Countries indifferent to COVID-19, says WHO - NAIJA POLY TV


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Thursday, March 5, 2020

Countries indifferent to COVID-19, says WHO

By Our Reporter

SOME countries have not taken the COVID-19 epidemic seriously, the World Health Organisation (WHO) warned on Thursday.

The United Nations (UN) agency said such nations’ level of political commitment and actions is not commensurate to the level of the threat faced globally.

WHO’s Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus sounded the warning yesterday during the daily media briefing on COVID-19.

Dr. Ghebreyesus stressed that the epidemic was a threat for every country, rich or poor, adding that even high-income countries should expect surprises.

“The solution is aggressive preparedness,” he said.

According to him, countries have been planning for scenarios like this for decades, saying, now is the time to act on those plans.

He said: “These are plans that start with leadership from the top, coordinating every part of government, not just the health ministry – security, diplomacy, finance, commerce, transport, trade, information and more – the whole government should be involved.

“Activate your emergency plans through that whole-government approach. Educate your public, so that people know what the symptoms are and know how to protect themselves and others.

“Increase your testing capacity; get your hospitals ready; ensure essential supplies are available.

“Train your health workers to identify cases, provide careful and compassionate treatment, and protect themselves from infection.”

He emphasised that if countries act aggressively to find, isolate and treat cases, to trace every contact, they can change the trajectory of the epidemic.

“If we take the approach that there is nothing we can do, that will quickly become a self-fulfilling prophecy. It is in our hands,” he said.

Ghebreyesus said that WHO has published a step-by-step guidelines for countries to develop their national action plans according to eight key areas, which are supported by detailed technical guidance.

“We call on all countries to accelerate those plans, and we stand ready to work with them to do that.


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