W.H.O. urges ‘controlled lifting’ of anti-COVID-19 measures

R.Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus,Director-General of the World Health Organization. (File Photo)

World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says nations should take it slow in re-starting their economies and attempting a return to normalcy. Ghebreyesus stated that the coronavirus pandemic currently gripping the planet has outstripped the fatalities caused by the 2009-2010 H1N1 virus outbreak by tenfold.

“It cannot happen all at once. Control measures can only be lifted if the right public health measures are in place, including the significant capacity for contact tracing,” Ghebreyesus said.

The WHO stressed that countries must strike a balance between measures that address the mortality caused by COVID-19, and by other diseases due to overwhelmed health systems, as well as social-economic impacts.

“As the pandemic has spread, its public health and socioeconomic impacts have been profound, and have disproportionately affected the vulnerable. Many populations have already experienced a lack of access to routine, essential health services,” the chief of UN Health Body said.

He went on to implore governments to consider the impact of the virus on human health as the first priority in relaxing social distancing measures.

His comments come as Donald Trump said he would consider relaxing advice from the White House urging people to stay within their homes.

The US president has repeatedly urged for the economy to reopen while local officials, many of who have backed up guidance with the full force of the law, have expressed concern that Trump’s approach would only see the outbreak continue for longer while leading to further deaths.