The director of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, in an online press conference, assured this Monday that “There is no magic solution and perhaps there never will be” against the new coronavirus, in reference to alternatives that can disappear this threat forever.
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“Clinical trials give us hope, but this does not necessarily mean that we get an effective vaccine (…). We all hope to have a number of effective vaccines that can prevent people from getting it, “he said.
The WHO director’s message was that The approach with which this public health problem has to be addressed has to be the control of the pandemic and not the eradication of the disease.
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“When leaders work closely with the population, this disease can be controlled,” he recalled, emphasizing the need to “contain the new waves” that can occur in countries that have passed the peak by “testing, isolating, treating the sick and their contacts ”.
The infectologist Carlos Álvarez, national coordinator of studies of covid-19 for the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), contextualized the words of Tedros when explaining that it is utopian to think of a magic solution to end the threat that this virus has generated.
“The only disease that has been eradicated from the face of the earth has been smallpox and others such as polio or measles have managed to contain or mitigate,” he said.
Clinical trials give us hope, but this does not necessarily mean that we get an effective vaccine.
He insisted that In the case of Sars-CoV-2, there will not be a single solution to control the pandemic, but many, such as personal protection measures, self-care, social distance, timely and massive diagnoses. and, in due course, guarantee access to treatments and vaccines.
And in the hypothetical scenario in which an effective vaccine is discovered, that will not be the solution to all problems, says Álvarez.
“The reality is that we have to learn to live with the virus, and to contain it there are multiple measures that depend on the co-responsibility of people, the community, companies and governments,” concluded the expert.
‘High’ case fatality rate
In the same press conference, WHO experts pointed out that the percentage of people who die after contracting the covid-19-causing coronavirus is around 0.6 percent according to some scientific studies, a figure “still very high”.
Although the percentage of deaths among diagnosed cases is higher, at almost 4 percent (686,000 out of 17 million), the head of the WHO Department of Emerging Diseases, Maria van Kerkhove, clarified that the actual case fatality could be less than 1 percent, since many mild cases of covid-19 went undetected.
The percentage, which has been decreasing as treatments for the most severe cases improved, “might not seem very high at first, but it is taking into account the great transmission capacity” of the disease, the American expert warned.
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We have to learn to live with the virus, and to contain it there are multiple measures that depend on the co-responsibility of people, the community, companies and governments
WHO Director of Health Emergencies, Irishman Mike Ryan, agreed with this statement and recalled that If now about one in a hundred patients dies in the current pandemic, in the previous one declared by the organization, the 2009 influenza A, the rate was much lower, one in 10,000.
“This virus is much more deadly, and that tells us to avoid getting it, that’s the main thing. Perhaps the symptoms in oneself are not serious, but we must avoid transmitting the disease to others, it is very important to have joint solidarity ”, he concluded.
“We are giving the virus the opportunity to jump and there are people who can avoid it,” added the expert, who again asked the young people for responsibility, the origin of some current outbreaks in countries such as Spain, where community contagion had been controlled.
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* With information from EFE