At a press briefing in Geneva on Monday, World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus spoke about Friday’s meeting of the Emergency Committee on Covid-19.
“It was a sobering moment coming six months on from when the committee advised, and I agreed, that the outbreak constituted a Public Health Emergency of International Concern,” Tedros said.
He detailed the rise in cases since this initial meeting, going from fewer than 100 cases and no deaths outside China on January 30, to more than 17.5 million cases and 680,000 deaths.
Tedros said that in addition to the direct toll of Covid-19, it is also having a social, economic and political impact.
“The committee put forward a number of recommendations for countries to continue to implement to bring the virus under control,” he said.
According to Tedros, these range from sharing best practices, to enhancing political commitment, and leadership for national strategies.
Tedros also highlighted that a number of vaccines are in promising stages of development.
“However, there’s no silver bullet at the moment — and there might never be,” he said. “For now, stopping outbreaks comes down to the basics of public health and disease control.”
He gave examples which, among others, included testing, isolating and treating patients, informing communities, keeping physical distance and wearing a mask — urging everyone to “do it all.”
“And when it’s under control, keep going,” Tedros said.
This week, WHO is also launching a mask challenge with partners from around the world, Tedros said, where they are encouraging people to post photos of themselves wearing masks.
“As well as being one of the key tools to stop the virus, the mask has come to represent solidarity,” he said.
Wearing a mask sends a powerful message, he said, that everyone is in this together.
Source: CNN | News Colony