In a press briefing at Geneva, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO) called on the countries to strengthen the COVID-19 response. “This is a critical moment in the outbreak response. We urge every single leader to strengthen their response, put targeted measures in place that we know can suppress the spread, ensure that health systems and workers are protected, and saves lives.
For us all, the fastest way for us to get through this is to act together. If we all keep doing the basics: physical distancing, hand washing, mask wearing, coughing and sneezing safely away from others, avoiding crowds and keeping windows and doors open when you can’t meet friends and family outside – together, we will suppress this virus. And when we’re able to successfully control it, it’s important governments keep going – stay vigilant and be ready – and keep investing in your national health systems including contact tracing”, he remarked.
Tedros welcomed the $1 billion in new funding announced for the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, a collaboration to speed the development, production and equitable access to COVID-19 tests, treatments and vaccines.
Recalling that WHO approved its first antigen-based rapid diagnostic test for Emergency Use Listing, he said “these tests are simple”, providing reliable results in 15-30 minutes – rather than hours or days – at lower prices.