The World Health Organization on Monday urged countries to continue to implement security measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus, such as: B. Limiting public gatherings and protecting vulnerable groups as they try to reopen businesses and services.
“The more control countries have the virus, the more they can open up. An opening without control is a recipe for disaster,” said WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus at a virtual press conference from the Geneva headquarters of the United Nations Health Department . “No country can just pretend the pandemic is over.”
Tedros outlined “four essential things that all countries, communities and individuals must focus on in order to take control.” He said countries should “prevent escalated events,” which many countries have associated with large gatherings in stadiums, nightclubs and places of worship. He added that countries and people can find “creative ways” to be social.
He added that countries should prevent deaths by protecting vulnerable people, including the elderly, those with underlying conditions, and key workers. This will help save lives and relieve pressure on countries’ health systems, Tedros said.
Tedros also said that “individuals need to play their roles” by wearing masks frequently, social distancing themselves, and washing their hands. He added that governments can avoid home assignments by implementing targeted outbreak responses through testing, contact tracing, and isolation.
“If countries are serious about opening up, they must be serious about suppressing transmission and saving lives,” he said. “This may seem like an impossible balance, but it isn’t. It can be done and it has been done.”
Tedros added that WHO recently issued guidance on how to safely resume hotels, cargo ships and fishing vessels “as part of our commitment to assist each sector in reopening as safely as possible”.
WHO officials said the so-called new normal will include at least some mitigation measures like social distancing and the wearing of masks. The WHO previously stated that such measures are likely to need to be followed in many countries, even after a vaccine is eventually brought to market.
According to the WHO, dozens of vaccine manufacturers have started studies for their coronavirus vaccine candidates, and at least two have started large phase three studies. The Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Dr. Stephen Hahn said over the weekend that his agency was issuing one The approval for emergency use of a vaccine prior to its full phase 3 clinical trial has been fully completed.
Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, chief scientist for the World Health Organization, warned on Monday that early and under-approved vaccine approval could cause a variety of problems.
“The risk of getting a vaccine approved for us ahead of time is that it will be very difficult, first of all, to continue randomized clinical trials,” she said. “Second, there is a risk that a vaccine will be introduced that has not been adequately studied and found to be ineffective, which will not end this pandemic, or worse, have a safety profile that is unacceptable.”
She added that the emergency use of a vaccine should be done “with great seriousness”, particularly as it could lead to adverse side effects in some sections of the population. She added that the decision should be made using as much safety and efficacy data as possible.
“Scientists around the world agree on a call to agencies and companies, and most companies have supported this stance that a vaccine must be approved based on data from phase three clinical trials,” said Swaminathan.
Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO’s health emergencies program, echoed Swaminathan, saying that collecting and monitoring large amounts of data is vital as nations begin to distribute vaccines to their general populations. With the introduction of the vaccine into larger and possibly more diverse segments of the population, negative side effects may arise which underscore the importance of collecting safety data.
“The difficulty and challenge with the vaccine right now is that we are moving from vaccinating tens or hundreds of people to vaccinating thousands of people,” he said. “We need to get the safety and efficacy data from these studies. If you move too quickly to vaccinate millions or hundreds of millions or billions of people, we may miss certain adverse events that you may not be aware of with smaller numbers, keep monitoring up. “
He added that the European Union and the US, as well as parts of Africa and India, have strict regulations on the emergency use of vaccines and drugs. It is crucial that governments are led by their regulators, he said.
“Every country has the sovereign right to determine its vaccination policy or other therapeutic measures in its population, but it must be guided by the highest possible ethical standards, the highest possible scientific standards,” he said.