WHO stresses need for quick action amid reports of fresh COVID-19 outbreaks

WHO stresses need for quick action amid reports of fresh COVID-19 outbreaks

With several countries experiencing fresh COVID-19 outbreaks after periods of little or no transmission, the UN World Health Organization (WHO) highlighted the need for authorities to be able to move quickly to prevent further spread of the disease.

These nations provide a cautionary tale because they show how “progress does not mean victory”, said WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in his latest update on the crisis.

“That’s why it’s vital that countries are able to quickly identify and prevent clusters, to prevent community transmission and the possibility of new restrictions,” he told journalists.

Globally, there are now more than 22 million cases of COVID-19 and 780,000 deaths. Meanwhile, the number of people requiring hospitalization remains high, the WHO chief reported.

“No country can just ride this out until we have a vaccine. A vaccine will be a vital tool, and we hope that we will have one as soon as possible. But there’s no guarantee that we will, and even if we do have a vaccine, it won’t end the pandemic on its own,” he warned.

Mr. Tedros underlined WHO’s commitment to countries as they work towards the safe re-opening of their economies, societies, schools, and businesses.

The WHO chief also expressed hope that the COVID-19 pandemic will be defeated in under two years or less time than it took to end the Spanish Flu pandemic, through global solidarity and the use of vaccines.

Mr. Tedros was responding to a journalist’s question about the similarities between the two crises.

The 1918 influenza pandemic lasted from February 1918 to April 2020.

Mr. Tedros pointed out that while the “disadvantage” of globalization means the new coronavirus can spread faster, people today have the “advantage” of technology and knowledge.

“So, we hope to finish this pandemic before less than two years, especially if we can pool our efforts together, and with national unity, global solidarity – that’s really key – with utilizing the available tools to the maximum and hoping that we can have additional tools like vaccines, I think we can finish it in a shorter time than the 1918 flu,” he said.

Original source: UN News