on the organization of the debate ”COVID-19 pandemic at a crossroads: Lessons learned and lessons to be learned before the vaccination period”. Public debates series held by the news agency IPN in its conference room with the support of the German Foundation “Hanns Seidel”
Held on 09 February 2021, Debate No.170 brought together: Coordinator of the national group on vaccination communication Ninel Revenco, public health expert Ala Tocarciuc, acting minister of health, labor and social protection Tatiana Zatyk, deputy head of the National Extraordinary Public Health Commission and Igor Boțan, IPN project’s standing expert.
The upcoming vaccination period gives particular hope that the pandemic situation can be changed in terms of qualit so that a crossroads between the periods “before vaccination” and “after vaccination” is reached. How real these chances are and how prepared the country is for the vaccination period were among the issues discussed by the participants in the public debate titled “COVID-19 pandemic at a crossroads: Lessons learned and lessons to be learned before the vaccination period” that was staged by IPN News Agency.
Igor Boțan, the standing expert of IPN’s project, said the pandemic is a disease that appears abnormally frequently in a particular region and in a particular period. The pandemic goes beyond the borders of a county or region. For a pandemic to be kept under control, the health systems of different countries should cooperate.
“We now have over 106 million infections globally. This is 1.5% of the global population. The number of deaths is of 2.3 million, which is approximately 2% of those who became infected. If we refer to the Republic of Moldova, we have over 160,000 infections here. This is approximately 4% of the population. So, this level is higher in the Republic of Moldova. We have over 3,500 deaths, which is 2% of those who became infected,” explained the expert. According to him, Moldova has witnessed three waves until now. The first was felt in June, the second in September, while the third in November-December. The number of infections is now similar to that recorded last August,” stated the expert.
Tatiana Zatykc, acting minister of health, labor and social protection, said it has been almost a year since the pandemic started. The first case of infecting in Moldova was confirmed at the start of last March. But the activities related to COVID-19 at the ministry became in December 2019, when this was informed about the first cases by the WHO. There were carried out preparatory and awareness-raising activities.
“We are experiencing a global pandemic that affected everyone’s life. I don’t think there is a family in our country that wouldn’t have been directly or indirectly affected by this pandemic. In fact, after almost a year of the first case of infection, the country and the population probably learned what COVID-19 is,” stated Tatiana Zatyk, who is also the deputy head of the National Extraordinary Public Health Commission.
According to her, the population now learned to obey particular rules so as to protect the own health and the health of those around, to adjust to new conditions as particular activities were gradually resumed. The people learned to praise health more. The officials also realized that health is a priority and the emphasis on healthcare should be principal during all times. Everyone should be in favor of immunization so that the pandemic could be contained.
Coordinator of the national group on vaccination communication Ninel Revenco, head of the Pediatric Department of the State University of Medicine and Pharmacy, said the number of children affected by the novel coronavirus, and not only in the Republic of Moldova, is low. Most of those who became infected are over 60 and suffer also from other diseases. Even if the infection rate among children is smaller, multisystem diseases in children appeared. It goes to the same complications as those suffered by adults.
There were affected children younger than five and children in the puberty period. The lungs, digestive system and now the central nervous system are more seriously affected in children, primarily small ones, in the post-COVID-19 period. In general, COVID-19 is yet an enigma.
In another development, Ninel Revenco, who is the president of the National Advisory Council on Immunization, noted that Moldova was allowed access to the WHO epidemiological, clinical study of this infection. “There are also the researches presented by academician Stanislav Groppa concerning the complete genome SARS-CoV-2. The Patriarchic Department last year staged international conferences involving foreign experts and these centered on the infection tendencies among children, the complications, treatment, etc.
Public health expert Ala Tocarciuc noted that the national health system deserves the highest praise as, besides figuring the pandemic, treating patients and taking different measures, the healthcare workers do a lot of work. Besides the daily work, they were assigned new tasks and the workload doubled or even trebled.
As regards the society’s behavior, the expert said there were moments when the people complied and helped the health system. “There are such examples now too. The people wear face masks, maintain distancing, give up staging events. But there is a minority that does not yet accept the situation and neglect doctors’ recommendations,” stated Ala Tocarciuc.
“I would like to say thank you to the health system for the titanic effort made the past year and would call on society to make common cause with the doctors.”
The Agency published 5 news stories on the debate (see the English version of www.ipn.md): on 09.02.21, „COVID-19 pandemic at a crossroads: Lessons learned and to be learned before vaccination. IPN debates” - https://www.ipn.md/en/covid-19-pandemic-at-a-crossroads-lessons-learned-and-to-8004_1079598.html; „Ninel Revenco: At least 50% of population should benefit from COVID-19 vaccines free” - https://www.ipn.md/en/ninel-revenco-at-least-50-of-population-should-benefit-from-8004_1079599.html; „Igor Boțan: Politicians acted correctly when they withdrew from forefront of pandemic management” - https://www.ipn.md/en/igor-botan-politicians-acted-correctly-when-they-withdrew-from-forefront-8004_1079602.html; „Ala Tocarciuc about COVID-19 vaccines: They are safe and accessible to Moldova” - https://www.ipn.md/en/ala-tocarciuc-about-covid-19-vaccines-they-are-safe-and-8004_1079605.html; „Tatiana Zatyk relates how Moldova was included into list of countries that will be supplied with vaccines” - https://www.ipn.md/en/tatiana-zatyk-relates-how-moldova-was-included-into-list-of-8004_1079607.html.
Valeriu Vasilica, director of IPN