We cannot go back to the way things were: WHO

By Backend Office, Desk Reporter
WHO HQ
Representational Image

The World Health Organization said that in the global fight against the corona virus, a vaccine would be a “vital weapon,” but that alone won’t stop the COVID-19 pandemic.

The global health organization further added that there is no guarantee that scientists will find an effective vaccine.

World leaders and the public need to know how to handle the virus and make permanent changes to their everyday lives in order to get the virus down to low levels, said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus during a news conference at headquarters in Geneva.

“We will not, we cannot go back to the way things were,” he stressed.

Outbreaks and pandemics have transformed economies and societies all through history, he said. Further, he added that the COVID-19, in particular, has given a glimpse of the world as it could be – cleaner rivers and skies and highlighted the need to accelerate actions to combat climate change.

According to data collected by Johns Hopkins University, the virus has infected over 22.7 million people worldwide and killed at least 794.100 in more than seven months.

There are currently at least 30 new vaccines in clinical trials but there is no assurance that they will be safe and effective, he said. Although clinical trials are advancing on new vaccines, scientists say crucial questions remain.

It was in December that COVID-19 was discovered and even though numerous research papers and studies on the virus have been published, scientists still do not fully understand how it affects the body, or how well someone is safe from reinfection after recovery.

Earlier this month, Tedros said the corona virus did not have a “silver bullet” and “there might never be.”

He said world leaders could control new outbreaks by practicing the “basics” for regulating public health and disease which are testing, isolating and treating patients, and tracing their interactions and quarantining them.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
Director-General, WHO

“Every person can make a change in this pandemic. Every individual and family has a responsibility to know the level of COVID-19 transmission locally and to understand what they can do to protect themselves and others.”

Dr Maria Van Kerkhove, head of the emerging diseases and zoonosis unit at WHO, said that learning “how to live with this virus” is “very important” for the public.

It will help “continue to eliminate transmission, recognize cases and clusters that are turning up so that we can put them out quickly and reduce as many deaths as possible. In doing so, some countries may need to implement some measures again.”

Van Kerkhove said some countries are now choosing, using data, to implement social distancing measures in areas where the transmission level is high.

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