World Well being Group (WHO) Director-Common Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attends a day by day press briefing on COVID-19 virus on the WHO headquaters on March 11, 2020 in Geneva./ AFP
The WHO mentioned Monday that asking most of the people to put on facemasks might be justified in areas the place hand-washing and bodily distancing had been tough, however warned masks alone couldn’t cease the coronavirus pandemic.
World Well being Group chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus additionally slammed ideas that Africa ought to be used as a testing floor for a vaccine as racist.
The worldwide COVID-19 pandemic has killed greater than 70,000 individuals, whereas greater than 1.2 million individuals have examined optimistic for the brand new coronavirus. A vaccine is considered not less than a yr away.
“Countries could consider using masks in communities where other measures such as cleaning hands and physical distancing are harder to achieve because of lack of water or cramped living conditions,” Tedros instructed a digital briefing in Geneva.
Tedros mentioned he understood that some international locations had advisable or had been contemplating the usage of each medical and non-medical masks within the common inhabitants to stop the unfold of the virus.
Nonetheless, he confused that the mass use of medical masks might exacerbate the scarcity of protecting gear for healthcare employees, saying some had been now going through “real danger”.
And he mentioned that outdoors of well being amenities, medical masks had been advisable for individuals who had been sick, and their carers.
Tedros additionally lashed out at “racist” ideas from some scientists that Africa might be used as a testing floor for a vaccine, which is considered 12 to 18 months away.
Two main French medical doctors sparked a storm of criticism final week by discussing on tv the thought of testing a coronavirus vaccine in Africa, citing its relative lack of resilience to the pandemic in its infrastructure.
They insisted Friday that they had been misunderstood and apologised for any offence precipitated.
Africa has confirmed comparatively few instances and deaths to this point in comparison with different continents.
However the WHO and others have lengthy warned that it might be badly uncovered ought to the virus, each by way of preparedness and well being care.
“Africa cannot and will not be a testing ground for any vaccine,” Tedros mentioned.
“It was a shame, appalling, to listen to through the 21st century to listen to from scientists… this sort of racist remarks.
“The hang-over from the colonial mentality has to cease. WHO won’t enable this to occur.
“We’ll observe all the principles to check any vaccine or therapeutics all around the world utilizing precisely the identical guidelines,” mentioned Tedros, who beforehand served as minister of well being and international affairs in Ethiopia.
Free on-line live performance
In the meantime the WHO teamed up with US celebrity Girl Gaga to launch a large coronavirus consciousness live performance on April 18 entitled “One World: Together at Home”.
The free on-line performances are billed as a “global broadcast and digital special to support frontline healthcare workers” and the WHO.
The gig will characteristic stars together with Andrea Bocelli, Chris Martin, David Beckham, Elton John, John Legend, Keith City, Lang Lang, Paul McCartney, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Shah Rukh Khan and Stevie Surprise.
“This global pandemic is a catastrophe,” Girl Gaga mentioned.
“We have to inform the tales of, and have fun, the frontline neighborhood healthcare employees and their acts of kindness.
“We spotlight the singular, form international neighborhood that’s arising proper now.”