It is not time to relax or put our guard down during the COVID-19 pandemic, and put it under control through mass testing, detection of cases, their contacts and their isolation, said Fabio Scano, adviser to the World Health Organization (WHO) after his three-day stay in the country.
“What we see currently in North Macedonia is concerning. The lesson we should learn is that we must not relax or put our guard down until a vaccine is found. The actions taken these days, but also in the weeks and months to come, will be critically important in order prevent new infections and save human lives. My visit has come at the right time. What we see around the world points to the conclusion that the virus will not leave soon. On the contrary, it is spreading fast and taking lives. We should do everything to tackle it in a proactive way and be a step ahead of it,” said WHO adviser Scano.
According to Scano, the increased number ofCOVID-19 cases is something that can be put under control, primarily by respecting the protection measures, but also the introduction of targeted control measures, among which he pointed out the better management of mass gatherings.
“The lesson we should learn is that we must not relax or put our guard down until a vaccine is found. The response structures were in place even before the first case emerged. We are launching a large testing capacity that enables detection of patients in the early stages of the disease, turning health institutions into centers for treatment of COVID-19 patients, and early measures for protection of the elderly in nursing homes, for the purpose of preventing a big number of deaths as in other countries. We have full understanding that the socio-economic effects of the public health measures cause concern because they directly affect the people’s livelihoods,” said Scano.
Scano said the country is a good example in Europe on how to cope with COVID-19 and expressed assurance that the situation can be put under control. He is impressed by the sacrifice of the health workers, who are working tirelessly to protect citizens from COVID-19.