Spanish flu in 1918 caused worst pandemic
KUWAIT CITY, March 8: Kuwait University’s Vice-President for Health Sciences Center and Professor at the Faculty of Medicine Prof Adel Al- Hunayan says the dangers of the new coronavirus emerging among the elderly depend on a set of factors including public health, immunity level, and existence of chronic diseases, reports Al-Anba daily.
He explained that the total death rate from the new coronavirus, according to recent estimates, is 3.4%. However, this percentage rises to eight percent for patients above the age of 70 years, and 15 percent for those above 80 years of age.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has so far received requests to review and approve 40 tests to diagnose the new coronavirus, monitor the development of 20 new vaccines, and follow up on many researches directed at discovering an effective treatment against infections of this virus.
The World Health Organization has not classified COVID19 as pandemic so far, but it stressed the need for countries to prepare for this possibility and only announce outbreak of the coronavirus as a health emergency with an international dimension. Prof Al-Hunayan revealed that the Spanish fl u in 1918 caused the worst pandemic in the 20th century, resulting in the death of about 17-50 million people as a result of the lack of awareness among the people, and concealment of facts and information about it.
He stressed the importance of educating and developing the workforce in the health sector, as it plays a vital and important role in building and protecting societies by tackling disasters of all kinds and related environmental and biological hazards to avoid the health effects of these events. Prof Al-Hunayan said it is possible that the new coronavirus will spread rapidly and massively, with the expectation of recording new infections among people who did not interact with the currently-infected persons and did not travel overseas.
In another development,Citizens stress that the precautionary and preventive measures taken by the Ministry of Education will not be sufficient given the spread of the virus and density of students in schools, saying students cannot be controlled either outside the educational facilities or classrooms.
On the other hand, educators have criticized the demands for an immediate end to the scholastic year despite alternative solutions proposed to protect the future of students, including but not limited to distance learning and reduction in curriculum, etc., considering that these demands and proposals do not serve the interests of students and their academic and scientific achievement.
He said that extending the academic year is an unacceptable step for technical, administrative and social reasons, and there is nothing wrong with the ministry placing within its plans to reduce the academic year and not extend, and there are also proposals to reduce the school day and get rid of non-essential subjects such as physical and technical education, music and others.