Monday, 28 Sep 2020

Coronavirus: Britain is ‘moving ahead’ of COVID-19 as UK makes progress in virus battle

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Professor David Nabarro told BBC Newsnight that the World Health Organisation (WHO)’s ideal situation is a world where people will be able to live with COVID in society and get on with their lives. The WHO Special Envoy stated that the coronavirus will remain a constant threat but that progress is being made in limiting its impact on society. 

He said: “A situation where although there is still quite a lot of COVID circulating but there are not lots of really sick people coming to hospitals that is such good news.

“It almost certainly means that we are getting much better at detecting people with the virus quickly and bringing those under treatment if they need it rapidly.

“It also means that we may well be in a situation where we are moving ahead of the virus which is where we in the World Health Organisation want the whole world to be.

“We want to get to a situation where economies can get going, kids can get back to school, health services can function normally, despite the fact that we have got this virus sticking around as a constant threat.

“This is for me at least moving towards the ideal situation where we will be able to live with the COVID and get on with the rest of life.”

On Wednesday the World Health Organisation’s Special Envoy stated that Boris Johnson has displayed impressive leadership during this current phase of the coronavirus pandemic.

Professor Nabarro told LBC’s Iain Dale that the UK Government needs to consistently level with the British people and explain to them that the pandemic is going to be a long haul. 

He also stated the British people need to give each other time to come to terms with the impacts of the coronavirus crisis.

Mr Dale asked: “If you were Prime Minister, what is the one thing that you’d be doing now that the Government currently isn’t doing?”

The WHO Special Envoy replied: “I’m pretty impressed with what Britain is doing right now.

“I don’t want to comment on the past but I want to look forward.

“The thing that I would be doing all the time, consistently, is levelling with people and explaining to them that this is going to be a long haul.

“That it is up to us and that we all have to work together and pull together and bring different groups around the table particularly at local level.

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“Perhaps most importantly, we need to give each other a little bit of time to come to terms with what this new virus is going to mean for the way in which we all behave.”

At the time of writing, the UK has the twelfth-highest number of COVID-19 cases in the world. 

Between Britain and Northern Ireland, the country has recorded more than 307,000 coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic in March.

The death toll in the UK is currently over 46,000.

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