WHO warns COVID-19 epidemics ‘far from over’ in Asia and Pacific
JAKARTA, Indonesia — The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that while attention has shifted to epicenters in Western Europe and North America, COVID-19 epidemics are “far from over” in Asia and the Pacific.
Urging governments at all levels in the region to stay engaged in efforts to combat the virus, WHO Regional Director for the Western Pacific, Dr. Takeshi Kasai said, “This is going to be a long-term battle and we cannot let down our guard. We need every country to keep responding according to their local situation.”
He said the WHO realizes there is no one-size-fits-all approach but there are common tactics. “Those are: finding, isolating and testing case early, tracing and quarantining contact quickly, and putting in place multiple public health interventions to place physical distance between people to slow and stop transmission.”
Takeshi also cautioned that countries still need to prepare for large-scale community transmission.
“We need to be clear that even with all of these measures, the risk will not go away as long as the pandemic continues. Rather, these measures can buy us valuable time to prepare,” he said.
COVID-19 is a respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus or SARS-CoV-2, which outbreak started in China’s Wuhan City in Hubei province in late 2019.
For most people, the virus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.
Globally, the virus already infected more than 785,800 people and killed more than 37,800 as of March 31. On the other hand, over 165,655 people have recovered so far from the disease.
The Inquirer Foundation supports our healthcare frontliners and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited at Banco de Oro (BDO) current account #007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this link .
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.