‘We’ve learnt a lot but there is still a lot we don’t know,” says WHO DG about COVID-19
– globalbihari bureau
Geneva: The World Health Organization Director General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a press conference at WHO headquarters here on Wednesday that “this microscopic virus (COVID-19) had humbled all of us”.
He said that although the WHO had maintained since early February that asymptomatic people can transmit covid 19, more research was needed to establish the extent of asymptomatic transmission. “That research is ongoing and we are seeing more and more research being done,” he pointed out and further informed, “Every week we speak directly to countries, the media and the public so that we can keep everyone up-to-date on the latest scientific evidence and the evolution of the pandemic.”
Dr. Ghebreyesus said retreading , isolating and testing people with symptoms and tracing and quarantining their contacts was the most critical way to stop transmission and many countries had succeeded in suppressing transmission in controlling the virus doing exactly this. However, he said: “This is a new virus and we are all learning all the time.”
The WHO DG said communicating complex science in real time about a new virus was not always easy. “But we believe this is part of our duty to the world and we can always do better. WHO’s advice will continue to evolve as new information becomes available. “We continue 24*7 to accelarate the science and learn more about how this disease is spread. By definition a new virus means that we are learning as we go. We have learnt a lot but there is still a lot we don’t know,” he said.
Earlier on Monday, Dr. Ghebreyesus had said that although the situation in Europe is improving, globally it was worsening. However, he had also pointed out that several countries around the world were also seeing positive signs and warned that in these countries, the biggest threat now was complacency. “Results from studies to see how much of the population has been exposed to the virus show that most people globally are still susceptible to infection,” he had said and called for active surveillance to ensure the virus does not rebound, “especially as mass gatherings of all kinds are starting to resume in some countries”.