Source: Dubai – Arabic.net
Although many countries have returned to new cases of coronavirus, the World Health Organization has urged countries not to reimpose comprehensive closures, due to the health, social and economic consequences of the closure.
In an exclusive interview with the British newspaper “The Telegraph”, Maria Van Kerkhof, co-leader of the WHO epidemic response team as head of the emerging disease unit, said countries should instead adopt local strategies.
By the end of last March, more than 100 countries imposed a total or partial ban, affecting the lives of billions of people.
Kirchhoff also considered those measures “strong” and gave countries time to build public health infrastructure to cope with the pandemic, but the WHO official described the economic, health and social costs of the closure as “huge.”
“Not a magic bullet.”
Although “closings are not something recommended by the World Health Organization, but a number of countries have resorted to them because the outbreak was rapid,” according to Kerkhov, who added: “But we hope that countries will not need comprehensive closings again.”
Moreover, the 43-year-old official, who became a familiar face alongside WHO chief Tedros Adhanum in press briefings for several months, stressed that closure is not a panacea to end the epidemic.
Spacing and gags
“Frankly, for the next six months we will not have a vaccine,” Kerkhov said. “I know there is a lot of work going on, but we can’t wait until next year.”
Therefore, the official urged states to take measures to take advantage of the tools currently available to deal with the new wave of injuries, such as traceability of the injured, large-scale examinations, health care facilities, physical spacing and wearing of masks.
“It is not just one procedure, but all current procedures must be used together, and the reason why we say it is successful is that we saw this happen, and we saw countries controlling the situation,” according to Kerkhof.
On the other hand, she believes that “even countries that did not do well are still able to change course, and I believe that the United States (its country withdrawing from the WHO) can do that.”
But the chief official’s concern is “complacency” in this battle, as he can undermine efforts to control this epidemic, and indeed the next one.
Kerkhov concluded her interview with a sentence that from the beginning of the epidemic was strange and familiar, saying “It is not a question (if), it is a question (when) something like this will happen again.”