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‘Continue to follow COVID-19 precautionary measures even as restrictions being eased’

‘Continue to follow COVID-19 precautionary 
measures even as restrictions being eased’

As the phase 2 of the gradual lifting of restrictions imposed due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) kicked off on Wednesday, there is a real risk that the number of positive cases may continue to rise, even in countries where the the situation now seems to be stabilising. Therefore, people should continue to observe the precautionary measures, World Health Organization (WHO) officials have said.
Speaking at a remote press conference for WHO Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office on Wednesday July 1, the officials said people and governments should continue with all the precautionary measures to limit the spread of the virus.
The press conference was addressed by WHO Regional Director Dr Ahmed Al Mandhari, Head of the Infectious Hazard Management Programme at the WHO Regional Office Dr Abdinasir Abubakar and Director of Programme Management at the WHO Regional Office Dr Rana Hajjeh.
The officials urged people leaving homes for the first time in months to be more cautious and follow the precautionary measures recommended by the health authorities.
On a different note, Dr Abubakar said WHO was already coordinating all efforts to develop and produce effective and safe vaccines and drugs for COVID-19 whether in private or public sector through research and development programme.
H said, “WHO at the beginning of COVID-19 had established this coordination mechanism where all public and private institutions as well as member states joined hands with WHO to make sure that these efforts are coordinated and are properly monitored on how it is progressing. WHO is currently sponsoring solidarity trials for new drugs, diagnostic as well as a vaccine. WHO ensures that all new drugs that are currently in trial actually follow the international standards.
“So far, some medicines as well as vaccines that have a potential to be effective have already been identified and WHO is working with the manufacturers as well as the developers to make sure that proper clinical trials according to the international standards are followed to make sure that the outcome can be used and applied globally. WHO is making all efforts to bring all those developers and countries together to make sure that we share the information and come out with a good product.”
He added that, so far, WHO has reviewed 50,000 genome sequences in which the member states have shared. As of Wednesday, there is no evidence that any of the mutation that has been observed on the coronavirus has affected the virus transmissibility and the disease in the human.
Dr Abubakar said, “There is no evidence for any mutation that has been observed in the virus. And this clearly shows that there is no change for the virus transmissibility as well as the disease in the human. Nevertheless, I would like to reiterate again that WHO as well as experts and scientific community are monitoring the mutation in the virus through extensive sequencing and viral genomic as well.
“We are working with member states, the academia and labs to make sure that we detect and identify as soon as there is any mutation but so far no any mutation has been observed.”