WHO director-General, Tedros Ghebreyesus

Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, the Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO) said several vaccines are now in phase three clinical trials to prevent COVID-19 pandemic.

Ghebreyesus made this known at a virtual news conference on Monday at the WHO Headquarters in Geneva.

The director-general said: “ We all hope to have some effective vaccines that can help prevent people from infection.

“However, there’s no silver bullet at the moment and there might never be; for now, stopping outbreaks comes down to the basics of public health and disease control.

“Testing, isolating and treating patients, tracing and quarantining their contacts. Do it all.

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“Inform, empower and listen to communities. Do it all.

“For individuals, it’s about keeping physical distance, wearing a mask, cleaning hands regularly and coughing safely away from others. Do it all.’’

Ghebreyesus said the message to people and governments was clear: “Do it all, and when it’s under control, keep going! Keep strengthening the health system.

“Keep improving surveillance, contact tracing and ensure disrupted healthcare services are restarted as quickly as possible.

“Keep safeguards and monitoring in place, because lifting restrictions too quickly can lead to resurgence.

“Keep investing in the workforce and communicating and engaging communities.

“We have seen around the world, that it’s never too late to turn this pandemic around,’’ he said.

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According to him, if we act together today, we can save lives, we can save livelihoods if we do it all together.