WHO recommends “extreme vigilance” to countries committed to deconfinement
The WHO welcomed on Monday the ebb of the novel coronavirus pandemic in a number of countries but called for “extreme vigilance” in a period of deconfinement.
Part of Europe began on Monday to ease the movement restriction measures put in place to limit the spread of the virus and prevent overwhelming health systems.
The deconfinement testifies in these countries “of the success” of the efforts carried out to “slow down the virus and save lives”, estimated the director general of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, during a virtual press conference in Geneva, headquarters of the UN agency.
The person in charge of health emergencies at the WHO, Michael Ryan, also welcomed a reason for “hope” but urges the countries concerned to show “extreme vigilance”.
While among these countries he did not name “many have made significant investments to improve their public health capacities during lockdowns, others have not”. “If the disease persists at a low level in countries which do not have the capacity to study the outbreaks, to identify them, the risk still exists that the disease will come back,” he warned.
Some countries have embarked on “blindly” in this deconfinement without acquiring the means to test and trace suspected cases while they still had time, he regretted.
WHO officials have insisted that a return to normal could not, in the current state of epidemiological knowledge, be based on a hypothetical “collective immunity”. “Preliminary serological studies show that a relatively small proportion of the population has antibodies to Covid-19”, noted Mr. Tedros, which means that “the major part of the population remains exposed to the virus”.