to the pandemic.
Turkey, with a population of over 80 million, was also heavily hit by the pandemic due to its central geographic location between Asia and Europe, and economic ties with neighboring countries such as Iran.
Despite that, Turkey saw relatively fewer casualties due to its taking measures early and the success of its health system in screening, early diagnosis, and treatment processes.
Turkey has the ninth-largest number of coronavirus cases in the world at 139,771 but kept its number of deaths so far to just 3,841.
Nearly 96,000 have been discharged from hospital after recovery, and some 40,000 are still under treatment.
Since April 24, the number of patients recovering has topped the number of new cases, showing the nation’s success.
Turkey is the number eight country in the world for giving tests for the virus, with over 1.4 million.
After originating in China last December, Covid-19 has spread to at least 187 countries and regions. Europe and the US are currently the worst-hit regions.
The pandemic has killed over 290,000 worldwide, with total infections more than 4.2 million, while recoveries exceeded 1.48 million, according to figures compiled by the Johns Hopkins University.