What’s needed now to fight COVID-19 – Updates from today’s WHO briefing

covid

(Matthieu Gouiffes, Unsplash)

This article is brought to you thanks to the collaboration of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.

Author: Linda Lacina, Digital Editor, World Economic Forum


  • The World Health Organization held a media briefing to update the public on the COVID-19 outbreak. Streamed live at 17.00 CET on Monday, 16 March.
  • WHO officials acknowledged that reported cases might not reflect full numbers, including mild cases.
  • A successful comprehensive strategy cannot depend on social distancing alone but will require testing and isolating cases.

As worldwide cases of COVID-19 rise above 169,000 and one country after another forces schools and businesses into lockdown, here’s what you need to know about the spread of the coronavirus, from officials at the World Health Organization in Geneva.

Social distancing is important – but it’s not enough
While many countries are now practicing social distancing, the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, explained that a successful comprehensive approach that includes testing and isolating cases will be essential to fighting the disease. “You must break the chains of transmission,” said the Director-General. “You cannot fight a fire blindfolded.”

“You must test and isolate. You cannot fight a fire blindfolded.”

—Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, World Health Organization Director-General

We’re likely missing cases
Reported numbers might not reflect all cases, WHO officials acknowledged. That’s normal in a pandemic, said Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO Technical Lead, especially since a crisis initially focuses on those who seek care and not more mild cases. Still, Kerkhove said health professionals and governments must aggressively root out where the virus lives. She stressed the need for countries to increase the number of tests, boost lab capacity, train more lab workers and maintain the resolve to find and test symptomatic contacts.

What is the World Economic Forum doing about the coronavirus outbreak?

A new strain of Coronavirus, COVID 19, is spreading around the world, causing deaths and major disruption to the global economy.

Responding to this crisis requires global cooperation among governments, international organizations and the business community, which is at the centre of the World Economic Forum’s mission as the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation.

The Forum has created the COVID Action Platform, a global platform to convene the business community for collective action, protect people’s livelihoods and facilitate business continuity, and mobilize support for the COVID-19 response. The platform is created with the support of the World Health Organization and is open to all businesses and industry groups, as well as other stakeholders, aiming to integrate and inform joint action.

As an organization, the Forum has a track record of supporting efforts to contain epidemics. In 2017, at our Annual Meeting, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) was launched – bringing together experts from government, business, health, academia and civil society to accelerate the development of vaccines. CEPI is currently supporting the race to develop a vaccine against this strand of the coronavirus.

Shortages of tests and personal protection equipment
The WHO noted that tests and personal protection equipment continue to be in short supply in some countries. The WHO said that 1.5 million tests have shipped to 120 countries and the WHO is working on getting more tests to those in need.

Additionally, the WHO said it has been in close contact with CEOs and top government officials to ensure more equipment can be made available and remove the pressures on makers of all types of equipment.

Advice for caregivers
The Director-General acknowledged that many cases cannot be treated in health facilities and are being cared for in their homes. In these cases, it’s important for caregivers to follow WHO guidelines so that the infection does not spread to healthy people in the home. In these situations, caregivers should:

-Use a mask when in the same room

-Sleep in a separate bedroom

-Use a different bathroom than the person infected with coronavirus

-Be someone who is healthy without any underlying conditions

-Wash their hands after coming into contact with the patient

How to help: COVID-19 Fund

The Director-General said the Covid19 fund launched last Friday has already received donations from 110,000 people raisitng $19 million so far. The WHO stressed that this fund can help buy diagnostic tests and support research.

Show your solidarity

The Director-General said he was heartened by images of people applauding healthcare workers or reports of people grocery shopping for people who could not leave their homes. Such measures are ways individuals can help show their support and solidarity. “This will be a test of our resolve,” said Ghebreyesus. “This will be a test of our trust in science. And a test in our solidarity.

“Crises bring out the best and worst in humanity,” he added. “Though we must be apart physically, we can come together in ways we never have before.”

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

SCADA Security Conference 2017 in Prague, Czech Republic

INTERVIEW: Poverty, education and inclusion top new General Assembly President’s priority list

New UN data tool shows ‘mismatch’ between government aid and places modern slavery exists

Migration crisis update: mutual actions and solidarity needed as anti-migrant policies thrive

COP21 Breaking News_03 December: Unprecedented Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction to Combat Climate Change

Mergers: Commission opens in-depth investigation into PKN Orlen’s proposed acquisition of Lotos

We can save our ocean in three steps – if we act now

Questions directors need to ask in the age of stakeholder capitalism

Your recycling actually gets recycled, right? Not always, says this report

Why the 33,000 staff European Commission did not have a real contingency plan for the refugee crisis?

Extra mild ECB tapering of QE and zero interest rates keep euro low

Digital learning can help us close the global education gap. This is how

Fail fast, fail better: 3 ways companies can master innovation

World Migratory Bird Day highlights deadly risks of plastic pollution

EU Migrant Crisis: Italian Coast Guard Headquarters and Italian Navy to give host national opening addresses at Border Security 2016 in Rome

Here’s how India can soar in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Youth policy in Europe not delivering for young people

5 ways the world is rallying around Australia as bushfires rage

How studying genetics and lifestyle can shape a healthier MENA region

UN chief welcomes DR Congo President’s promise to stand down

Back to school: Schoolchildren to receive milk, fruits and vegetables at school thanks to EU programme

Commission and EIB provide CureVac with a €75 million financing for vaccine development and expansion of manufacturing

UN agencies launch emergency plan for millions of Venezuelan refugees and migrants

How the EU sees its own and Russia’s role in Ukraine

Google succumbs unconditionally to EU’s “right to be forgotten” ruling

An Eastern Wind

Grave concern over escalating humanitarian crisis, casualties, displacement across northwest Syria: UN

Commission welcomes Bulgaria and Croatia’s entry into the Exchange Rate Mechanism II

Climate Change Revolution: by-laws for the world

Venezuelan crisis: MEPs reaffirm their support for Juan Guaidó

Deadly earthquake kills dozens in Turkey, UN stands in solidarity and offers support

EU shapes its ambitious strategy on India

Why the world needs systems leadership, not selfish leadership

ILO welcomes new UNDP report that places decent work at the heart of sustainable development

Biggest ever UN aid delivery in Syria provides relief to desperate civilians

China is sending science students to live with rural farmers – and crop yields are skyrocketing

EU and World Health Organisation team up to boost access to health services in developing countries

UN chief announces progress on committee to shape Syria’s political future

This entrepreneur built an island resort out of plastic waste

To beat hunger and combat climate change, world must ‘scale-up’ soil health – UN

Brussels waits for the Germans to arrive

The migration crisis is slowly melting the entire EU edifice

How Europe beat the financial crisis – and the risks it still faces

Could robot leaders do better than our current politicians?

UN agency chiefs condemn Saudi-coalition led air strike that killed dozens in western Yemen

COP21 Breaking News_03 December: UNFCCC Secretariat Launches Forest Information Hub

Security Council renews Central African Republic arms embargo

These are the world’s most fragile states in 2019

From mental health to suicide: the interruption of this chain reaction by prevention

‘Many challenges to overcome’ at UN, in fight against abuse: victims’ advocate

Commission welcomes the political agreement on the transitional rules for the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)

Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson: who forced the two ‘brave’ Brexiteers to quit?

The developing countries keep the world going

Inclusion, empowerment and equality, must be ‘at the heart of our efforts’ to ensure sustainable development, says UN chief

The Venezuelan exodus to Roraima and its repercussions

The vicious cycle of poverty and exclusion spreads fast engulfing more children

What are the real debates surrounding immigration in an increasingly globalized world?

Parenting in the time of COVID-19? Consider these 6 tips from the WHO

Global Citizen – Volunteer Internships

Britain aligns with EU rivaling US on trade and Iran, abandons bilateral ‘Midsummer Night’s Dream’

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s