World Health Organisation (WHO) chief, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has pointed out Monday that while COVID-19 had accelerated quickly, “it decelerates much more slowly.”
He explained that “In other words, the way down is much slower than the way up”, stressing that “control measures must be lifted slowly, and with control. It cannot happen all at once.”
“Control measures can only be lifted if the right public health measures are in place, including significant capacity for contact tracing,” he said.
According to him, the COVID-19 is 10 times more deadly than swine flu, also called H1N1, which caused a global pandemic in 2009, and advised that control measures should not be lifted abruptly but rather “slowly”.
Tedros told a virtual briefing from Geneva that the organisation was constantly learning about the new virus sweeping the globe, which has now killed nearly 115,000 people and infected over 1.8 million.
“We know that COVID-19 spreads fast, and we know that it is deadly, 10 times deadlier than the 2009 flu pandemic,” he said.
He lamented that some countries are seeing a doubling of cases every three to four days, but stressed that if countries were committed to “early case-finding, testing, isolating (and) caring for every case and tracing every contact” they could rein in the virus.
More than half of the planet’s population is currently staying home as part of efforts to stem the spread of the virus, but Tedros warned that “our global connectedness means the risk of re-introduction and resurgence of the disease will continue”.
Regardless of the efforts put in place, the WHO acknowledged that “ultimately, the development and delivery of a safe and effective vaccine will be needed to fully interrupt transmission”.