At a press briefing on March 25, the World Health Organization (WHO) said shutting down population movement is not the solution to coronavirus.
Director-General of the world’s body, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said, “We understand that countries are trying to assess when and how they will be able to ease these measures.
“The answer depends on what countries do while these population-wide measures are in place. Asking people to stay at home and shutting down population movement is buying time and reducing the pressure on health systems, but on their own, these measures will not extinguish the epidemics.
“The point of these actions is to enable the more precise and targeted measures that are needed to stop transmission and save lives. We call on all countries that have introduced so-called ‘lockdown’ measures to use this time to attack the virus. You have created a second window of opportunity.
The question is: how will you use it?
There are 6 key actions that we recommend:
- Expand, train, and deploy your health care and public health workforce
- Implement a system to find every suspected case at the community level.
- Ramp up production capacity and availability of testing
- Identify, adapt, and equip facilities you will use to treat patients.
- Develop a clear plan and process to quarantine contacts
- Refocus the whole of government on suppressing and controlling COVID-19.
Ghebreyesus said the measures remained the best way to suppress and stop transmission so that when restrictions were lifted, the virus will not resurge.
“The last thing any country needs is to reopen schools and businesses only to be forced to close them again because of resurgence,” he cautioned.