WHO chief: Fight vs COVID-19 not the sole job of health department

person access_timeSaturday, February 29, 2020 chat_bubble_outline0 comment

MALAYBALAY CITY (BukidnonNews.Net/29 February 2020) “This is not a job for the health ministry alone,” the World Health Organization (WHO) director general said in his latest update about the worldwide spread and fight against coronavirus disease or COVID-19.  

“It calls for all countries to educate their populations, to expand surveillance, to find, isolate and care for every case, to trace every contact, and to take an all-of-government and all-of-society approach,” WHO chief Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on February 28 citing the report published by the WHO-China Joint Mission. (To see the WHO chief’s full statement in a media briefing, click here.)

He said the report includes a wealth of information, and 22 recommendations for China, for affected and unaffected countries, for the international community, and the general public. (To see the joint mission’s full report, click here. )

He said the continued increase in the number of cases, and the number of affected countries over the last few days, are clearly of concern.

According to the WHO, China has reported a total of 78,959 cases of COVID-19, including 2,791 deaths. Outside China, there are now 4,351 cases in 49 countries and 67 deaths.

“Our epidemiologists have been monitoring these developments continuously, and we have now increased our assessment of the risk of spread and the risk of impact of COVID-19 to very high at a global level,” Ghebreyesus said.

At the same time, he added, work is also progressing on vaccines and therapeutics.

“More than 20 vaccines are in development globally, and several therapeutics are in clinical trials. We expect the first results in a few weeks,” he said.

But he said the public need not wait for vaccines and therapeutics as there are things they can do to protect themselves and others today.

“Together, we are powerful. Containment starts with you. Our greatest enemy right now is not the virus itself. It’s fear, rumours and stigma. And our greatest assets are facts, reason and solidarity."

He added that the risk depends on where you live, your age and general health. WHO can only provide general guidance. He encouraged the public to follow national guidance and consult local health professionals.

Ghebreyesus outlined 10 basic things the public must know (see related post).  The list ranged from regular hand washing to being pro-active in what can be done in one’s community, workplace, school, or place of worship. (BukidnonNews.Net)   

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