Lockdowns Alone Won’t Halt The Spread Of COVID-19: WHO

The square in front of Duomo Gothic Cathedral in Milan; Italy will tighten the lockdown to fight the rampaging spread of COVID-19 | AP

New York– With the outbreak of COVID-19, many states and territories around the world have imposed measures such as lockdowns to avoid spreading the pandemic.

The World Health Organization’s top emergency expert said on Sunday that countries could not simply lockdown their societies to defeat the coronavirus.

He said that there needs to be public health measures to avoid a resurgence of the virus afterwards.

“The danger right now with the lockdowns… if we don’t put in place strong public health measures now, when those movement restrictions and lockdowns are lifted, the danger is the disease will jump back up,” said Mike Ryan, chief executive director of the WHO Health Emergencies Programme that has been tasked with the international containment and treatment of COVID-19.

“What we really need to focus on is finding those who are sick, those who have the virus, and isolate them, find their contacts and isolate them,” Ryan said in an interview on the BBC’s The Andrew Marr Show.

The first lockdown experiment was done in Hubei, the original epicentre of the outbreak, which included the industrial hub of Wuhan, a city of 11 million people. The virus started spreading in December 2019 in Wuhan, and starting January 23, 2020, the Chinese government declared a lockdown. Nearby cities were also brought under lockdown. It took nearly two months to ease the strict lockdown restrictions as zero locally transmitted coronavirus cases emerged in the province. Now, experts say that China could have achieved the same result without such aggressive stance to fight the coronavirus.

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