The World Health Organization (WHO) has revealed that there are now more than 22 million reported cases of COVID-19, and 780,000 deaths globally.The Director General of WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus disclosed this at the Press Briefing recently, he said it’s not just the numbers of cases and deaths that matter, but the number of patients who need hospitalization and advanced care which remains high, putting huge pressure on health systems and affecting the provision of services for other health needs.
He added that several countries around the world are now experiencing fresh outbreaks after a long period with little or no transmission. “These countries are a cautionary tale for those that are now seeing a downward trend in cases which mean progress does not mean victory. “The fact remains that most people remain susceptible to this virus. That’s why it’s vital that countries are able to quickly identify and prevent clusters, to prevent community transmission and the possibility of new restrictions. No country can just ride this out until we have a vaccine”.
He noted that vaccine will be a vital tool, as he hope it will come as soon as possible. “But there’s no guarantee that it will, and even if we do have a vaccine, it won’t end the pandemic on its own. We must all learn to control and manage this virus using the tools we have now, and to make the adjustments to our daily lives that are needed to keep ourselves and each other safe.
“So-called lockdowns enabled many countries to suppress transmission and take the pressure off their health systems. But lockdowns are not a long-term solution for any country. We do not need to choose between lives and livelihoods, or between health and the economy. That’s a false choice”, he said.
On the contrary, the DG made it known that the pandemic is a reminder that health and the economy are inseparable as WHO is committed to working with all countries to move into a new stage of opening their economies, societies, schools and businesses safely.
“To do that, every single person must be involved. Every single person can make a difference. Every person, family, community and nation must make their own decisions, based on the level of risk where they live. “That means every person and family has a responsibility to know the level of transmission locally, and to understand what they can do to protect themselves and others”, he added.