WHO has a three-point checklist that countries should check off before lifting a lock


Businesses from Milan, Italy to Roswell, Georgia started to open after weeks and months of closings caused by coronaviruses.

Last weekend, the Italians headed outside to enjoy their first weekend outside since early March, when the country’s COVID-19 lockout began. Most, but not all, wore their required masks.

Experts in the United States warned last week that no state was ready to reopen, and Anthony Fauci, the country’s leading disease expert, is expected to announce in the Senate on Tuesday that “unnecessary suffering and death” is taking place. loom on the horizon if the United States opens up. too fast.

With so many countries and states weighing in on when exactly the time may be right to ease their lockdowns, the World Health Organization detailed three basic questions on Monday that “can help determine if a lockout can be released slowly or not ”.

” First of all, epidemic under control? “, Said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

“Second, the health system capable of coping with the resurgence of cases which may occur after the relaxation of certain measures? “And,” third, public health surveillance system capable of detecting and managing cases and their contacts and identifying a resurgence of cases? “

Unfortunately, the United States still does not check any of these boxes.

The epidemic is still spreading widely in many heart states, from Tennessee to Kentucky, Wisconsin, Nebraska and Georgia, according to leaked White House data obtained by NBC News.

There are serious disparities in the US health care system that must be addressed if everyone is to have adequate access to coronavirus testing and care in the weeks and months to come, and the public health surveillance system has need a major digital upgrade to correctly identify resurgence of outbreaks, and test and track each new case.

WHO has stressed that as the blockages are lifted and people mix and mix more, there will inevitably be new infections. This is why countries and cities must proceed with caution and clarity when reopening, ensuring that they are ready for a possible surge.

“As the restrictions are lifted, people will mix more, there is no question,” said WHO Executive Director of Health Emergencies Mike Ryan.

“The risk of transmission will potentially increase. The question is, can we reach a point where we have strong public health measures in place where we can investigate and remove clusters of cases without reverting to the intense modes of transmission before? »»

He pointed out that crowds of people gathering to party (as some students in Colorado did last week) are probably some of the most “risky” situations possible.

In the UK, confusion over the safe reopening of this country has reigned in recent days as people weigh the new 50-page coronavirus reopening guidelines issued by Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday. contrary to previous guidelines, telling people to wear face masks when out. in public.

The plans to reopen have also left many companies confused as to when and how to properly reopen their offices.

Ryan stressed that it is important, as all countries begin to reopen, that they create new ways to reduce transmission when people need to be together, avoid large crowds and gatherings and identify when new clusters of coronavirus cases are emerging.

He mentioned Germany and South Korea as places that are doing this kind of cautious reopening.

“It is really important that we give examples of countries that are ready to open their eyes and keep their eyes open,” said Ryan, alluding to the idea that more blockages may be needed if and where cases go up. sharply.

“Closing your eyes and trying to cross this blind is as stupid an equation as I have seen,” added Ryan.

“I am really concerned that some countries are preparing for seriously blind conduct in the coming months. “

This article was originally published by Business Insider.

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