- A return to 'normal' in the foreseeable future might not be possible due to the continuing threat of the coronavirus.
- The World Health Organization (WHO) warned that returning to the 'old normal' may not be possible soon because of the coronavirus pandemic
- If the public refuses to heed public health advice such as wearing masks in public, things will just get worse, says the Director-General of WHO
- Those who contracted the virus may not be immune to it for a couple of months
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO Director-General, during a press conference on Monday, July 13, candidly admitted going back to the 'old normal' might not be possible anytime soon. If the public refuses to heed public health advice such as wearing masks in public, the virus outbreak is "going to get worse and worse and worse," he said.
The WHO Director-General revealed that many countries are heading in the wrong direction. "The virus remains public enemy No. 1, but the actions of many governments and people do not reflect this," Tedros lamented.
Maria Van Kerkhove, the chair of the emerging disease and zoonosis unit of the WHO, for her part revealed that the Americas continue to be the epicenter of the pandemic, accounting for more than half of the total infections globally. She also told reporters during the press conference that those who have contracted the virus might not be immune to it for more than a couple of months.
The chief of the WHO's emerging disease and zoonosis unit acknowledged that while COVID-19 patients do have some level of an immune response, they do not know yet how strong that protection is and how long it will last. At present, the total number of confirmed cases of virus infection worldwide is nearing 13 million, of which more than 570,000 have died.
Back To School
Officials of WHO also gave their opinions on the ongoing debate about sending kids back to school in the fall. According to US President Donald Trump, he wanted to see this happen in America. Mike Ryan, the WHO's Health Emergencies Program executive director, expressed concern on the proposal saying some are using schools as a "political football."
He said no one should turn schools into yet another political football in this case. "It's not fair to our children," Ryan said.
Part Of The Transmission Cycle
The Health Emergencies Program executive director added that decisions to reopen educational facilities should come only when community transmission of the virus is low. He revealed that children are part of the transmission cycle of the virus.
This means there is a high risk of exposure, with some of them getting infected, and that they may also infect others. Ryan also said the long-term effects of the coronavirus on children are not yet known.
The government faced problems when they imposed the initial community quarantine, which was elevated into enhanced community quarantine. It also suspended transportation causing massive problems with commuters.
Doctors have already died after being infected by COVID-19. They are among the frontliners who attend to the patients rushing to hospitals amid the pandemic.
The COVID-19 outbreak started out in Wuhan, Hubei Province of China. Scientists believed that the virus came from an animal at one of Wuhan's wet markets. The Philippines has slowly eased quarantine measures and Filipinos are starting to adapt to the new normal.
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