Countries Urged to Use ‘Second Window of Opportunity’ to Avert COVID-19

Addis Ababa,  World Health Organization (WHO) Director General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom urged countries to use the second window opportunity to suppress and stop transmission of COVID-19.

The pandemic continues to take a massive toll not just on health, but on so many parts of life, he stated, adding that “we have overcome many pandemics and crises before. We will overcome this one too.”

“Already we have lost more than 16,000 lives. We know we will lose more; how many more will be determined by the decisions we make and the actions we take now,” Tedros articulated.

Many countries, at significant social and economic cost, have introduced unprecedented measures including closing schools and businesses, cancelling sporting events and asking people to stay home and stay safe in order to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Asking people to stay at home and shutting down movement is buying time and reducing the pressure on health systems, the Director-General said, and noted “but on their own, these measures will not extinguish epidemics.”

The World Heal Organization recommended six measures as the best way to suppress and stop transmission so that the virus doesn’t re-surge after restrictions lifted.

Accordingly, WHO proposed the following measures including expanding, train and deploy health care and public health workforce, implementation of a system to find every suspected case at community level and to ramp up the production, capacity and availability of testing.

Furthermore, the organizations suggested the identification, adaptation and equip facilities that will use to treat and isolate patients, developing a clear plan and process to quarantine contacts as well as refocusing the whole of government on suppressing and controlling COVID-19.

Moreover, he underscored “aggressive measures to find, isolate, test, treat and trace are not only the best and fastest way out of extreme social and economic restrictions-they are also the best way to prevent them.”

More than 150 countries and territories still have fewer than 100 cases, Tedros stated.

“By taking the same aggressive actions now, these countries have the chance to prevent community transmission and avoid some of the more severe social and economic costs seen in other countries,” he noted.

In related news UN Secretary-General António Guterres launched major humanitarian appeal to keep COVID-19 from ‘circling back around the globe’.

The launched massive humanitarian appeal of 2 billion USD is to confront the unprecedented worldwide challenge posed by COVID-19, mitigate its impact, particularly on fragile countries with weak health systems.

Source: Ethiopia News agency