Today the World Health Organization spoke on humanity’s current handling of global pandemic with COVID-19 here in August of 2020. Dr Maria Van Kerkhove, Technical Lead, COVID-19, WHO Health Emergencies Program spoke in response to a question of numbers – how it may appear that we’ve flattened the curve, and how some countries appear to be doing quite well with COVID-19 suppression.
Governments, Communities, Individuals
“We’ve said it many times but the trajectory of this pandemic, in every country, is in our hands,” said Dr. Kerkhove. “It remains in our hands, and I think that we need to say that as much as we possibly can because there is hope.”
“Countries that have been in terrible situations, as Mike has just said, have turned it around. The trajectory is in our hands and it depends on the actions of countries. It depends on the actions of governments, communities, of individuals.”
As societies “open up”
“There are many situations where we have choices where we can reduce risk of exposure, and it is really, really critical that as societies open up, that we minimize the infections the number of people that get infected even among people who are at a lower risk of developing severe disease because they may also pass the virus to somebody else who may be of a vulnerable category who could develop a severe disease, need hospitalization, and die.”
“I think that’s really, really important,” said Dr. Kerkhove, “and I think what we’re learning seven months in, is that the actions that need to be taken at the different levels to suppress transmission, to reduce mortality now, with the tools we have now are fairly clear.”
“It is the implementation that is incredibly difficult and the consistency, and the vigilance, and the focus to do this having clear plans, but localized, adapted implementation, is really, really difficult,” said Dr. Kerkhove.
What works with new outbreaks
“What we’re seeing for countries that are opening up, that are seeing these clusters — really quick action to stamp out and put out those individual fires where those outbreaks are happening is proving successful.”
“So as an individual, avoid the crowded places, wear a mask where appropriate, listen to your governments, said Dr. Kerkove. “If you’re asked to stay home – please do so, because there are many frontline workers, essential workers who are out there who are doing incredibly hard work that are keeping people alive.”
“Everybody has a role to play, and we will say this over, and over, and over again that we have control. We have power. That we can play a role in this, and really do everything we can to prevent ourselves getting infected and preventing ourselves from passing it to someone else.”
For more information on the COVID-19 global pandemic, take a peek at the the World Health Organization and/or drop down to the timeline of links on the subject below.