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Coronavirus Outbreak (COVID - 19): WHO Update (1 April 2020)

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The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Ghebreyesus today said that as the world enters the fourth month since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, he is deeply concerned about the rapid escalation and global spread of infection.

Speaking to reporters in Geneva, Tedros said, “whether we do shut-downs or take other measures, we have to understand that we are in a learning process.”

On the ongoing debate about the use of masks at the community level, the head of WHO also said that his Organization recommends “the use of medical masks for people who are sick and those caring for them. However, in these circumstances, masks are only effective when combined with other protective measures.”

He added, “WHO continues to gather all available evidence and continues to evaluate the potential use of masks more broadly to control COVID-19 transmission the community level.”

Also speaking to the reporters, WHO’s Micheal Ryan said, “this is a deadly virus, people will get through it, countries will get through it. But we must build the architecture of public health, the architecture of our health system.”

Ryan continued, “if we're going to get out of an interminable cycle of economically punishing lockdowns and shutdowns, we must get back to be able to control this virus, live with this virus, develop the vaccines that we need to finally eradicate this virus.”

He retreated, “this is about adapt, adjust, implement, measure, do it again. And you just have to keep doing that over and over and over again, until you control the disease. I would I would love to say that there's an easy way to do this. I would love to say that there's a way out of this without that kind of hard work, but there isn't.”

WHO’s Technical Lead Maria Van Kerkhove said, this is a virus that can be very serious and individuals. And so it's a real threat. It not only has public health implications, but it has very strong social and ethical economic implications. And everyone needs to understand that they have a role to play, every person has a role to play in this pandemic.”

Tedros also said, “the relief processes are actually lengthy. But what we are proposing together with the World Bank and IMF is an expedited process to support countries, so their economy will not be getting into crisis and their communities will not be really getting into crisis.

On the situation in Africa, Ryan said, “we are there every day of every week of every year working hand in hand with our colleagues of Ministry of Health and our other partners in the UN system. We've been beefing up our support, strengthen our country office, and again supporting on clinical, medical and laboratory science.”

Ryan continued,”at this moment, there is no therapy that has been proven to be effective in the treatment of COVID-19. We've explained, and the DG has explained, actually earlier about the Solidarity Trials and many other trials that are testing many, many different compounds around the world including the ones that are most promising.

He added, “I would advise people that if you have your favourite remedy that you use like honey like lemon like ginger, please continue to to support yourself through the through the illness. But please, let us avoid making assumptions without evidence that certain things can cure. COVID-19. At the moment, there is no proven therapy for COVID-19.”

According to WHO, Over the past 5 weeks, the world has witnessed a near exponential growth in the number of new cases, reaching almost every country, territory and area. The number of deaths has more than doubled in the past week. In the next few days, it will reach 1 million confirmed cases, and 50 thousand deaths.

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