World Health Organization director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Monday they would be releasing its guide Tuesday to help countries properly and safely scroll back various measures put in place to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. He said it includes ensuring infections are controlled, and that health system capacities are in place to detect, isolate and treat patients and trace every contact. He added that another important step will be minimizing outbreak risks in certain settings like long-term care homes.
Ghebreyesus said with some countries looking at reducing stay-at-home orders and physical distancing rules, he stressed it must be done slowly and only with proper public health measures in place. He said this includes having a significant capacity for contact tracing.
Asked about reports that U.S. President Donald Trump and other officials have said the World Health Organization was late in terms of response to possible human-to-human transmission of COVID-19, technical lead Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove said Monday they provided guidance on how the virus could be transmitted through droplet and contact transmission on Jan. 10 and 11. She said the WHO also put out a readiness checklist and a disease commodity package listing materials needed to detect and care for cases.
When asked about a report that Trump plans to cut funding for WHO, the organization’s director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that he spoke with the president recently and that the relationship was “very good” and hoped it would continue.
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