Deputy Director of APARC and Director of the Asia Health Policy Program Karen Eggleston recently spoke to Bloomberg Markets about the new cases and the further spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus in the United States.
"There has been widespread international collaboration on the scientific side to try and get ready for a vaccine and for therapies, but that takes time. In the meantime, you have to rely on tried and true public health measures."
Eggleston stressed the importance of people remaining calm and avoiding both complacency and panic in response to the growing public health crisis. Instead, being proactive, science-based, and utilizing clear, organized communications channels are the keys to protecting individuals and communities and in making timely, informed, effective decisions about future steps as the outbreak continues. Typical practices for flu season such as frequent handwashing, staying away from public spaces when ill, and following recommended self-quarantine guidelines are all measures people can take to support their well-being and the health of those around them.
"It's important to remember that both the transmissibility and the fatality rate [of COVID-19] can be changed by the way we respond. The way we trace the contacts and isolate can reduce the transmissibility. And the resilience of our public health system and investment in prevention and supporting our healthcare workers — and having the right equipment in place for the severe cases — can affect the fatality rate and protect people."
Watch the full interview below to hear more recommendations on how to prepare.