World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom denounced some political leaders for abrading public trust by sending “mixed messages” on coronavirus on Monday. The chief also warned, “Their failures to stop their countries spiraling outbreaks can lead to no return to old normal for the foreseeable future”.
Without mentioning any name Tedros stated, “Mixed messages from leaders are undermining the most critical ingredient of any response: trust”. He mentioned, “If governments do not clearly communicate with their citizens and roll out a comprehensive strategy focused on suppressing transmission and saving lives.” He also acknowledged difficulty being faced by governments to respond effectively given the economic, social, and cultural consequences of imposing restrictions.
The Director-General remarked to reporters in Geneva that “The virus remains public enemy number one, but the actions of many government and people do not reflect this. The only aim of the virus is to find people to infect. Further, he warned people that “If the basics aren’t followed, there is only one way this pandemic is going to go. It’s going to get worse and worse and worse. But it does not have to be this way. Every single leader, every single government and every single person can do their bit to break chains of transmission”.
WHO reported another worldwide record of 2, 30,000 confirmed cases in the last 24 hours. Ten countries accounted for 80% of those cases and 50% of cases came from just two countries. The report also justified that “although the number of daily deaths remain relatively stable” still there is a lot to be concerned about.
All the countries are in the same situation but they are dealing with it in a different manner. To describe this Tedros roughly divided the pandemic situations into four types-
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- The first type of situation includes countries that were alert and aware- They prepared and responded rapidly and effectively to the first case as a result they avoided large outbreaks. Several countries in the Mekong region, the Pacific, the Caribbean, and Africa belong to this category.
- The second type of situation is countries in which there was a major outbreak that was brought under control through a combination of strong leadership and population adhering to key public health measures. Countries in Europe and elsewhere have demonstrated that it is possible to bring large outbreaks under control.
- The third type of situation is countries that overcame the first peak of the outbreak, but has eased restrictions, are now struggling with new peaks and accelerating cases. Several countries across the world are now facing dangerous increases in cases, and hospital wards filling up again.
- The fourth type of situation is those countries that are in the intense transmission phase of their outbreak. This is being faced by countries across the Americas, South Asia, and several countries in Africa. The hunting ground of the virus remains in the Americas, where more than 50% of the world’s cases have been recorded.
Still WHO pointed to a sign of hope in the countries, which managed to get the virus under control; The leaders of countries like, US, Brazil, and India that are still facing large outbreaks have variously rejected recommendations from scientific experts, advisers in their government and their political parties to take tougher actions. US President Donald Trump has pressured schools in America to reopen by threatening to cut off their funding if they don’t comply.
WHO’s Emergency Chief Dr. Ryan stated that any such decisions require a broader outlook that takes into account how workplaces or long-term care facilities operate, too. Schools can’t be turned into another political football in this game. It’s not fair to our children.