Countries that do not adopt a comprehensive approach to tackle COVID-19 face a ‘long, hard road ahead’, the World Health Organisation has warned.
Speaking during the COVID-19 press briefing on Wednesday, WHO’s Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said countries that have adopted the comprehensive approach have suppressed transmission and saved lives.
Ghebreyesus said “we will never get tired of saying that the best way out of this pandemic is to take a comprehensive approach.
“Find, isolate, test and care for every case, trace and quarantine every contact, equip and train health workers and educate and empower communities to protect themselves and others.
“Not testing alone. Not physical distancing alone. Not contact tracing alone. Not masks alone. Do it all.”
He added that flare-ups are to be expected as countries start to lift restrictions.
“But countries that have the systems in place to apply a comprehensive approach should be able to contain these flare-ups locally and avoid reintroducing widespread restrictions.
“However, we are concerned that some countries have not used all the tools at their disposal and have taken a fragmented approach.
“These countries face a long, hard road ahead.
“But one of the lessons of the pandemic is that no matter what situation a country is in, it can be turned around. It’s never too late.”
Speaking further, the WHO chief said “as you know, in March, Italy and Spain were the epicentre of the pandemic. At the peak of its epidemic, Spain had almost 10,000 cases a day, and Italy had more than 6,500 cases.
“But both countries brought their epidemics under control with a combination of leadership, humility, active participation by every member of society, and implementing a comprehensive approach.
“Both countries faced a daunting situation, but turned it around.”
The DG noted that the pandemic is a scientific challenge, but it is also a test of character.
“We must act in the interests of global solidarity and our shared humanity.
“We have a shared responsibility to ensure that all people have access to the tools to protect themselves, especially those who are most at risk,”