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WHO: Health vs economy debate is a ‘false dichotomy’

/ 09:39 PM May 14, 2020

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — A World Health Organization (WHO) official said Thursday the debate between ensuring the health and reviving the economy is a “false dichotomy” and that countries must remain vigilant even as they move to lift restrictions.

The WHO Western Pacific director Takeshi Kasai said the reopening of the economy shouldn’t be rushed and must be done cautiously. He said the world must “create a new normal in which we don’t have to choose between health and livelihood.”

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Kasai said countries must strengthen their health system and have measures in place for early detection, isolation and contact tracing, and ensure they are ready for the possibility of a large-scale community outbreak.

If a resurgence occurs, Kasai said governments must also be prepared to reinstate strict health measures as everybody remains at risk until a vaccine is developed.

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