The World Health Organization (WHO) Thursday called on all countries to maintain a balance between protecting people’s lives and minimizing social and economic losses.
Who Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebrev said at a press conference that member states reported more than 183,000 confirmed cases of the disease on Tuesday, a new record for a single day.
Michael Ryan, executive director of the WHO’s Health Emergency Program, said while the number of new cases is steadily declining in Western Europe and Southeast Asia, it is continuing to rise in the Americas, South Asia and the Middle East. The number of new cases around the world has set new records recently. It is likely that several large population countries are simultaneously experiencing an increase in the number of new cases, and some countries have stepped up testing for the virus.
Tedros noted that in countries where novel Coronavirus transmission has been successfully suppressed, the number of cases is on the rise as social and economic activity restarts. “All countries face a delicate balance between protecting the lives of their citizens and minimizing the social and economic damage [from the epidemic].”
Who urges countries to be careful and creative in finding solutions that will enable people to protect their lives while protecting them. At the country level, WHO calls for a redoubling of attention to essential public health measures that are currently known to be effective, including detection and testing of suspected cases, isolation and care for confirmed cases, tracing and isolating contacts of confirmed cases, and protection of health workers. At the same time, individuals should also take measures to protect themselves and others, such as maintaining a social distance, washing hands frequently, and wearing masks when appropriate.
Tedros again stressed that while the latest research suggests that the corticosteroid dexamethasone may help save lives in patients with severe coVID-19, the data are still preliminary. Who recommends that dexamethasone be used only in severely or critically ill patients and should be used under close clinical supervision.