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Many have raised their eyebrows due to the statement made by the World Health Organization (WHO). Several individuals are protesting online that WHO has backtracked its advice on lockdowns due to the coronavirus. The organization has now “admitted” COVID-19 lockdowns are harmful.
“We in the World Health Organization do not advocate lockdowns as the primary means of control of this virus.”Dr. David Nabarro, WHO special envoy on COVID-19
Politicians are amongst the crowd who are criticizing the World Health Organization due to the statement. Take Maxime Bernier, a former Member of the Canadian Parliament, as an example. He tweeted that they were labeled “selfish conspiracy nuts by public health officials and the mainstream media” to oppose lockdowns.
Also, it’s noteworthy that Trump has tweeted that “the World Health Organization just admitted that [he] was right.”
However, most people are taking this statement out of context. Bear in mind that Nabarro did not disregard lockdowns as a way of controlling the coronavirus. He merely stated that it is not the prime means to curb the virus.
“[Lockdowns are implemented] to reorganize, regroup, rebalance your resources, protect your health workers who are exhausted.”Dr. David Nabarro
Dr. Nabarro also stressed that enforcing lockdowns are “making poor people an awful lot poorer.” He further expressed that lockdowns have two primary effects. One is the economic burden on small countries relying heavily on tourism, and the other is the escalating poverty levels.
Community and national lockdowns became a trend with countries attempting to control the spread of the virus. Several nations have stricter protocols than others, like Spain, where people could only leave their house to walk their pets.
Nabarro only talked about a lockdown’s negative repercussions if implemented for a more extended period throughout his interview. Indeed, those remarks are reasonable, but where is the backtracking?
Nabarro didn’t say anything new per se. Moreover, he didn’t say that political leaders should not use lockdowns. The special envoy only restated something WHO and various public experts had stated in the past. In tackling the coronavirus, governments need to conduct different interventions and strategies.
“We really do appeal to all world leaders, stop using lockdown as your primary method of control… [World leaders need to] develop better systems for doing it [and] work together and learn from each other.”Dr. Nabarro
Governments need to create a balance between constraints and giving their constituents an everyday life in the “new normal.”