World Health Organization head: Use lockdown time to attack the virus

Nellie Chapman
March 26, 2020

In a speech given at yesterday's media briefing he referred to vulnerable countries whose health systems may collapse under the number of cases where community transmission persists.

India began a 21-day lockdown on Wednesday, with the aim to break the chain of infection. Of these, 10 people have died.

On March 25, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that lockdowns initiated by many countries will not be enough to tackle the spread of the deadly coronavirus. "On their own, these measures won't extinguish epidemics", he said.

Amid this, more than three billion people across 70 countries have been asked to stay at home to control the pandemic.

A total of 416,686 cases of COVID-19 were reported worldwide as of 18:00 CET (1700 GMT) Wednesday, as the virus spread to 196 countries and regions.

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He added that we need to check in regularly on older parents, neighbours, friends or relatives that live alone, in whatever way is possible "so they know how much they are loved and valued".

"We have been saying to the world that the window of opportunity is narrowing and the time to act was actually more than a month ago, two months ago", Tedros said.

He continued: "Fourth, identify, adapt and equip facilities you will use to treat and isolate patients". "Develop a clear plan and process to quarantine contacts, refocus the whole of government on suppressing and controlling".

He added that the World Health Organization is "especially concerned about vulnerable countries" and said the pandemic would be an additional, "acute humanitarian crisis" for such countries. "The last thing any country needs is to open schools and businesses, only to be forced to close them again because of a resurgence", Tedros said.

Countries around the world are strengthening their efforts and taking new measures to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

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