WHO urges balance between protection against COVID-19 #111436

WHO urges ramped-up COVID-19 dexamethasone production

WHO urges countries to beef up anti-virus measures

The Director-General of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has said the "greatest threat we face now is not the virus itself, it's the lack of global solidarity and global leadership".

Tedros pushed governments to "double down" on testing suspected COVID-19 patients, isolating those who are sick and tracing and quarantining anyone who had been in contact with a known patient.

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the pandemic was "accelerating" and urged nations and citizens to remain extremely vigilant, as the number of cases reported to the UN health agency hit a new peak.

That's more than on any single day since the outbreak began with the exception of April 9, when 34,800 cases were reported, and April 24, when a record 36,400 cases were reported.

Many countries in the region have experienced 25-50 per cent increases in cases in the last week, he said.

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The Irish epidemiologist said that without isolating and quarantining contacts, "the spectre of further lockdowns can not be excluded".

"Although the data are still preliminary, the recent finding that the steroid dexamethasone has life-saving potential for critically ill Covid-19 patients gave us a much-needed reason to celebrate".

"Fortunately, this is an low-cost medicine and there are many dexamethasone manufacturers worldwide, who we are confident can accelerate production".

"Demand has already surged following trials in the United Kingdom".

'Transparency and constant monitoring will be key to ensuring needs dictate supplies, rather than means.

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He added that manufacturers and suppliers are obliged to guarantee the quality of products.

There is no evidence that dexamethasone works for patients who are only mildly affected, or as a preventative measure, he cautioned. So far, 48 countries had made requests for supplies through the WHO COVID-19 supply portal.

More broadly, World Health Organization said it continues to support countries with essential supplies of personal protective equipment and laboratory diagnostics. Meanwhile, WHO is also working with countries to maintain essential health services.

"Many countries are now experiencing difficulties in obtaining oxygen concentrators". 'Still, the consequences of these disruptions will be felt for many years to come.

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