“If we all do our part, confinements can be avoided,” said Hans Kluge, regional director of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Europe, during a digital appearance in Copenhagen collected by CNN. The Belgian doctor insisted that the confinements should be a “last resource” why are “A waste of resources” and cause many side effects, as damage to mental health, job losses or increase in gender violence.
For this reason, the WHO representative highlighted the need to avoid confinement. And points out that “They wouldn’t be necessary” if 95% of people used masks, instead of the 60% of citizens who currently use them. However, it recognizes that these face shields are not a “panacea”, so must be combined with other measures.
Kluge also warned about the “Negative impact of too fast a flexibilization” and said restrictions should only be lowered gradually. However, he understands that governments want to return to normalcy as soon as possible since millions of jobs have been lost and hundreds of millions of people are affected.
Death worries in Europe
During his appearance, the doctor also recalled that 29,000 people died in Europe last week due to COVID-19, which is equivalent to the death of one person every 17 seconds. In addition, he highlighted that deaths have increased 18% in the last two weeks on the continent, reaching the 4,500 daily deaths that currently occur. However, the expert acknowledges that promoted measures by governments have allowed reduce the number of new infections from 2 to 1.8 million, which “is a sign” of its effectiveness.
Among these measures, the representative of WHO does not contemplate the closure of schools because it considers that these should remain open to “Ensure education for our children”, highlighting that children and adolescents are not the main drivers of contagion and that closing schools is not effective.
Vaccines create “a new horizon”
Regarding news released by Moderna and Pfizer on the effectiveness of their vaccines, the expert points out that they open “A new horizon” more optimistic: “While vaccines will not completely stop COVID-19 and do not answer all of our questions, they represent a great hope in the war against this virus ”.
However, he has insisted that vaccines “They are not a miracle solution” since its supply and distribution will be limited, especially in the beginning. In addition, he warns that they will take a while to arrive, so he urges us to continue to strictly comply with health recommendations: “We know that the vaccine will arrive too late for winter, so really we have to stick together and implement long-term measures that we know are working ”.