On 25 March 2020, WHO director-general Dr Tedros Adanom addressed media and gave a briefing on COVID-19 development and situation worldwide. He counted upon the ill effects of this pandemic by saying and said that the virus does not affect humankind only on the economic front but also have consequences on their day to day life.
He also thanked and praised the Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe and International Olympic Council (IOC) for postponing Olympic and Paralympic games to 2021. Dr Tedros called it a great step forward, towards the health benefit of athletes and support staff participating in these games. The premier also said that the move will protect the health of spectators and everyone involved in organizing these events.
What did Dr Tedros wish on March 25?
He that next year’s games will be bigger and better. They would particularly be a celebration of shared humanity after the pandemic has passed. WHO chief raised everyone’s hope by counting down on the number of pandemics this world has faced. He showed confidence in defeating the COVID-19 this time too.
But he asked everyone about a “large price will we pay” due to Coronavirus pandemic. The world had then recorded about 16000 deaths due to COVID-19, far lesser than today’s figure which is edging towards 400,000 fatalities. The death count is moving ahead and lives are being sacrificed to the pandemic, but how many more can we afford?
The decision and aggressive worldwide action to the pandemic will decide the future course of it.
Although many countries have taken significant social measures like nationwide lockdown, social distancing at various essential meets. Various economic measures involving relief packages and check on the supply of essential needs have also been introduced but nothing can substitute the loss of lives due to the pandemic.
Future Effects of COVID-19 pandemic
Dr Tendros knew what the world would have to pay due to COVID-19 outbreak. He affirmed that people staying at home and restricting population from certain key ground would only buy time and is not a permanent solution. But he stressed on the pros of social distancing exercise as a good habit for future generations. A society that has such qualities inbuilt will have the courage and power to better fight future pandemics.
Dr Tedros said preventive steps will not extinguish the pandemic, but by taking these actions the world can enable more targeted and precise response. He asked all countries who have introduced so-called lockdown to use their time to fight against this virus and prepare a bigger response plan.
He told everyone about the ‘second window of opportunities’ that countries gathered by imposing lockdown.
A 6 point charter was given by WHO chief for countries to prepare their Coronavirus response-
1. To expand, train and deploy health care and public health workforce
World Health Organization conveyed that densely populated countries need to expand the number of beds for isolation, self-safety equipment production and train more individuals to treat, test, and care for the infected one’s. They should also deploy or release full force of healthcare-related individuals on every possible level.
2. Implementing a system to find every suspected case at the community level
To detect every infected person at every level of the community like working class, labour, and many more, countries should implement an efficient level of testing. For this screening of every individual is important at airports, bus stands or any other crowdy place. Checking on the migration of individuals is also very important for this reason.
3. Increasing production, capacity, and availability of testing
WHO urged countries to increase production of basic self-safety equipment and medicine for treatment. Increase the capacity by increasing the number of isolation beds and quarantine chamber could have helped countries like Brazil which are now experiencing a big surge in infections. Availability of testing kit can be increased by hosting manufacturing facilities and also permitting private labs for testing.
4. Identifying, adapting and equipping facilities used to treat and isolate patients
Identifying resources that can be used in the fight against Coronavirus pandemic is of utmost necessity. Only be increasing power of such facilities, a country can step up its response to Coronavirus outbreak.
5. Developing a clear plan and process to quarantine contacts\
There needs to be a plan for how and where to quarantine a suspected or infected person.
Increasing number of quarantining beds and implementing a clear process for the same is essential. This could help a country stay safe from community infection.
6. Refocus government on controlling COVID-19
WHO governor also told affected countries to take aggressive measures and impactful decision. He asked them to mobilise their resources on the pandemic front. Moreover, he said taking aggressive measures is more important for countries having fragile health care systems that may collapse under pressure.
Relevance of Dr Tedros’ March 25 address on June 5, 2020
World Health Organization’s response to Coronavirus pandemic has been critical since the beginning. It is being criticized by many global leaders. WHO chief Dr Tedros has been accused of siding the response towards China. Some scientists have also blamed China for withholding important information related to COVID-19. Now that the infection toll due to Coronavirus outbreak has reached 6.6 million, countries have lifted the bar for a race to Coronavirus vaccine. No one knows how far would the pandemic go but it has been made clear by many exerts that a vaccine will be essential to stop the current threat. Adopting preventive measures is the best possible way right now to stay safe from Coronavirus.