Some countries continue to see a rapid increase in the number of cases and deaths. Others that had successfully suppressed transmission, are now seeing an upswing as they reopen their economies.
All countries are facing a delicate balance between protecting their people while minimizing the social and economic damage. “It is not a choice between lives and livelihoods,” he said. “Countries can do both”. They must be “careful and creative” in finding solutions so that people stay safe while getting on with their lives.
He also urged countries to double-down on the fundamental public health measures that are known to limit spread: finding and testing suspected cases, isolating and caring for the sick, tracing and quarantining contacts, and protecting health workers. These measures can only be effective if each person follows recommendations for physical distancing, hand washing and mask-wearing.
‘Much-needed’ reason to celebrate
Meanwhile, the world continues to learn about how best to treat the sick.
While data are preliminary, Dr. Tedros said the recent finding that the commonly-available steroid dexamethasone has a life-saving potential for critically ill COVID-19 patients “gave us a much-needed reason to celebrate”. The next challenge is to increase production, and then quickly and equitably distribute dexamethasone worldwide, focusing on where it is needed most.
Demand has already surged following trials in the United Kingdom, he said. Fortunately, dexamethasone is an inexpensive drug and many manufacturers worldwide can likely accelerate production.
Source: UN NEWS