Dr. Tedros, WHO DG

By OBINNA EZUGWU

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared the ravaging Coronsvirus a global health pandemic, even as the United States is said to be considering a declaration of a state of emergency over the spread of the virus in the states.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO’s Director-General who announced the decision at a press conference on Wednesday, said many countries are struggling with capacity to contain the virus as it continues to spread.

“In the past two weeks, the number of cases of #COVID19 outside Flag of China has increased 13-fold & the number of affected countries has tripled. There are now more than 118,000 cases in 114 countries, & 4,291 people have lost their lives,” he said.

“Thousands more are fighting for their lives in hospitals. In the days and weeks ahead, we expect to see the number of #COVID19 cases, the number of deaths, and the number of affected countries climb even higher”-

“WHO has been assessing this outbreak around the clock and we are deeply concerned both by the alarming levels of spread and severity, and by the alarming levels of inaction”-

“We have therefore made the assessment that #COVID19 can be characterized as a pandemic

“The challenge for many countries who are now dealing with large #COVID19 clusters or community transmission is not whether they can do the same – it’s whether they will,” he said.

“Some countries are struggling with a lack of capacity. Some countries are struggling with a lack of resources. Some countries are struggling with a lack of resolve.

“We are grateful for the measures being taken in Flag of Iran, Flag of Italy and Flag of South Korea to slow the virus and control their #COVID19 epidemics. We know that these measures are taking a heavy toll on societies and economies, just as they did in Flag of China”-

“All countries must strike a fine balance between protecting health, minimizing economic & social disruption & respecting human rights”

“WHO’s mandate is public health. But we’re working with many partners across all sectors to mitigate the social and economic consequences of this #COVID19 pandemic”-

“This is not just a public health crisis, it is a crisis that will touch every sector – so every sector and every individual must be involved in the fight

“I have said from the beginning that countries must take a whole-of-government, whole-of-society approach, built around a comprehensive strategy to prevent infections, save lives and minimize impact”-

Let me summarize it in Keycap digit four key areas.

Keycap digit one Prepare and be ready.

Keycap digit two Detect, protect and treat.

Keycap digit three Reduce transmission.

Keycap digit four Innovate and learn”-
“I remind all countries that we are calling on you to (1):
-activate & scale up your emergency response mechanisms
-communicate with your people about the risks & how they can protect themselves
-find, isolate, test & treat every #COVID19 case & trace every contact”-

“I remind all countries that we are calling on you to (2):
-ready your hospitals
-protect and train your #healthworkers
-let’s all look out for each other”-
“There’s been so much attention on one word.

Let me give you some other words that matter much more, & that are much more actionable:

Prevention, Preparedness, Public health, Political leadership. And most of all, People. We’re in this together, to do the right things with calm and protect the citizens of the world. It’s doable”