Written by Prakriti Panwar, a grade 11 student.
Other than drastically affecting the health of all nations, the Covid-19 pandemic has also gravely affected all economies. Now that medical research is slowly progressing and the chaotic situation has been, to a certain extent brought into control, most countries are looking for a way to bounce back to a normal and stable economy.
Chile (a country in South America) managed to think of a rather effective way of doing the same. It is giving something called ‘immunity passports’- in which recovered Coronavirus patients are eligible for this card (they can also receive it digitally). The idea behind this concept was simple- Once a person has recovered from the virus, he/she would have the ability and immunity to fight it. Though the immunity passports will be out there and available, they will only be given to those who have an extremely high probability of not being contagious. This might seem pretty logical as such was the case with Scarlet Fever as well, but it may have certain cons.
Many health officials are criticizing this move. One of the main reason as to why this concept was panned was because it was put into use without the consultation of the Chilean Immunology Society- An organization which played an extremely important role in this case since Chile started giving out passports only to those who were considered to have a high immunity against the virus.
Secondly, this step was initiated when a lot less was known about the coronavirus, scientifically speaking. Hence, there was no guarantee that recovered patients would not be infected again. South Korea’s Center for Disease Control even reported that about 141 patients tested positive after they had seemingly recovered.
Other than the potential threat of a more rapid spread of the virus, these immunity passports might also create a black market for its sales. Desperate workers might resort to the above. Chile’s Medical Union also said that this might lead to workplace discrimination as employers might give preference to immunity card holders and those who are forced to work from home due to the current situation, might lose out.
In grave times such as these, this Chilean concept could either be seen as unique and enterprising, or as a dangerous catalyst. Economically, it is a rather brilliant way of bringing back the economy to normal. However, scientifically, it may not be advisable and might even be providing false hope to many.
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