Director-General, World Health Organisation(WHO), Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, has revealed that “there’s no silver bullet at the moment and there might never be; for now, stopping outbreaks comes down to the basics of public health and disease control.
The Director-General, World Health Organisation (WHO), was trying to play down high hopes from the reports a number of vaccines are now in phase three clinical trials to prevent COVID-19 pandemic.
Ghebreyesus spoke at a virtual news conference last Monday at the WHO Headquarters in Geneva.
The director-general said: “We all hope to have a number of effective vaccines that can help prevent people from infection. However, Testing, isolating and treating patients, tracing and quarantining their contacts are all we can do today.
“For individuals, it’s about keeping physical distance, wearing a mask, cleaning hands regularly and coughing safely away from others. Do it all.’’
Ghebreyesus also said, “ keep improving surveillance, contact tracing and ensure disrupted healthcare services are restarted as quickly as possible. Keep safeguards and monitoring in place, because lifting restrictions too quickly can lead to resurgence.
“Keep investing in the workforce and communicating and engaging communities. We have seen around the world, that it’s never too late to turn this pandemic around,’’ he said.
He told the media that the Emergency Committee on COVID-19 met on Friday and reviewed the current pandemic.
“It was a sobering moment coming six months on from when the committee advised. At the time, Jan. 30, there were fewer than 100 cases and no deaths outside of China.
“When the Committee met three months ago, three million cases of COVID-19 had been reported to WHO, and more than 200,000 deaths.
“Since then, the number of cases has increased more than five-fold to 17.5 million, and the number of deaths has more than tripled to 680,000,’’ the director-general said.
He further said we learn every day about this virus.“ I’m pleased that the world has made progress in identifying treatments that can help people with the most serious forms of COVID-19 recover.
“The committee recommended that countries engage in the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, participate in relevant clinical trials, and prepare for safe and effective therapeutics and vaccine introduction,’’ Ghebreyesus said.