The World Health Organization (WHO) warned of the risk involved in abruptly lifting measures taken to reduce the expansion of the coronavirus (COVID-19), such as the closure of schools and businesses, which could lead to a resurgence of infections and a worsening of the situation.
“The last thing a country needs is to reopen schools and businesses only to close them again because the virus is re-emerging,” said WHO Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
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The President of the United States, Donald Trump, has stated that he wants to reopen his country on April 12 to avoid the economic repercussions of the coronavirus crisis (COVID-19), while the cases in its territory grow by thousands day by day and so far have exceeded 52,000.
A position similar to that adopted by the President of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, on the same continent, which minimizes the threat of the coronavirus, which he has called the “flu” and wants confinement to be limited to the elderly and sick.
Coronavirus: First missed opportunity
Tedros defended “aggressive measures” to stop the pandemic, In addition to confinement measures, they include finding infected people, confirming their contamination with a diagnostic test, treating them and searching for all their close contacts, and quarantining them.
The WHO has data that indicates that more than 150 countries have less than 100 cases each, which offers them the opportunity to make the necessary decisions now to control the transmission of the virus within their communities and avoid the serious economic and social costs. that other countries are suffering.
“This is especially true for vulnerable countries with health systems that could collapse under the weight of the number of patients we see in some countries,” he said. Tedros.
The head of the WHO clearly stated that the world “lost” the first opportunity it had to avoid the magnitude of this pandemic, which until now has led to the contamination of more than 413,000 people and the death of 18,433, and warned that “the second chance ”is decreasing.
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“The time to act was more than a month ago, but we still believe that there is an opportunity; We have wasted the first opportunity, but we have a second one that we should not miss. ”
The same opinion was expressed by the WHO emergency director, Mike Ryan, who insisted that “without the necessary measures” it will be very difficult to get out of this crisis. “We have little time, what countries do today will determine what happens,” he said.
WHO cites India as an example
Tedros and Ryan praised the Government of India – the second most populous country in the world and where the explosion of the pandemic could have unimaginable consequences – for having decided (with just over 600 cases) total confinement.
– World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) March 25, 2020
“Doing so now will help the virus not spread to more places and become much more serious,” Tedros said at a virtual press conference.
In this remote appearance, the six actions that the WHO is recommending to the countries were presented: increase, train and deploy health workers, put in place a system to find each suspected case in the communities and increase the availability of evidence diagnostic.
In addition, facilities must be adapted to treat and isolate confirmed cases, have a clear plan to quarantine contacts, and focus the entire government apparatus on fighting the coronavirus (COVID-19).