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WHO COVID envoy fears third wave, calls Europe response incomplete

Published by The Nation on Sun, 22 Nov 2020


A World Health Organisation (WHO) special COVID-19 envoy predicted a third wave of the pandemic in Europe in early 2021, if governments repeat what he said was a failure to do what was needed to prevent the second wave of infections.They missed building up the necessary infrastructure during the summer months, after they brought the first wave under the control, the WHOs David Nabarro said in an interview with Swiss newspapers.Now we have the second wave. If they dont build the necessary infrastructure, well have a third wave early next year, said Nabarro, a Briton who campaigned unsuccessfully to become the WHO director general in 2017.Europe briefly enjoyed sinking infection rates that are now surging again: Germany and France on Saturday saw cases rise by 33,000 combined, Switzerland and Austria have thousands of cases daily, while Turkey reported a record 5,532 new infections.Nabarro singled out Switzerlands move to allow skiingwith masks required in gondolasas other Alpine nations like Austria have shuttered resorts.Read Also:WHO warns against use of remdesivir for patientsNabarro said Switzerland could reach a very high level of sicknesses and deaths.Once the infection rates sink, and they will sink, then we can be as free as we want, Nabarro was quoted as saying by the Solothurner Zeitung.But right now' Should ski resorts open' Under what conditions'Nabarro lauded the response of Asian countries like South Korea, where infections are now relatively low: People are fully engaged, they take on behaviours that make it difficult for the virus.They keep their distance, wear masks, isolate when theyre sick, wash hands and surfaces. They protect the most endangered groups.Nabarro also said Asia did not relax restrictions prematurely.You must wait until case numbers are low and stay low, he said. Europes reaction was incomplete. (Reuters/NAN)
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