The World Health Organisation (WHO) warned about the resurgence of coronavirus due to the global connectedness as some countries are considering to ease restrictions. At the virtual press briefing on April 13, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called upon countries to ensure that COVID-19 measures must not be implemented at the expense of human rights.
“In countries with large poor populations, the stay-at-home orders and other restrictions used in some high-income countries may not be practical,” said the WHO chief.
Dr Ghebreyesus said that the control measures must be lifted slowly and with control because COVID-19 accelerates very fast and decelerates much more slowly. He added that it can only be lifted if the right public health measures are in place, including a significant capacity for contact tracing.
The WHO chief announced that the UN health agency will publish its updated strategic advice on April 14 which will summarise the lesson learned and the way forward. It includes six criteria for countries consider lift restrictions including the status of transmission control and minimised outbreak risks.
The criteria also include whether the health system capacities are in place to detect, test, isolate and treat every case and trace every contact. Dr Ghebreyesus outlined that communities should be fully educated, engaged and empowered to adjust to the “new norm”. He added that the development and delivery of a safe and effective vaccine will be ultimately needed to fully interrupt transmission.
According to the latest report, over 1.9 million coronavirus cases have been confirmed worldwide with more than 119,700 deaths, overwhelming the health care facilities across the globe. Governments across the world are trying to contain the spread of coronavirus and flatten the curve to buy enough time of scientists and researchers to develop the vaccine against COVID-19 and complete clinical trials.
WHO announced that a group of experts from diverse backgrounds is working for COVID-19 vaccine development under its coordination. The WHO published the declaration of scientists, physicians, funders and manufacturers who have come together as part of an international collaboration to help speed the availability of a vaccine against COVID-19.