Keeping int`l borders shut to thwart COVID-19 not sustainable: WHO
Published: 11:20 AM, 28 July 2020
Urging countries to adopt comprehensive strategies based on local knowledge of where COVID-19 is spreading, the World Health Organization on Monday said that keeping borders closed to halt the spread of the virus is unsustainable.
In a virtual briefing in Geneva, WHO emergencies director Michael Ryan said, "Continuing to keep international borders sealed is not necessarily a sustainable strategy for the world's economy, for the world's poor, or for anybody else."
"It is going to be almost impossible for individual countries to keep their borders shut for the foreseeable future," he said, pointing out that "economies have to open up, people have to work, trade has to resume."
He acknowledged that when it comes to COVID-19, it is impossible to have a "global one size fits all policy" because outbreaks are developing differently in different countries.
While countries with rampant community transmission may need to use the blunt instrument of lockdowns to gain control of the situation, others should be burrowing down to get a clear overview of where and how the virus is spreading at a local level.
They should be prepared to tighten or loosen measures accordingly, he said, warning against "releasing pressure" on the virus, which has killed 656,649 people and infected 16,650,570 worldwide.
"Release pressure on the virus and the numbers can creep back up."
"Our new normal includes physical distancing from others, (and) wearing masks where appropriate," she said.
"Our new normal includes us knowing where this virus is each and every day, where we live, where we work, where we want to travel." -CBS News