With the number of cases rising throughout the world, more and more people have began asking for lockdown. However, the top emergency expert from the World Health Organisation said on Sunday that countries can’t simply lock down their societies to defeat coronavirus, adding that public health measures are needed to avoid a resurgence of the virus later on.
“What we really need to focus on is finding those who are sick, those who have the virus, and isolate them, find their contacts and isolate them,” Mike Ryan said in an interview on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show. “The danger right now with the lockdowns … if we don’t put in place the strong public health measures now, when those movement restrictions and lockdowns are lifted, the danger is the disease will jump back up.”
Mike Ryan said that the examples of China, Singapore and South Korea, which coupled restrictions with rigorous measures to test every possible suspect, provided a model for Europe, which the WHO has said has replaced Asia as the epicentre of the pandemic. “Once we’ve suppressed the transmission, we have to go after the virus. We have to take the fight to the virus,” Mike Ryan said.
Countries need to invest more in healthcare and prepare for a resurgence of the virus in the Winter. What is essential is to contain the spread of the disease while setting up protocols for a future resurgence or the second wave of affectees.