Monkeypox deepens the discrepancy between East and West with the pandemics that covid has already evidenced. SARS or MERS had vaccinated the continent against mildew and, when the first rumors about a strange pneumonia in Wuhan intensified, governments had weapons ready and society knew how to defend itself. In no time they closed the door on the virus while the West wasted months comparing it to the flu. Asian governments today insist that there is no reason to panic over monkeypox as they work to minimize the risks, aware that with viruses it is preferable to err on the side of the old sense of security in the West.
The World Health Organization (WHO) declared this Saturday a global health emergency. Monkeypox had left the African latitudes where it is endemic in May and has already been located in 75 countries. The rapid expansion and the thousands of cases, mostly with no apparent connection or travel history to Africa, prevailed over mortality, with just five deaths.
country to country
Japan declared alert level one on Monday and asked its nationals to take extreme precautions abroad. Hours earlier he had confirmed his first case, a thirtysomething returned from Europe, and ordered a meeting of experts to collect information and prepare the tests and hospitals to receive patients. The Ministry of Health will discuss this Friday whether the vaccines stored against smallpox in anticipation of a terrorist attack are useful against the variant of African origin. Thailand extended nationwide alert on Sunday after an emergency meeting of the Ministry of Health. The day before, she had reported the positive of a Nigerian citizen who had traveled through the country. He, too, trusts Thailand in its stockpiles of smallpox vaccines, apparently in good condition after 40 years in the fridge, and has ordered border posts to be vigilant with travelers from hardest-hit destinations.
India counted its first case last week and now has four. The first three, detected in the state of Kerala, corresponded to travelers returned from the Gulf area, but the last, in New Delhi, had not left the country. The authorities are investigating how he became infected, they have clarified that no reason to panic and recommended more vigilance to regional governments.
South Korea, which has the best-oiled machinery against epidemics in Asia, decided at an emergency meeting on Monday that increased protection is not necessary for the time being. The current protocol provides for a quarantine of at least three weeks for infected and his closest contacts and the laboratories have received orders to manufacture 5,000 doses of the third generation smallpox vaccine.
“It is only a matter of time before it arrives here as well,” Wu Zunyou, chief epidemiologist at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, admitted on Monday. The certainty is contemplated with relative calm from the scientific class because its contagion capacity is much lower than that of the coronavirus and because the shield against it is used for monkeypox. Calm does not exclude caution. The airports practice controls from June on arrivals from abroad, especially if they come from destinations with cases in the last 21 days, and importers were ordered yesterday to thoroughly disinfect cargo, containers and vehicles.