The World Health Organization (W.H.O.) cautioned Friday the coronavirus pandemic still has two years to run as it issued a directive for masks to be worn by those aged 12 and over.
Speaking in Geneva, W.H.O. chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the Spanish flu of 1918 had taken two years to overcome and there was little reason to doubt the coronavirus would have the same timeline.
“Of course with more connectiveness, the virus has a better chance of spreading,” he said, according to the BBC.
“But at the same time, we have also the technology to stop it, and the knowledge to stop it,” he noted in his latest decree, stressing the importance of “national unity, global solidarity.”
The flu of 1918 killed at least 50 million people.
Coronavirus has so far killed 800,000 people. Nearly 23 million infections have been recorded but the number of people who have actually had the virus is thought to be much higher due to inadequate testing and asymptomatic cases.
When (and if) it is finally conquered, Tedros has already outlined the world he longss to see, rebuilt along a manifesto published by the W.H.O. that defeats “economic inequality” and “the existential threat of climate change.”
Throughout history, outbreaks & pandemics have changed economies & societies. #COVID19 is no different, but it gives us a once-in-a-century opportunity to shape the world our children will inherit.pic.twitter.com/ojYoIgk3WG
— Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (@DrTedros) August 21, 2020
As Tedros warned of the long road ahead, the W.H.O. issued updated guidelines to be followed for children, as Reuters reports.
The U.N. body said children aged 12 and over should wear masks to help tackle the pandemic under the same conditions as adults, while children between six and 11 should wear them on a risk-based approach.
Children aged 12 and over should particularly wear a mask when a one-metre distance from others cannot be guaranteed and there is widespread transmission in the area, the W.H.O. and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said in a document on the W.H.O. website dated Aug. 21.
Whether children between six and 11 should wear masks depends on a number of factors, including the intensity of transmission in the area, the child’s ability to use the mask, access to masks and adequate adult supervision, the two organisations agreed.
Last week Tedros also took issue with what he calls “vaccine nationalism” and specified those he wants vaccinated first against the coronavirus, as Breitbart News reported.
He said “no one is safe until everyone is safe” from the virus and vaccines – not matter their country of origin – must be first sent to those the U.N. body declares are most in need.
“While there is a wish among leaders to protect their own people first, the response to this pandemic has to be collective,” he said at a twice-weekly media briefing.
“This is not charity, we have learned the hard way that the fastest way to end this pandemic and to reopen economies is to start by protecting the highest risk populations everywhere, rather than the entire populations of just some countries.”