- Lifting restrictions too quickly can lead to resurgence in COVID-19: WHO
- Even when COVID-19 is under control, keep strengthening health system: WHO
- This week, the WHO will launch mask challenge to promote use of face mask
New Delhi: “A number of vaccines are now in phase three clinical trials and we all hope to have a number of effective vaccines that can help prevent people from infection. However, there’s no silver bullet at the moment and there might never be”, said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General at the World Health Organisation (WHO) in a media briefing on Monday (August 3). Addressing the continuous spike in COVID-19 cases across the world, Dr Tedros noted that in addition to the direct toll, effect on other healthcare services and diseases is also being witnessed due to Coronavirus pandemic.
Dr Tedros said,
Reduced immunisation coverage, cancer screening and care, and mental health services. A survey of responses from 103 countries between mid-May and early July found that 67 percent of countries report disruption in family planning and contraception services. More than half of the countries reported disruption in antenatal care services and more than a third of countries reported disruption in childbirth services. On top of the health impact, we have seen the damage COVID-19 has caused socially, economically and politically.
To control the spread of the virus, Dr Tedros reiterated the basic principles and urged governments and citizens to focus on doing the known basics – testing, isolating and treating patients, and tracing and quarantining their contacts; inform, empower and listen to communities; for individuals, WHO suggests keeping physical distance, wearing a mask, cleaning hands regularly and coughing safely away from others.
The message to people and governments is clear: do it all. And when it’s under control, keep going. Keep strengthening the health system. Keep improving surveillance, contact tracing and ensure disrupted health services are restarted as quickly as possible. Keep safeguards and monitoring in place, because lifting restrictions too quickly can lead to resurgence. Keep investing in the workforce and communicating and engaging communities. We have seen around the world, that it’s never too late to turn this pandemic around. If we act together today, we can save lives, we can save livelihoods if we do it all together, said Dr Tedros.
To Promote Adoption Of Coronavirus Preventive Measures, WHO Gets Innovative
To encourage people to follow precautionary measures like hand hygiene, in the past WHO had initiated Safe Hands Challenge which included washing hands with soap for at least 20 seconds. Later, the health body had started Healthy-at-home challenge, asking people to stay indoors and control the spread of the SARS-CoV-2.
Now, to promote face mask which is one of the preventive tools against COVID-19, WHO is launching a mask challenge, encouraging people to send in photos of themselves wearing a mask.
If you’re a health worker, a frontline worker, wherever you are – show us your solidarity in following national guidelines and safely wearing a mask – whether caring for patients or loved ones, riding on public transport to work, or picking up essential supplies. By wearing a mask, you’re sending a powerful message to those around you that we are all in this together, said Dr Tedros.
Along with this, Dr Tedros reaffirmed the importance of following the basic guidelines – ensure physical distance, avoid crowded places, follow coughing etiquettes, hand hygiene – to protect one self and others.
NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. 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 highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. 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 become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene.