The Covid-19 pandemic has become a disaster for the world that feels impossible to overcome at this time. However, a new analysis by scientists from New Zealand shows that humanity should not despair.
In a meta-analysis of previous studies and the comparisons with smallpox and polio, the experts showed that eradicating Covid-19 is still possible, although not easy.
“Although our analysis is a preliminary effort, with various subjective components, it appears that it makes eradication of Covid-19 possible, especially in terms of technical feasibility,” the scientists wrote.
On a small scale, some regions have succeeded in eliminating the virus, even without vaccination.
Big countries like China, Hong Kong, and smaller ones like Iceland and New Zealand managed to eliminate the Covid-19 virus temporarily before a vaccine was released, by implementing border controls, wearing masks, physical distancing, testing, and contact tracing.
Moreover, mankind managed to eradicate at least one infectious disease before, namely smallpox.
As is well known, humans coexisted with smallpox for 3,000 years before there was a worldwide vaccine that eradicated it in the 70s.
In addition, polio is another proof that vaccination is effective and the disease is almost eradicated.
In this new study, the team created a three-point scoring system for 17 elimination variables to see if humans could do the same with Covid-19.
These variables include the availability of safe and effective vaccines, the lifespan of immunity, the impact of public health measures, and effective government management.
Looking at these variables, the team of experts found that Covid-19 scored 28 points out of 51, compared to polio scoring 26 out of 51 points.
“In this very early analysis, eradication of Covid-19 appeared to be slightly more viable than polio, but much less than smallpox,” the research team added.
Scientists explain that there must be technical challenges to the Covid-19’s eradication that have little effect on polio and smallpox.
For example, doubts over vaccines and the rapid evolution of viral variants that could defeat global vaccine programs.
In addition, the high cost of implementing a vaccination program and improving the health care system is also a technical challenge.
Even so, there are several benefits in efforts to eradicate Covid-19, such as controlling other diseases such as measles.