There might never be a ‘silver bullet’ for Covid-19: WHO chief

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Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

The World Health Organization (WHO) chief on Monday said although a number of vaccines are now in phase three clinical trials, there is no “silver bullet” at the moment, and there might never be for Covid-19.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a virtual press conference that for now, stopping Covid-19 outbreaks come down to the basics of public health and disease control, including testing, isolating and treating patients, and tracing and quarantining their contacts, Xinhua reported.

“For individuals, it’s about keeping physical distance, wearing a mask, cleaning hands regularly and coughing safely away from others — Do it all,” he urged.

The WHO chief told reporters that most people in the world remain susceptible to the virus, even in areas that have experienced severe outbreaks.

In the past weeks, the WHO chief has repeatedly stressed that although the world has changed, the basic measures needed to suppress transmission and save lives have not — find, isolate, test and care for cases, and trace and quarantine their contacts.

“Countries and communities that have followed this advice carefully and consistently have done well, either in preventing large-scale outbreaks — like Cambodia, New Zealand, Rwanda, Thailand, Vietnam, and islands in the Pacific and Caribbean — or in bringing large outbreaks under control, like Canada, China, Germany and South Korea,” he had said.

On July 31, the WHO Emergency Committee on Covid-19 met and reviewed the current pandemic, and based on the advice of the Committee, Tedros announced that the Covid-19 outbreak still constituted a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.

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