WHO urges focus on first wave of coronavirus

July 03, 2020
Mountainside Fitness posts their safety guidelines as the facility remains open even as Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has issued an executive order for all gyms to close due to the surge in coronavirus cases in Arizona Thursday, July 2, 2020, in Phoenix. For the third straight day, several health clubs in metro Phoenix were defying Ducey's 30-day shutdown order to close gyms, bars, water park and tubing businesses, raising questions about whether officials who have been criticized for responding indecisively to the pandemic will be effective in shutting down the clubs. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

GENEVA — The World Health Organization’s emergencies chief says “we need to put up a fight now” during a peak in the current wave of the coronavirus pandemic — rather than focusing on when a second wave might come.

Dr. Michael Ryan said the world will be much better at fighting a second wave, if people can learn the lessons of fighting the first wave.

WHO officials emphasized mask-wearing, social distancing, and hygiene by individuals, along with contact-tracing and tracking of cases by health authorities as key strategies to fight the virus. They say governments and individuals should contour their policies and behavior based on the outbreak’s status in their countries.

Ryan said the world was experiencing a “second peak in the first wave” — a situation in which the virus hasn’t been suppressed enough to quell transmission to end the first one.

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