New Delhi: “Last week, the number of weekly reported deaths from COVID-19 was the lowest since March 2020. We have never been in a better position to end the pandemic. We are not there yet, but the end is in sight,” said WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Wednesday (September 14). Dr Ghebreyesus gave the analogy of a race and said, “A marathon runner does not stop when the finish line comes into view. She runs harder, with all the energy she has left. So must we.”
WHO Chief urged the world to seize this opportunity to end the pandemic that has killed over 65 lakh people across the world. Sounding an alert on the risk of not taking the benefit of the situation, he added,
If we don’t take this opportunity now, we run the risk of more variants, more deaths, more disruption, and more uncertainty.
According to the WHO’s latest epidemiological report on COVID-19, the number of reported cases fell 28 percent to 3.1 million during the week ending September 11, following a 12-percent-drop a week earlier.
WHO released six short policy briefs that outline the key actions that all governments must take now to finish the race. WHO Chief said,
It’s a summary, based on the evidence and experience of the last 32 months, of what works best to save lives, protect health systems, and avoid social and economic disruption.
Fight Against COVID-19: 6 Key Recommendations By WHO Chief:
- Keep testing and sequencing for SARS-CoV-2, and integrate surveillance and testing services with those for other respiratory diseases, including influenza;
- Make sure you have a system in place for giving patients the care that is right for them, and integrate care for COVID-19 into primary health care systems;
- Plan for surges of cases, and make sure you have the supplies, equipment and health workers you will need;
- Maintain infection prevention and control precautions to protect health workers and non-COVID patients in health facilities;
- Communicate clearly with communities about any changes you make to your COVID-19 policies, and why;
- And train health workers to identify and address misinformation, and develop high-quality health information in digital formats.
We can end this pandemic together, but only if all countries, manufacturers, communities and individuals step up and seize this opportunity, said WHO Chief.
NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ population, indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.