Long way to go in coronavirus battle: WHO chief

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Dhaka, April 23: World Health Organization (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has warned that the fight against coronavirus pandemic will be a long one and that there’s no room for complacency.

Tedros on Wednesday said most countries are still in the very early stages of their epidemics, while some are now starting to see resurgence in cases.

“Make no mistake: we have a long way to go. This virus will be with us for a long time”, he said, reports UN News.

Coronavirus, which was first reported in China’s Wuhan, has so far infected nearly 2.5 million, and killed more than 160,000.

While most of the epidemics in Western Europe appear to be stable or declining, “worrying upward trends” are now visible in Africa, Central America, South America and Eastern Europe, despite low case numbers.

Tedros said although lockdowns and physical distancing have helped suppress transmission in many countries, the virus remains “extremely dangerous”.

Most of the global population continues to be highly susceptible, which means epidemics can easily re-ignite.

Tedros said one of the greatest dangers we face now is complacency.

People in countries with stay-at-home orders are understandably frustrated and want to get on with their lives. “That’s what WHO wants too. And that’s what we are working for, all day, every day.”

However, Tedros said moving forward will have to mean accepting “a new normal”, and forging a world that is healthier, safer and better prepared.

He underlined the six public health measures WHO has been advocating since the pandemic started, which centre around detection, isolation, testing, treatment and quarantine

The last step involves educating and empowering the public.

“Countries that don’t do these six central things, and do them consistently, will see more cases, and more lives will be lost,” the WHO chief warned.