The World Health Organisation (WHO) says the South African government is on the right track in its battle against coronavirus by simply listening to the people.
South Africa introduced a lockdown early to contain the spread of the virus and to date has reported 4793 cases and 90 deaths.
The number is low in comparison with other European countries and the US. Worldwide the number of cases now exceeds 3 million with more than 209 000 deaths reported.
WHO Director-General, Tedros Ghebreyesus, said at a media briefing that the South African government has received close to 70 000 emails from concerned citizens.
“I got the information that there are now 69 600 emails received from citizens …I think this type of listening to communities, listening to their concerns, listening to their inputs can really help to defeat COVID-19 the solution is making it everybody’s business,” says Ghebreyesus.
— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) April 27, 2020
The WHO Head of Emergencies, Doctor Mike Ryan, has warned that Southern hemisphere countries such as South Africa, Chile, Argentina and Australia need support to manage both seasonal influenza and COVID-19.
He says lessons learned from countries that have both diseases circulating at the same time will benefit countries in the northern hemisphere that may face the same situation in six months’ time.
Ryan also warned against lifting lockdown regulations too soon.
“If you release the pressure and in a sense, the public health the social measures the lockdowns have created huge pressure on the virus they’re preventing the virus finding new victims and in doing that you’re putting that pressure on the virus capacity to survive and I think its fairly logical that if you lift that pressure too quickly the virus can jump back and we don’t know how quickly and we don’t know for sure which are the measures will result in a successful exit strategy.
Below are South African government stages of easing the lockdown regulations:
The World Health Organisation has advised people to take the seasonal flu vaccine even in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.
As the world marks world immunisation week, WHO has warned that millions of children are missing out on lifesaving vaccines because of the disruption of healthcare services due to COVID-19. This could lead to the resurgence of diseases such as polio and measles.
“But there are still more than 13 million children around the world who miss out on vaccination we know that the number will increase because of COVID-19 with the start of the southern hemisphere flu season its vital that everyone gets their seasonal flu vaccine and myth and information about vaccines are adding fuel to the fire putting vulnerable people at risk, ” says Ryan.