In a recent release Director of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Dr.Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, announced that there is a lot to be concerned about.
All countries are at the risk of virus but not all the countries are affected in the same way.There are roughly four situations playing out across the world at the moment. The first situation is countries that are alert and aware, they prepared and responded rapidly and effectively to the first cases as a result they have so far avoided large outbreaks.The second situation is the countries in which there was a major outbreak that was brought under control through a combination of strong leadership and population adhering to key public health care measures. In both of the first two situations where countries have effectively suppressed the virus, leaders are opening up their societies on a data driven the step by step basis with a comprehensive public health approach backed by a strong health work force and community buy in. The third situation, we are seeing is the countries that overcame the first peak of the break, but having eased the restrictions, they are now struggling with new peaks and accelerating cases. In several countries across the world, we are now seeing dangerous increase in cases and hospital ward is filling up again. It would appear that many countries are loosing gains made as proven measures to reduce risk are not implemented or followed. The fourth situation is those countries that are in the intense transmission phase of their outbreak.
We know that its never too late to bring the virus under control even if there has been explosive transmission, In some cities and regions where transmission is intense serve restrictions have been reinstated to bring the outbreak under control. WHO is committed to working with all countries and all people to suppress transmission, reduce mortality, support communities to protect themselves and others and support strong government leadership and coordination. To many countries are headed in the wrong direction the virus remains enemy number one but the actions of many governments and people do not reflect of this. The only aim of this virus is to find people to infect, mix messages from the leaders are undermining the most critical ingredient of any response “trust”, if governments do not clearly communicate with their citizens and roll out a comprehensive strategy focused on suppressing transmission and saving lives, if populations do not follow the basic public health principles of physical distancing, hand washing, wearing masks, staying at home when sick etc. If the basics are not followed there is only one way this pandemic is going to go, its going to get worse and worse and worse. But it does not have to be this way, every single leader, every single government and every single person can do their bit to break of chains of transmission and end the collective suffering.
Inputs from Praveena Mandapati