Editorial: Lock & key

Some countries have seen upticks in COVID-19 cases as lockdowns ease, and populations must protect themselves from the coronavirus while authorities continue testing.

They say that they still have a long way to go in this pandemic. All are very concerned about rising cases in low- and middle-income countries.

The epicentre of the pandemic is currently in countries of Central, South and North America, particularly the United States, WHO spokeswoman Margaret Harris said.

On upticks (in cases), yes we have seen in countries around the world – I’m not talking specifically about Europe – when the lockdowns ease, when the social distancing measures ease, people sometimes interpret this as ‘OK, it’s over’, Harris told a UN briefing in Geneva. “It’s not over. It’s not over until there is no virus anywhere in the world,” she said.

“It is important to put this on the table: this virus may become just another endemic virus in our communities, and this virus may never go away,” said a senior member of WHO.

“HIV has not gone away – but we have come to terms with the virus”, he said. There are currently more than 100 potential vaccines in development. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stressed it was still possible to control the virus, with effort.

“The trajectory is in our hands, and it’s everybody’s business, and we should all contribute to stop this pandemic,” he said. It’s time for collective efforts.


NT Bureau