- 18 Oct 2020
The COViD-19 caused by novel corona virus is 10 times more deadly than the Swine flu (H1N1) said WHO in virtual media briefing. The Swine flu pandemic wrecked havoc in the world in 2009. Most of the countries are facing lockdowns due to COVID-19 pandemic which has infected 1920918 people and caused 119686 confirmed deaths till now.
However this declaration came after more than a month, when US health official Dr. Anthony Fauci (Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases) said that the COVID-19 is at least 10 times more lethal than the seasonal flu. Dr Fauci added that the H1N1 (Swine flu) pandemic in 2009 was even less lethal than the regular seasonal flu.
The World health Organization briefed the media on 13th April. The WHO Director general said that this is a new virus and the first pandemic caused by a coronavirus. Evidence from several countries is giving clear picture about this virus, its behavior and about how to stop and treat it.
Mr. Tedros Adhanom said the “We know that COVID-19 spreads fast, and we know that it is deadly – 10 times deadlier than the 2009 flu pandemic”. However the COVID-19 accelerates very fast, it decelerates much more slowly.
He added that the virus can spread more easily in crowded environments and early case finding, testing isolating the infected persons and contact tracing is essential to stop the spreading of transmission. He also added that controls measures must be lifted slowly and with control. It can’t happen at once and should be done only if right public health measures are intact.
WHO asked countries that lockdown measure should not be at expense of human rights and said WHO will be publishing strategic advice to help countries in taking decisions.
The new strategy includes six criteria for lifting restrictions.
1. Transmission is controlled.
2. Health system capacities are in place to detect, test, isolate and treat every case and trace every contact.
3. Outbreak risks are minimized in special settings like health facilities and nursing homes.
4. Preventive measures are in place in workplaces, schools and other places where it’s essential for people to go.
5. Importation risks can be managed.
6. Communities are fully educated, engaged and empowered to adjust to the “new norm”.
WHO added that safe and effective vaccine would be needed to stop the spread of COVID-19 and the way forward is solidarity at national and global level.