The WHO is not alarmed by the “relapses” observed with the resurgence of cases in Switzerland. She called Wednesday in Geneva to be “realistic” but also to the individual responsibility of the citizens after the infections in clubs.
“This is an important challenge facing many countries,” said an epidemiologist from the World Health Organization (WHO). It noted “the prudence” of the Federal Council in the gradual lifting of containment.
“But we have to be realistic, we are going to see relapses”, in particular in groups of cases like those in various clubs observed in Switzerland, she added. It is important in these situations to use the health system to “quickly identify cases, test them, isolate even mild infections and trace contacts” who will have to observe quarantine, she added.
No question for WHO to decide on the need to close or not these sites where physical distance is difficult to apply. You have to learn to cohabit with the virus until a vaccine or drugs have been found, said for his part the head of the emergency program within the organization Michael Ryan.
Certainly, other cases in clubs in Asia have shown that this type of ecosystem can lead to higher spread. “It all depends on the level” of infections in the country, insists Ryan.
Not just wearing masks
Beyond the scientific arguments, he calls for the individual responsibility of citizens who must know where the pandemic is in their society, especially before attending rallies where the crowds are high. This attitude “will facilitate or mitigate the spread” of the coronavirus, he adds.
More generally, countries whose systems apply a “global approach” to the pandemic should be able to limit “locally” the upsurges of cases, said for his part the director general of WHO Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. He also deplored the fact that some States, without naming them, did not use “all the instruments”.
“It is never too late” to turn the tide of the pandemic, said Tedros. Several countries like Italy have shown this, according to him. But there needs to be a “holistic approach,” he said. Physical distance and the wearing of masks will not be enough on their own, he recalled, while the Federal Council announced Wednesday that they would be compulsory in public transport next Monday.
WHO cautious about China
On China, Mr. Ryan said that two experts from the institution were going to visit this country to prepare a larger international mission in collaboration with Beijing. He does not comment on China’s desire to test a vaccine with its soldiers. We will have to wait for the results of the clinical trials, but Mr. Ryan calls on the authorities to guarantee the safety of their products and that they are used with the consent of the people to whom they should be administered.
The head of the emergency program at the WHO also wanted to recall the new swine flu virus G4 H1N1, which could potentially lead to a pandemic according to a recent study, is “not new”. WHO will monitor the situation and work to ensure that the surveillance started since 2011 continues, he added.
It has again scheduled Wednesday and Thursday a second meeting of scientists and innovators in a few months. More than 1,000 people are to discuss efforts to be made in the coming months, according to Tedros.