The World Health Organization on Friday urged nations hit by severe coronavirus outbreaks to “wake up” to the realities on the bottom as an alternative of bickering, and to “take control”.
“People need to wake up. The data is not lying. The situation on the ground is not lying,” WHO emergencies director Michael Ryan advised journalists at a briefing hosted by the UN correspondents’ affiliation in Geneva.
Touching nearly each nation on Earth because it emerged in China late final yr, the coronavirus has hit at the very least 10.eight million individuals and killed 521,000 worldwide.
The Americas are the hardest-hit area, with most instances and deaths registered within the United States, and with numbers skyrocketing in a a number of nations in Latin America.
Asked in regards to the dire conditions in nations like Brazil and Mexico, which have been shifting away from lockdowns regardless of ballooning numbers of infections and deaths, Ryan cautioned that “too many countries are ignoring what the data is telling them”.
“There are good economic reasons that the countries need to bring their economies back online,” he mentioned.
“It’s understandable, but you can’t ignore the problem either. The problem will not magically go away.”
While he acknowledged that nations dealing with explosive outbreaks had some “pretty stark choices” forward, he insisted that “it is never too late in an epidemic to take control”.
– ‘Worst case state of affairs’ –
Instead of putting a complete nation beneath lockdown, he recommended that nations might attempt to break down the issue.
It may very well be attainable to loosen restrictions in areas with decrease transmission charges and nonetheless include the outbreak via issues like bodily distancing, hand-washing, testing, isolating instances and phone tracing.
But in areas the place the virus is spreading uncontrollably, strict measures may very well be unavoidable, he mentioned.
“If countries proceed with opening up without the capacity to cope with the likely caseload, then you end up in a worst-case scenario,” Ryan warned.
“If the health system stops coping, more people will die.”
He mentioned there may very well be locations in Mexico and in different nations “where it may be important to slow down or to reverse some of the measures aimed at opening up society.”
“It is looking at: can you control transmission by any other means other than transmission? If you can’t, you may not have an alternative” to lockdown.
In the case of Brazil, which counts nearly 1.5 million confirmed instances, second solely to the United States, Ryan in the meantime mentioned that the numbers had “stabilised”, which means they’re not rising as steeply, however they’re “still rising”.
He additionally pressured that regardless of “fighting a large number of cases for a long time now,” Brazil’s hospitals and intensive care models had not but been overwhelmed.
“We want to see them intensify efforts and we want to see more progress,” he mentioned, “but we also have to pay credit to the health system in Brazil for its capacity to cope for what has been a long battle against this virus.”
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