At the end of last week, Dr. Michael Ryan, executive director of the World Health Organization’s Health Emergency Program, said at a press conference that there may be situations in the near future where thetotal isolation and blocking of any activity they will be the only possible option for some countries.
The director general of the WHO, dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, a day earlier had declared that «the virus can be brought under control», But a surge of the contagions would seem to indicate that« the virus is not under control, it is getting worse ». Last Friday, Tedros said that the number of cases registered in countries around the world has doubled in six weeks.
In comments also reported by some news channels such as CBS News, Dr. Ryan said “in our current situation it is very unlikely that we can eradicate or eliminate this virus”, indicating the new wave of infections as the potential start of future huge outbreaks .
«There are very particular environments in which everything can happen, island states and other places, these areas of the world are at risk of starting again with new infectionsRyan said.
Again according to Ryan: «A pattern that worries us most is constituted by large groups of cases that could occur in association with events in which the diffusion is maximum, events in which large crowds gather».
«Each country should aim to suppress “small embers” or the first signs of new outbreaks before the virus hits again, behaving like a big fire spreading in a forestRyan added.
WHO experts are concerned about the ease with which the virus can spread, for the first time it has been found that coronavirus can be transmitted through aerosols.
The open letter written by over 200 scientists addressed to the WHO
The updated information came after hundreds of scientists drafted an open letter to the WHO asking to change the agency’s position on the mode of transmission. In the letter (read the full text in PDF) signed by over 200 scientists it is stated that the virus is able to spread thanks to micro-drops that come released into the air by infected people is that they can move in the air even one about ten meters before falling to the ground.
Studies conducted by both the signatories of the letter and other scientists have shown beyond any reasonable doubt that viruses are released during exhalation, while talking and coughing, the microgocce I’m enough small gives to float in aria and can thus represent a risk of exposure to the virus a distances greater than 1 or 2 meters from an infected individual.
WHO’s response to the open letter
WHO officials immediately changed the document drafted for the first time in March this year to include the possibility that the virus could be transmitted through aerosols.
Since the virus first registered in December 2019, it has infected over 12.5 million people and has so far killed at least 560,921 people worldwide, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
In a WHO report on the situation published on July 10, scientists say that more than half of the total cases identified worldwide are in the Americas, where at least 20 South American countries struggle against poverty, weak infrastructure and inadequate health systems to cope. the worsening of the situation that saw millions of people infected in early July.
In the United States of America, governors of various states began to reopen all activities in May despite the opposition from public health experts. The administrators of the regions previously affected also hard (like New York City for example) by coronavirus have seen in the decrease of infections and hospitalizations of encouraging indicators on the progress of the spread of the virus.
However, in states such as Arizona, California, Texas and Florida there has been an increase in people tested positive for coronavirus, while the average daily coronavirus-related deaths increased last week in the United States to more than 600 for three consecutive days.
Finally, according to the scientists who signed the open letter le measures to be taken to mitigate the risk of airborne transmission of coronavirus in indoor locations They include:
- provide sufficient and effective ventilation (provide clean outdoor air, minimize recirculated air) especially in public buildings, workplaces, schools, hospitals and nursing homes for the elderly.
- Prepare gods controls in ventilation systems for airborne infections as local drains, air filters high efficiency e germicidal ultraviolet lights.
- Avoid overcrowding, especially in public transport and public buildings.