The actual number of people infected with the new coronavirus infection in Moldova is ten times higher than the number of officially confirmed cases – this shows other countries’ experience. In the coming days, it is worth preparing for a noticeable increase in the number of cases. What does the state do about?
Pandemic numbers in Moldova
In our country, the coronavirus history began in the February late half with a sudden outbreak of infection in several European countries, particularly in Italy. The first patient with coronavirus on the territory of Moldova was identified on March 7: the passenger of the Milan-Chisinau flight was hospitalized in a critical condition right from the airport. According to the latest data, 36 cases of the new coronavirus infection have been registered in the country.
A few weeks after the outbreak in Europe the country’s borders continued to remain opened. It was for weeks that the virus spread undetected. Now, every day, more and more new cases await Moldova but not because the epidemic will begin to grow explosively – it’s just that the symptoms will become stronger and people will go to doctors more often. The disease incidence dynamics in Western countries allows us to make very sad forecasts. Based on statistical indicators, we can confidently say that real numbers are ten times higher than official numbers.
It is possible to assess the real situation and make near future forecasts using mathematical models, developed when analyzing the disease development in other states.
So, according to experts, if the country witnessed a doubling number of detected cases for at least a week, then soon the incidence curve will skyrocket. Moldova follows this disappointing trend: from March 7 to 15, the number of patients increased from 1 to 23 people and that’s even more than doubling every two days.
In addition, to outline the real numbers of infected with COVID-19 two formulas have been derived. The first model, is based on the number of officially detected cases and when indicator reaches 36 people it would give the average of about 110 real infected with a forecast of their number increase up to 800 per week. The second formula is associated with the already known mortality rate and gives an even tougher assessment of the happening: even one death indicates the presence of about 800 real cases of infection and predicts the growth of patients to more than 1700 per week. It is worth mentioning that the first death from coronavirus was recorded in Moldova the day before.
As a result, taking into account the data as of March 18, the actual number of cases today varies from 110 to 800 people and in a week it will reach the level of 800-1700. And these numbers do not seem to be exaggerated given that (only) officially about 13.5 thousand people in Moldova stay under doctors’ home supervision. The wide distribution of infection cases — Floresti, Chisinau, Basarabeasca, Soroca, Hincesti, Rascani, Cahul — also contributes to the COVID-19 rapid spread. It indicates the absence of one focus of infection: the virus “walks” already throughout Moldova.
What does the state do?
The most effective way to control coronavirus infection is isolation and social distance, which exclude the possibility to the virus spread. For example, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand and Hong Kong, having suffered from SARS in 2003, were more prepared for the epidemic than others.
Since the end of February, the danger code in Moldova has gradually increased from yellow to red and on March 17 the state of emergency was introduced. Special regimes of entry / exit from the country and movement within the state were established, quarantine and prohibition of mass gatherings also got introduced. Until April 1, the activity of retailers (excluding food, pharmaceutical and fuel), commercial markets, rehabilitation centers, catering and restaurants is limited in Moldova; air traffic, international railway passenger traffic, access of foreigners to the country, all this got suspended.
In general, one can positively assess the level of informational work organization with the population. The Ministry of Health, Labor and Social Protection of the Republic of Moldova issues daily reports on the situation in the country, gives recommendations on behavior, explains the parameters of the state of emergency and recalls, in particular, the introduced system of fines.
Thus, for non-compliance with measures to prevent or combat the epidemic, which would lead danger to public health, the fine of about 25 thousand lei for individuals and up to 75 thousand lei for legal entities will be imposed. People who caused the spread of the disease will be fined of up to 50 thousand lei or be imprisoned for up to 3 years. Up to 25 thousand lei to be paid for providing false or incomplete information or for refusing to provide data to fill out the epidemiological file. Since the introduction of the emergency regime, almost 40 protocols have already been drawn up for non-compliance with measures to combat the coronavirus and fines of 800 thousand lei have been issued.
In addition to restrictions, measures to support citizens and businesses are introduced: deferrals on loans and duties, cheaper and additional loans, compensation to First Home program participants, reduction of VAT for HoReCa, etc. However, many experts blame the government for the lack of efforts and planned programs help. “The state cannot cover absolutely all losses and damage. We urge to understand this and be united,” Prime Minister Ion Chicu said. By contrast Romania, for example, will allocate 2 billion euros of free loans for small and medium enterprises.
International cooperation in the fight against coronavirus is not as active as might be expected. So far, Moldova received a batch of humanitarian aid only from China: tests, respirators, infrared thermometers and medical glasses.
Despite some topical measures taken by the government recently, many efforts to limit the spread of infection have, in fact, been crossed out by the refusal to postpone by-election in the Hincesti district. This led to Balceana and Sofia villages isolation, places where cases of COVID-19 were recorded. In addition, the actions of authorities, especially in terms of imposing the state of emergency so far give out a certain disorientation and a poor understanding of how the economy will function in the new realities. Perhaps, at the moment, the leadership of the republic should concentrate efforts to obtain additional support from outside – but, taking into account the “withdrawal” of almost all European states this will not be easy.
Get real time update about this post categories directly on your device, subscribe now.