- The World Health Organization said on Monday that “the worst is yet to come” in the fight against the new coronavirus, and that “the pandemic is accelerating.”
- There is already a manual on what works well to stop the virus, but not everyone is using it, the WHO said.
- The multi-pronged strategy includes testing, research and continuous vigilance with social distance when new clusters of cases emerge.
- “Every politician has to look in the mirror and say,” Am I doing enough to stop this virus? “,” Said the WHO executive director of health emergencies.
- Visit the Business Insider home page for more stories.
It has been six months since the World Health Organization officially declared the coronavirus a global health emergency, but on Monday, WHO warned the world to prepare for a “long term.”
“The worst is yet to come,” said WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, when calling on journalists from Geneva. “I’m sorry to say it. But with this kind of environment and conditions, we fear the worst. ”
WHO has repeatedly stressed the call that not all countries fight the new virus with the same levels of success or vigilance. With more than half of the 10 million cases of coronavirus to date and almost half of the 500,000 deaths worldwide centered on the Americas, there is much more than governments and individuals in overcrowded countries like the United States. United and Brazil could do to stop this virus.
“We all want it to end, we all want to continue our lives, but the harsh reality is that it is not even close to being finished,” said Tedros. “Although many countries have made progress, globally the pandemic is actually accelerating. ”
Without naming any names, Tedros has chastised many countries for not doing more to stop the spread of the virus, as global economies reopen.
“This could have been prevented with the tools we have,” said Tedros of the current spread of the virus. “Time after time and country after country, what we have seen is that this virus can be wiped out if governments take seriously the things they need to do – their part – and if the community can do its part.
Some countries are able to “jump on the disease” better than others
WHO applauded previously hard-hit countries like South Korea and China, and others who have faced recent recurrences of the virus, including Germany, Singapore and Japan, saying that vigilance against coronavirus requires a concerted effort on the part of both politicians, and citizens in general.
Many of the best-performing countries in the fight against coronaviruses have adopted a multi-layered public health approach that allows them to “jump on the disease” quickly and effectively when and where it recurs, according to Mike Ryan of WHO , executive director of the agency’s health emergencies. Program, said.
“What you have to do is bring the disease down to the lowest possible level,” he said, noting that in addition to nationwide testing and screening and good health systems, Public health surveillance, the most effective strategies to fight coronaviruses are based on the diligence of citizens who stay at home when the transmission is widespread.
“The communities have made a huge sacrifice to make this happen. They are staying at home, they are staying away from their families, they have been a huge part in eradicating the infection, “said Ryan.
But this has not been the case in most of the United States, where many basic public health measures, such as wearing a mask to prevent the asymptomatic spread of the virus and staying at home when the virus spreads in a community, were conceived as political choices.
A non-partisan Pew Research Center poll earlier this month found that a majority of independent Republicans and “Republicans” surveyed believed that the worst of the coronavirus epidemic was “behind us”, while fewer d ‘a quarter of Democrats and Democrats – participants in the leaning survey said the same thing.
“We cannot continue to allow the fight against this virus to become and continue as an ideological fight,” said Ryan. “We cannot beat this virus with ideologies. We just can’t. “
Increasingly, senior health officials and politicians on both sides of the aisle in the United States are encouraging people (including the President) to wear masks when in public, as they can be a additional measure to prevent the spread of the disease to healthy people. , especially asymptomatic spreaders who may feel perfectly healthy. (President Trump said from day one that the federal government started recommending face covers: “I don’t see it for myself.”)
Meanwhile, some state governors are beginning to allow cities and local communities to better control their own precautions against the virus, as more and more cases of the virus develop in some of the most populous areas of the United States.
“Each individual must look in the mirror and say,” Am I doing enough? “” Said Ryan. “And every politician has to look in the mirror and say,” Am I doing enough to stop this virus? “”