The new coronavirus pandemic that has infected more than 16 million people is easily the worst global health emergency the World Health Organization (WHO) has faced, its Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said yesterday.
Only with strict adherence to health measures, from wearing masks to avoiding crowds, would the world be able to beat it, Tedros added at a virtual news briefing in Geneva.
“Where these measures are followed, cases go down. Where they are not, cases go up,” he said, praising Canada, China, Germany and South Korea for controlling outbreaks.
Mike Ryan, the global health body’s emergencies programme head, said bans on international travel cannot stay in place indefinitely, and countries are going to have to do more to reduce the spread of the coronavirus within their borders.
“…It is going to be almost impossible for individual countries to keep their borders shut for the foreseeable future. Economies have to open up, people have to work, trade has to resume,” he said.
“What is clear is pressure on the virus pushes the numbers down. Release that pressure and cases creep back up.”
Ryan also said Spain’s current situation was nowhere near as bad as it had been at the pandemic’s peak there, and he expected clusters to be brought under control, though it would take days or weeks to discern the disease’s future pattern.