The World Health Organization (WHO) on Monday warned that despite hope for "effective vaccines" for the coronavirus, there might never be a silver bullet for the COVID-19.
"A number of vaccines are now in phase three clinical trials and we all hope to have a number of effective vaccines that can help prevent people from infection. However, there’s no silver bullet at the moment and there might never be. For now, stopping outbreaks comes down to the basics of public health and disease control," read an official statement by WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
Globally, 18,102,671 people have been infected with the disease and 689,625 have died, according to a John Hopkins, with the US, Brazil and India being the worst three hit.
The WHO Director-General and WHO emergencies head Mike Ryan urged all nations to rigorously enforce health measures such as mask-wearing, social distancing, hand-washing and testing. "The message to people and governments is clear: `Do it all`," said Tedros from the UN body`s headquarters in Geneva.
"For now, stopping outbreaks comes down to the basics of public health and disease control. Testing, isolating and treating patients, and tracing and quarantining their contacts. Do it all. Inform, empower and listen to communities. Do it all. For individuals, it’s about keeping physical distance, wearing a mask, cleaning hands regularly and coughing safely away from others. Do it all," he said.
"And when it’s under control, keep going! Keep strengthening the health system. Keep improving surveillance, contact tracing and ensure disrupted health services are restarted as quickly as possible. Keep safeguards and monitoring in place, because lifting restrictions too quickly can lead to a resurgence. Keep investing in the workforce and communicating and engaging communities. We have seen around the world, that it’s never too late to turn this pandemic around. If we act together today, we can save lives, we can save livelihoods if we do it all together," read his statement.
Speaking on the WHO team that travelled to China, the statement read, "The WHO advance team that travelled to China has now concluded their mission to lay the groundwork for further joint efforts to identify the virus origins. As a result of these efforts, WHO and Chinese experts have drafted the Terms of Reference for the studies and programme of work for an international team, led by WHO. The international team will include leading scientists and researchers from China and around the world. Epidemiological studies will begin in Wuhan to identify the potential source of infection of the early cases. Evidence and hypotheses generated through this work will lay the ground for further, longer-term studies.