The famous “Spanish flu” killed 50 million people from 1918 to 1920 when malnutrition and tuberculosis made the population even more fragile.
Unlike the new coronavirus, the Spanish flu had particularly affected the youngest.
“In our current situation, […] the virus is more likely to spread. This can change quickly because we are now more connected, ”said Ghebreyesus.
“We therefore have a disadvantage linked to globalization [..] But we have the advantage of having better technologies, ”he said. And we know how to end it. ”
New recommendation for children over 12
The WHO also released new recommendations on Friday, including one for children 12 and older. According to the WHO, they should wear protective masks under the same conditions as adults to fight the pandemic.
This should in particular be the case “when they cannot guarantee a distance of at least one meter from each other and if the transmission is generalized in the area concerned”.
Children aged five and under should not be required to wear a mask. “This recommendation is based on the safety and general interest of the child, and on their ability to properly use a mask with minimal assistance,” the WHO said.
For children aged six to eleven, WHO recommends that the decision to use a mask be based on a series of factors, including the level of transmission of the virus in the area where the child lives and their ability to properly use a mask. mask. and in complete safety.
Access to masks, as well as the ability to wash or replace them in some settings such as schools, adequate adult supervision and instruction given to the child on how to wear them, should also be considered.
“Corruption linked to PPE is, for me, in fact murder”
Ghebreyesus also made a statement regarding possible cases of corruption in the areas of personal protective equipment (PPE), necessary to fight the pandemic.
“Corruption related to PPE is, for me, actually murder,” he said when asked about a case in South Africa. “If healthcare workers work without PPE, their lives are in danger. And it also endangers the lives of the people they care for. It is therefore criminal and it is murder. ”