CEO Tedros Adhanom says that despite progress in getting a vaccine, “there is not a silver bullet right now.“
The director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has affirmed that, despite the progress that has been made in recent weeks in the development of a vaccine against Covid-19, the truth is that “There is no silver bullet at the moment” and, he added, “maybe there never will be.”
However, “it is never too late to turn the situation around”, he stated at the press conference held this Monday in Geneva, where he appealed to the basic principles of public health and disease control to stop outbreaks.
“Testing, isolating and treating patients, and tracking and quarantining their contacts. Informing, empowering and listening to communities. For people, it’s about keeping physical distance, wearing a mask, cleaning hands regularly, and coughing safely away from others. The message for people and governments is clear: do everything. And when it is under control, move on! “, has recommended the director of the WHO.
Over the past week, the WHO has seen countries that seemed to have overcome the worst, “are now struggling with new spikes in cases,” he warned. However, “it has also been seen how some countries, regions or localities that had a large number of cases are now controlling the outbreak.”
“It is not easy, of course. Tight measures can cause their problems for the provision of essential health services, the economy and societies in general. The Committee recognized that the Member States have to make difficult decisions to change the epidemic.”.
But, Tedros added, “they also made it clear that when leaders step forward and work intensively with their populations, this disease can be controlled.”
“We learn about this virus every day and I am pleased that the world has made progress in identifying treatments that can help people with the most severe forms of Covid-19 to recover,” he said.
The WHO Committee has recommended that countries participate in the Covid-19 Tool Access Accelerator (ACT), also participate in relevant clinical trials, and prepare for a safe and therapeutic introduction of vaccines. A series of vaccines are now in phase three clinical trials, and the organisation hopes to have several effective vaccines that can help prevent infection in people.
Likewise, it has reiterated the importance of continuing to strengthen the health system; continue to improve surveillance, contact follow-up and ensure that interrupted health services are restarted as quickly as possible; and keeping safeguards and monitoring in place, “because lifting restrictions too quickly can lead to a resurgence.”
The challenge of wearing masks
This week, WHO has launched a challenge for wearing the masks with partners around the world, encouraging people to submit photos of themselves wearing them. “In addition to being one of the key tools to stop the virus, the mask has come to represent solidarity,” he said.
Like the Safe Hands and Healthy-at-home challenges, it will spread more positive messages about how everyone has a role to play in breaking the chains of transmission.
“If you are a healthcare worker, a frontline worker, wherever you are, show us your solidarity by following national guidelines and wearing a mask safely, whether caring for patients or loved ones, travelling on public transportation to work or picking up essential supplies, “he added.
By wearing a mask, you are sending a powerful message to those around you that we are all in this together. Wear a mask when appropriate, keep your physical distance from others and avoid crowded places, observe cough etiquette, clean his hands frequently and he will protect himself and others, “he concluded.