The World Health Organization has warned that “too many countries (were) headed in the wrong direction,” during a media briefing at Geneva, Monday.
WHO’s comment comes at a time when cities, states, and countries across the world begin to reimpose lockdown or retract public activity relaxations amid surging cases. Global coronavirus infections have surpassed 13 million, according to Johns Hopkins University data and the numbers are growing at an alarming rate.
WHO director-general Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, cases have surged in countries where proper and proven measures to contain the spread was not followed and jabbed the governments for not taking concrete efforts to check the spread. “The virus remains public enemy number one, but the actions of many governments and people do not reflect this,” he said.
Dr. Ghebreyesus echoed that the most effective mantra to keep a check on the spread of the novel coronavirus is – social distancing, hand washing and responsibly wearing mask must be followed diligently.
“There will be no return to the old normal in the foreseeable future” he clarified, addressing the increasingly impatient administrations across the world looking to return back to ‘normal.’
“If the basics aren’t followed, there is only one way this pandemic is going to go,” Dr. Tedros said, adding: “It’s going to get worse and worse and worse,” the BBC reports.
Outlining a roadmap to recovery, the WHO DG said there are three things the world is collectively required to do:
“First, a focus on reducing mortality and suppressing transmission.
Second, an empowered, engaged community, that takes individual behavioral measures, in the interest of each other and-
Third, we need strong government leadership, and coordination of comprehensive strategies, that are communicated clearly and consistently.
It can be done. It must be done,” he added.
Can a vaccine help?
Addressing the recent spurt in COVID-19 cases in the Americas, WHO’s emergency director Dr. Mike Ryan said relaxing lockdown in some areas in the Americas has led to the ‘intense transmission.’
Currently, both the Americas have the heaviest coronavirus caseload than any other country in the world. In the US, the number of infections has surpassed three million, while Latin America – next to the US in terms of caseload – has nearly two million confirmed cases. Hundreds of thousands have died in the two continents combined from COVID 19 that originated in Wuhan, China.
Unfortunately, though, political interference on public health measures has been rampant in countries like the US and Brazil among others. Among many instances, US President Donald Trump has long undermined the severity of the pandemic, and recently said: “We have one of the lowest mortality rates anywhere.” The US is the worst-hit country in the world, by the pandemic.
Brazil President Jair Bolonaro, who’s currently undergoing COVID-19 treatment has championed unproven remedies and campaigned against social distancing to the public. Recently, he is voicing for hydroxychloroquine, an unproved COVID remedy, that does more harm than good, studies have found.
Meanwhile, in the US – Europe’s worst-hit from the pandemic – experts have warned in a scientific report, that the upcoming winter can wreak havoc in the United Kingdom, as the flu season would amalgamate with the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to unprecedented situations as a result of the strained healthcare sector, if not prepared sufficiently.
Addressing the concerns of a vaccine, WHO’s Dr. Ryan refuted expectations of a vaccine that could tame the situation. He said, such thoughts would be ‘unrealistic.’ Instead, he said, “we need to learn to live with this virus.”