On Monday the World Health Organization said “the worst is yet to come” in the fight against the novel coronavirus, and that “the pandemic is actually speeding up.”
There’s already a playbook for what works well to stop the virus, but not everyone is using it, the WHO said.
The multi-pronged strategy includes widespread testing, tracing, and continued vigilance with social distancing when new clusters of cases emerge.
“Every politician needs to look in the mirror and say, ‘am I doing enough to stop this virus?'” the WHO’s executive director of health emergencies said.
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It’s been six months since the World Health Organization officially declared the coronavirus a global health emergency, but on Monday the WHO warned the world to prepare for a “long haul” ahead.
“The worst is yet to come,” WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on a call with reporters from Geneva. “I’m sorry to say that. But, with this kind of environment and condition, we fear the worst.”
The WHO stressed repeatedly on the call that not all countries are combatting the new virus with the same levels of success, or vigilance. With more than half of the 10 million coronavirus cases to date and almost half of the 500,000 deaths worldwide centered in the Americas, there’s a lot more that both governments and individuals in overburdened countries like the US and Brazil could be doing to stop this virus.
“We all want this to be over, we all want to get on with our lives, but the hard reality is this is not even close to being over,” Tedros said. “Although many countries have made some progress, globally, the pandemic is actually speeding up.”
Without naming any names, Tedros chided many countries for not doing more to stop the spread of the virus, as world economies reopen.
“This could have been prevented through the tools that we have at hand,” Tedros said of the virus’ current spread. “Time after time and country after country, what we have seen is this virus can be suppressed if the governments are serious about the things they have to do — their share — and if the community can do its share.”
Some countries are able to “pounce on disease” better than others
The WHO applauded previously hard-hit countries like South Korea and China, and others that have dealt with recent recurrences of the virus, including Germany, Singapore, and Japan, saying that coronavirus vigilance requires a concerted effort on the part of both politicians, and citizens at large.
Many of the most successful coronavirus-fighting countries have adopted a multi-layered public health approach that allows them “to pounce on disease” quickly and effectively when and where it re-emerges, the WHO’s Mike Ryan, executive director of the agency’s Health Emergencies Program, said.
“What you have to do is push the disease down to the lowest possible level,” he said, stressing that, in addition to more nationwide testing and tracing, and good public health surveillance systems, the most …read more
Source:: Business Insider