Contact tracing most important factor in mitigation

“Put politics into isolation and deal with COVID-19” – WHO tells govts worldwide

DPI, Guyana, Monday, June 29, 2020

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said the factor that most affects countries from mitigating the virus is ineffective contact tracing.

“The single most important intervention for breaking chains of transmission is not necessarily high-tech and can be carried out by a broad range of professionals. It is tracing and quarantining contacts,” Director-General of the WHO Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stated.

World Health Organisation, WHO, Director-General,Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Coronavirus, COVID-19.

He noted that while stay-at-home measures and lockdowns have slowed the spread of the virus, the worse is yet to come and the pandemic is speeding up despite progress in some countries.

It was recently pointed out by the Director of the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO), Dr. Carissa Etienne that South America, as well as Latin and Central America, may still be facing the pandemic over the next two years.

“The critical question that all countries will face in the coming months is how to live with this virus. […] We will need even greater stores of resilience, patience, humility and generosity in the months ahead,” Dr. Tedros remarked.

To effectively fight the virus WHO recommended five priorities: 1) community empowerment through knowledge and resources; 2) transmission suppression by training health workers and doing effective surveillance and contact tracing; 3) saving lives through early detection and proving critically ill with dexamethasone treatment and oxygen; 4) accelerate research that can lead to finding a successful vaccine, and 5) national unity and global solidarity.

Globally COVID-19 cases stand at over ten million just one day before the six-month anniversary of the virus, according to WHO. Approximately five-hundred thousand COVID-19 related deaths have been reported so far.

During his remarks today, Dr. Ghebreyesus also called on governments and citizens worldwide to put all forms of politics into quarantine and isolation.

The Director-General stated that division among the people of a country may only lead to hindrance and all must focus on beating the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) as one people through national unity.

“The pandemic has brought out the best and the worst of humanity. All over the world we have seen heart-warming acts of resilience […] But we have also seen concerning signs of stigma, misinformation and the politicization of the pandemic,” he said.

The Director-General added, “even if we belong to different political parties, the citizens of any country are the same. So, whether we belong to the right or left, or we are the centre […] what matters at the end of the day is that we do good for the people. Even one life is important.”

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Coronavirus disease spreads primarily through contact with an infected person when they cough or sneeze. It also spreads when a person touches a surface or object that has the virus on it, then touches their eyes, nose, or mouth. We urge citizens to practice good hygiene and social or physical distancing also adhere to the guidelines provided by the Ministry of Health, Guyana.