WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has said lockdowns being implemented by several countries to combat coronavirus will not be enough to eradicate the disease, sounding alarm bells for India which is under a 21-day lockdown to avoid spread of the infection.
In a daily briefing, Ghebreyesus said: “To slow the spread of COVID-19, many countries introduced ‘lockdown’ measures. But on their own, these measures will not extinguish epidemics. We call on all countries to use this time to attack the coronavirus. You have created a 2nd window of opportunity.”
He added: “Asking people to stay at home and shutting down population movement is buying time and reducing the pressure on health systems. But on their own, these measures will not extinguish epidemics.”
“We call on all countries who have introduced so-called lockdown measures, to use this time to attack the virus. You have created a 2nd window of opportunity, the question is how will you use it?” he said.
Laying emphasis again on the need to test people, the WHO chief said aggressive measures to find, isolate, test, treat and trace are not only the best and fastest way out of extreme social and economic restrictions, but they’re also the best way to prevent them.
The number of people infected with the novel coronavirus globally has exceeded 4 lakh while over 21,000 people have died.
In India, which was placed under a 21-day lockdown by the Narendra Modi government, the death toll has risen to 15 after two more deaths were reported in Maharashtra and Jammu and Kashmir.