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Bizarre Coronavirus Case Proves Robust Lockdowns Still at Pandemic Risk

Last Updated September 23, 2020 1:49 PM
Joseph Young
Last Updated September 23, 2020 1:49 PM
  • A Philippine man who has been in lockdown for nearly a month tests positive with the coronavirus.
  • Authorities speculate that visitors to his home passed the virus to the household.
  • Cross-city or cross-country infections remain a serious risk in the Asian nation of nearly 110 million residents, despite strict measures.

Baguio, a city in the Philippines that has been praised for its successful efforts in containing a coronavirus outbreak , has found itself an odd COVID-19 case over the weekend . One 77-year-old man who never left his home in amidst a nationwide lockdown was confirmed to have the virus.

The unusual case imposes an additional coronavirus threat to countries that have been able to contain the virus outbreak.

Countries face second coronavirus wave

A complete lockdown is the strongest precautionary measure a country could possibly take to contain the pandemic.

While levels of nationwide lockdown differ, individuals typically cannot leave the house except for necessities such as food and medicine.

The Philippines imposed one of the stronger lockdown measures , requiring one person per household to receive a pass from the government to visit pharmacies, groceries, supermarkets, and banks.

Philippines still has a relatively low number of coronavirus cases | Source: worldometers.info

Despite such efforts, on April 15, the city of Baguio reported a coronavirus infection  from a man who never left his home ever since the lockdown was imposed.

Authorities are now speculating that the nephew of the infected resident who flew from Thailand could have passed coronavirus to the household.

Currently, countries that are said to have passed the peak of coronavirus, including Singapore, South Korea, Vietnam, Thailand, and Taiwan face three main risks of the second wave of coronavirus.

The three risks are discharged coronavirus patients testing positive again, crowds beginning to form in small spaces  due to lax precautions, and a declining usage of masks.

Foreign nationals or local residents traveling from overseas carrying the virus into the country is now being considered a strong factor that could reignite outbreaks in well-contained countries.

Singaporeans flock a supermarket after its government enforced ‘circuit-breaker’ restrictions to combat the spread of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus. | Source:  ROSLAN RAHMAN / AFP

South Korea and China, as an example, saw foreign nationals travel into the two countries with coronavirus infections, being recorded as new COVID-19 cases. 

Stronger precautions needed to stop more cases

The effectiveness of a lockdown dwindles when individuals still visit other homes and move to crowded places.

Such is the case for a country like the Philippines, which unlike China, South Korea, and Taiwan, is yet to see a clear peak in the number of coronavirus cases. 

To prevent a new wave of coronavirus cases in the near-term, it is critical that safety precautions are not taken lightly, even if new coronavirus cases drop.

According to reports, both the U.K. and the U.S. are still struggling to meet coronavirus test quotas . That indicates that many individuals are unable to receive COVID-19 tests and are likely self-isolating at home, possibly with a virus infection.

The U.K., as an example, which only ran coronavirus tests to patients checked in at a hospital, has struggled to expand  its testing capacity of 100,000 by the end of April.

As the risk of community spread intensifies in countries with a relatively low number of coronavirus cases, it is of the utmost importance of both the general population and the authorities to ensure that a new wave of the virus does not occur that could render lockdown and other precautionary efforts less effective.