The outbreak of the virus, which began in Wuhan, China, has become a pandemic on March 11th. It has sickened more than three million people and at least 205,000 people have died.
The western countries in Europe have well developed transportation connections and free travel, which are the perfect conditions to spread the virus. Around March 15th serveral governments closed borders and announced measure to battle the COVID-19 outbreak.
On this website I will show the effects of the measure from the governments of Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and Sweden according to visualizations. The measures taken by governments are to combat COVID-19 and reduces the contaminations and deaths of their population. All in context of the United Nation Sustainable Development Goal three.
SDG 3: "Good health and well-being"
In conclusion it can be said that to lockdown the whole country and force everyone to isolate themselves (contaminated or not) is the best way to kill the virus. Unfortunately in practice it is different. Crucial jobs have to be done, people have to buy food and get medical care.
As for Belgium, compared to the other countries, they have a lot of contaminations and deaths per 100.000 residents. Although they are in full lockdown, the cause of this might be that the virus had spread itself silently before the lockdown. Therefor the virus has not been contained properly. The many deaths can be caused by the late closing of nursing homes for visitors while the virus was around a long time. People who are old, are more likely to die of COVID-19.
The Netherlands has a so called “intelligent lockdown”, whereas schools, catering industry and events are closed. People are recommended to stay home and participate in social distancing. The amount of contaminations per 100.000 residents is slowly dropping, but less fast then Germany. The cause of this could be that the Netherlands is more densely populated. Thereby only medical staff and people with a crucial job are tested for COVID-19.
Swedish people got the most “freedom” regarding to COVID-19 measures. The Swedish are known for their responsibility feeling and the government therefor gives them space to live in the COVID-19 crisis. There is a slight rise in contaminations and deaths the last weeks, yet for the measures taken this is expected.
Germany is not in full lockdown but has restrictions similarly to the Netherlands. Thereby Germany is known for their testing as they test as many people as possible. This can be seen in the numbers. A lot of contaminations are reported, yet there contamination/death ratio is far lower then other countries. This could be due the many tests.
It is hard to decide which country is best in battling COVID-19 and thereby working towards SDG 3: "Good health and well-being". People might be forced to sit home, earn less or lose their job, which can strongly influence their well-being in mental and physical condition. The debate is about saving lives or saving the economy and where to draw the line. This COVID-19 crisis will leave its tracks as the vaccine might take a year to develop.