WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said: “Lockdowns are blunt instruments that have taken a heavy toll in many countries, but with the right mix of targeted and tailored measures, further national lockdowns can be avoided.”
He noted that several countries are using a data-driven approach to drive a targeted response.
Consequently, it allows them to open carefully and safely while remaining ready to respond rapidly to any new clusters or amplifying events.
He said that there are four priorities that he would like to see countries focused on:
Prevent amplifying events.
Empower people to protect themselves and others.
Focus on the public health basics.
And protect the vulnerable, including older people and those with underlying conditions.
He stated that COVID-19 has preyed on people with non-communicable diseases (NCDs)such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and respiratory disease.
The Director-General said, “Globally, non-communicable diseases and their risk factors are increasing vulnerability to COVID-19 infection and the likelihood of worse outcomes, including in younger people.”
He said further that the odds of developing severe COVID-19 had been found to be as much as seven times higher in patients with obesity, one-and-a-half times among smokers, and 2-4 times more people with diabetes.
“The pandemic has underscored the urgency of addressing NCDs and their risk factors,” he noted.
Yvad Billings, Readers Bureau, Contributor
Edited by Jesus Chan
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