While the WHO proposes a mechanism against future pandemics, Spain, Italy, France, and Russia are backing down in easing after the increase in cases.
As European countries that apply new restrictions to the second wave of coronavirus increase, the World Health Organization ( WHO ) stressed that a new mechanism is needed to urge the world to act in the face of future pandemics and avoid the lack of initial reaction occurred in front of Covid-19.
The international emergency launched on January 30 by a disease called then Wuhan coronavirus “did not motivate countries to implement public health measures for Covid-19,” said British doctor Felicity Harvey when presenting the preliminary results of a study on the first four months of the outbreak.
In this way, the UN health body raised doubts about whether this type of emergency declaration is sufficient or whether new formulas must be used , stressed the head of the Independent Advisory Committee of the Emergency Program.
The WHO made the statements as a second wave of the pandemic continues to advance strongly in Europe, where many countries added restrictions to stop its spread.
In Italy , the Government will impose from this week the obligation to wear face masks in the open air throughout the country, by extending the decree of measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus in what it considers a “battle not yet won” against the pandemic.
Meanwhile, in Spain , after the partial closure of Madrid, last Friday, three other cities began today to imitate the capital with a similar measure to contain the advance of the outbreak.
These are León, Palencia and San Andrés de Rabanedo, cities that have 125,000, 79,000 and 30,000 inhabitants, respectively, and whose partial closures will last for at least two weeks, as well as Madrid and nine municipalities in its periphery.
The situation has also deteriorated in recent weeks in Russia , where on Tuesday the mayor of Moscow, Sergei Sobianin, warned that the number of cases in the capital is approaching a new peak with more than 1,000 hospitalized daily and announced new restrictions, such as the obligation to companies to have 30% of employees teleworking, after regretting that people do not comply with the current ones.
The Russian health authorities reported today 11,615 cases in the last 24 hours throughout the country, a figure that had not been reached since last May, to which must be added 188 deaths.
In France the situation is also alarming, 10,489 cases of coronavirus and 65 deaths were registered in the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of positives to 634,763 and 32,365 deaths, the latest official data that followed a worrying report according to which more than half of the people living in poverty in the capital Paris contracted the disease.
Following the deterioration of the situation in Europe, the local WHO office urged the governments of the continent to fight against the increasing fatigue of the population in the face of imposed restrictions.
“We have to respond to our needs with new and innovative means. Let us be creative and courageous to achieve this,” urged the WHO director for Europe, Hans Kluge in a statement.
The WHO Europe area , which includes 53 countries, including Russia, has more than 6.2 million official cases and about 241,000 deaths from the coronavirus, according to data from the organization.
Regarding the current fight against Covid-19, the director general of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, expressed his hope to achieve a vaccine by the end of this year, despite the fact that experts from the organization previously indicated that it may be necessary to wait until mid-2021.
“We need vaccines and there is hope that by the end of this year we can have one. Investing in them while using the tools that we already have at hand is important to have better results,” Tedros said.
In that sense, China – the original epicenter of the disease – today called for a “preliminary debate” with the agency so that it authorizes the vaccines developed in the Asian giant and can give the green light later to use them in other countries.
“Through this mechanism, we could facilitate the assessment of the quality, safety and efficacy of these vaccines that may be available for us to authorize in other countries,” explained the WHO essential medicines coordinator in the region of the Western Pacific, Socorro Escalante.
China has five possible vaccines against Covid-19 in the last phase of clinical trials: four are developed entirely by national companies and the fifth is a collaboration between the Chinese Fosun, the German Biontech and the American Pfizer.