Managing COVID-19 Infections in Cities

Introduction

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infection that is caused by coronavirus- SARS-CoV-2. The virus is transmitted via droplets which occurs when an individual sneeze, coughs or exhales. However, these droplets are heavy thus rapidly settle on surfaces (Peixoto et al., 2020). Also, the study reveals that the pandemic spread faster and more rampant in densely populated areas like cities where there are many people. Super-spreaders and population heterogeneity are vital factors that explain the discrepancy of cases in towns and rural regions (Paul et al., 2020). However, in a less populated area, the outbreak onset is delayed, similar to rural areas. Also, the study reveals that super-spreader in the city interacts with many individuals and infect some fraction of them (p.591). On the other hand, ‘super spreader’ in the countryside interact with a smaller set of people. Though these people spread the virus, the prevalence is lower than in cities. This study will discuss the management of COVID-19 infections in cities using the Ishikawa Problem Solving & House of Quality targets matrix.

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Managing COVID-19 Infections In Cities

Population density is one of the critical factors which account for more than 94% of the variance in virus spread. Durizzo et al. (2021) state that huge cities are often campaigning for people to maintain and keep a safe distance before developing vaccines. This distance has been proved to be the most efficient measure to curb the COVID-19 infection spread. Researchers researched 1,400 poor households in Accra and Johannesburg, which have the highest number of infections in Africa. The researchers' objective was to determine the policies put in place to minimize COVID-19 transmission without a shutdown which impacts people's economic well-being. Another way to manage the spread of COVID-19 includes lockdown, though it had a tremendous economic impact. Atalan (2020) states that lockdown is one of the most effective ways of keeping social isolation and has been proven to curb the spread of the COVID-19 transmission. With lockdowns, the virus spread significantly reduce. Therefore, the COVID-19 pandemic in cities is being managed and suppressed by a lockdown. Also, cities created stricter regulations to promote higher compliance, thus minimizing the spread of the disease. Cheng et al. (2020) state that one of the provisions provided by the world health organization is to wear a face mask. The study reveals that face masks should are comprehensive measure to save lives and suppress transmission (p.107). However, using a face mask alone is not an appropriate measure to offer an adequate protection level against COVID-19. Also, people should adopt ways to keep physical distance, avoid crowds, cough into a bent elbow, and clean their hands. Cities have also created policies to enforce these safety strategies. For example, Makurumidze (2020) states that the government allowed up to four weeks of unused leave to be carried over for two years. Also, to promote social distance, the government amended the working time regulations, which apply to almost all workers. Also, it regulates the regular working hours. However, currently with the invention of vaccines, cities are managing the disease through vaccination of the city population.

Impact of Globalization on the Spread of COVID-19

Globalization has impacted the way people live globally. Globalization has increased travel and trade and is a significant determinant of the disease's spreading. The increase in urbanization and the closer integration of the world economy have increased the interconnectedness in the world (Mas-Coma et al., 2020). Globalization has thus promoted people and goods mobility globally. However, with the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, the world is experiencing a rapid spread of infection. Unfortunately, globalization is among the pathway for disease spread- SARS-CoV-2. The COVID-19 pandemic has been indicated to spread faster than any other previous pandemic, proving that globalization is helping the spread of the pandemic (Paul et al., 2020). Also, there is the rapid spread of new variants like Brazil, South Africa, and UK variants. Therefore globalization is facilitating the spread of the pandemic through air, sea, and land mobility. COVID-19 was first announced in China; however, if there was no globalization, the virus could probably have been contained in china without the rapid spread around the globe. Therefore globalization is impacting efforts by cities to prevent the COVID-19 pandemic.

Operations for Better Problem-Solving

Some of the measures taken to control COVID-19 spread in cities include worker screening. Screening workers for COVID-19 symptoms is a strategy for employers to maintain operations and reopen physical work sites. Also, various policies require employees to screen and monitor employees for symptoms of SARS-CoV-2 (Chang et al., 2020). Screening and monitoring limit the spread of the virus as workers with symptoms including difficulty in breathing and high temperature are separated from healthy employees. This strategy prevents COVID-19 outbreak among staff. Another approach includes screening travelers and quarantines them as a way of detecting signs COVID-19 and ensuring that travelers do not spread the virus. The government also provides the criteria for excluding sick employees or travelers who test positive for COVID-19. Similarly, there are criteria for employees or travelers who recover from the infection.

Stakeholders Involved

Ministry of hearth

Federal government

Employees

Travelers

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Employers

Health practitioners

Key Performance Measurement Dimensions

The key performance indicator in control of COVID-19 Strategies in the control of COVID-19 includes containment and suppression of the spread of covid-19. At the early stages, containment is the key performance indicator, and its objective is to isolate and trace individuals infected, especially in cities. However, where there is no possibility of containing the disease, efforts move to the mitigation phase (Chang et al., 2020). In this case, measures are undertaken to mitigate the infection effects on society and the healthcare system. However, a combination of both strategies – mitigation and containment to suppress the pandemic by minimizing the primary reproduction number to less than one.

Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA)/conclusion

This is a four-stage model that is continually improving processes, services, and products. Research has been extensively conducted from the project, thus creating proper knowledge of the strategies used to manage COVID-19 infections in cities. Also, globalization has been linked to the spread of COVID-19 and operations undertaken to control the spread of the disease. However, for better results, performance indicators and stakeholder analysis must be conducted better.

References

Atalan, A., 2020. Is the lockdown important to prevent the COVID-19 pandemic? Effects on psychology, environment and economy-perspective. Annals of medicine and surgery, 56, pp.38-42.

Chang, D., Lin, M., Wei, L., Xie, L., Zhu, G., Cruz, C.S.D. and Sharma, L., 2020. Epidemiologic and clinical characteristics of novel coronavirus infections involving 13 patients outside Wuhan, China. Jama, 323(11), pp.1092-1093.

Chang, S.L., Harding, N., Zachreson, C., Cliff, O.M. and Prokopenko, M., 2020. Modelling transmission and control of the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia. Nature communications, 11(1), pp.1-13.

Cheng, V.C.C., Wong, S.C., Chuang, V.W.M., So, S.Y.C., Chen, J.H.K., Sridhar, S., To, K.K.W., Chan, J.F.W., Hung, I.F.N., Ho, P.L. and Yuen, K.Y., 2020. The role of community-wide wearing of face mask for control of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) epidemic due to SARS-CoV-2. Journal of Infection, 81(1), pp.107-114.

Durizzo, K., Asiedu, E., Van der Merwe, A., Van Niekerk, A. and Günther, I., 2021. Managing the COVID-19 pandemic in poor urban neighborhoods: The case of Accra and Johannesburg. World Development, 137, p.105175.

Makurumidze, R., 2020. Coronavirus-19 disease (COVID-19): A case series of early suspected cases reported and the implications towards the response to the pandemic in Zimbabwe. Journal of Microbiology, Immunology and Infection, 53(3), pp.493-498.

Mas-Coma, S., Jones, M.K. and Marty, A.M., 2020. COVID-19 and globalization. One Health, 9.

Paul, R., Arif, A.A., Adeyemi, O., Ghosh, S. and Han, D., 2020. Progression of COVID‐19 from urban to rural areas in the United States: a spatiotemporal analysis of prevalence rates. The Journal of Rural Health, 36(4), pp.591-601.

Peixoto, P.S., Marcondes, D., Peixoto, C. and Oliva, S.M., 2020. Modeling future spread of infections via mobile geolocation data and population dynamics. An application to COVID-19 in Brazil. PloS one, 15(7), p.e0235732.


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