The World Health Organization urges countries to wake up and stop the virus

WHO urges countries to 'wake up' and stop coronavirus

Michael Ryan said, “The problem will not magically go away.”


The World Health Organization on Friday urged countries affected by severe coronavirus outbreaks to “wake up” to the realities on the ground rather than disputes and to “take control.”

“People need to wake up. The data is not lying. The situation on the ground is not lying,” WHO emergency director Michael Ryan told reporters at a meeting organized by the UN correspondents association in Geneva. .

Touching almost every country on Earth since its appearance in China late last year, the coronavirus has affected at least 10.8 million people and killed 521,000 worldwide.

The Americas are the most affected region, with the majority of cases and deaths registered in the United States, and with figures that skyrocket in several Latin American countries.

When asked about the dire situations in countries like Brazil and Mexico, which have drifted away from the blockades despite the increasing number of infections and deaths, Ryan warned that “too many countries ignore what the data tells them.”

“There are good economic reasons why countries need to get their economies back on track,” he said.

“It’s understandable, but you can’t ignore the problem, either. The problem won’t magically go away.”

While acknowledging that countries facing explosive outbreaks had some “pretty tough elections” ahead of them, he insisted that “it is never too late in an epidemic to take control.”

– ‘Worst of cases’ –

Rather than putting an entire nation under closure, he suggested that countries could try to solve the problem.

It might be possible to loosen restrictions in areas with lower transmission speeds and still contain the outbreak through things like physical distancing, handwashing, testing, case isolation, and contact tracing.

But in areas where the virus is spreading uncontrollably, strict measures may be unavoidable, he said.

“If countries proceed to open up without the ability to cope with the likely workload, then they end up in the worst case,” Ryan warned.

“If the health system stops coping, more people will die.”

He said there could be places in Mexico and other countries “where it may be important to slow down or reverse some of the measures aimed at opening up society.”

“You are looking: Can you control the transmission by any means other than the transmission? If you cannot, you may not have an alternative” to block.

In the case of Brazil, which has nearly 1.5 million confirmed cases, second only to the United States, Ryan, meanwhile, said the numbers had “stabilized,” meaning they are no longer increasing so sharply. , but “continue to increase”.

He also emphasized that despite “fighting a large number of cases for a long time,” Brazil’s hospitals and intensive care units had not yet been overwhelmed.

“We want to see them step up their efforts and we want to see more progress,” he said, “but we also have to pay credit to the health system in Brazil for its ability to cope with what has been a long battle against this virus.” “

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is posted from a syndicated channel.)