World Health Organization says 'test, test, test'


  • Heather Mason
  • Univadis Medical News
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The rapid escalation of COVID-19 cases continues. The number of cases and deaths in the rest of the world now exceed China.
 
Social distancing measures such as school closures and cancellation of sporting events and other gatherings have been employed in many countries. This can help to reduce transmission and thereby help the healthcare systems to cope. However, there has not been enough escalation in testing, isolation and contact tracing.
 
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus  calls for all countries to take a comprehensive approach. To prevent infections and save lives, we must break the chain of COVID-19 transmission and to do this we must test ALL suspected cases and isolate. The key message is “test, test, test”.
 
All confirmed cases should be isolated in health facilities to prevent transmission, however, many countries have already exceeded their capacity. New clinical guidance has been published, with specific details on caring for children, older people and pregnant women.
 
As the virus moves to low-income countries, the WHO is deeply concerned about the impact among populations with high HIV prevalence or malnourished children.

A new COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund has been set up to raise funds to help countries respond to the pandemic. It has already raised $19 million.