WHO Urges Spain Against Rapid Reopening and Lifting of Restrictions.
CATHERINE SMALLWOOD, the Head of Emergencies for the World Health Organisation, speaking today (February 11), has expressly referred to Spain as an example of a country where, although there is a “relative decrease” in infections, transmissions of the virus continue to be “very high” meaning that the country should NOT lift current restrictions.
“Relative reductions do not mean that transmission rates are low. In Spain, we see a very significant relative fall, but transmission rates remain very high,” said Smallwood.
The WHO expert has highlighted that Sars-CoV2 benefits from any opportunity it has to be transmitted and that each time a restriction is lifted, the balance changes in its favour.
Spain, along with many other countries in Europe, should not react with “hasty” reopenings. “The reopening has to be gradual”, the WHO’s Hans Kluge said. The WHO believes that “right now the vast majority of European countries continue to be vulnerable,” he added.
During the appearance of the WHO-Europe, based in Copenhagen, it was reported that 35 countries in the region have expanded the genetic sequencing of the virus, a determining factor in identifying new mutations of the virus.
The South African more contagious variant has been detected in 17 nations, although without widespread community transmission.
The number of doses of the vaccine supplied already exceeds the number of cases (41 million by 36 million), but the WHO has nevertheless warned that 29 of the 37 countries that have started vaccination have already put the two doses at 7.4 million people, which is equivalent to only 1.5 per cent of its total population.
“Vaccinations will reduce transmission” Kluge added before urging European countries to “accelerate” vaccinations and maintain measures against covid-19. The WHO has called for “strengthening the health system” to increase the tracking and isolation of those infected long term.
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