The World Health Organization warns that while attention has shifted to epicenters in Western Europe and North America, COVID-19 epidemics are far from over in Asia and the Pacific.
Urging governments at all levels in the region to stay engaged in efforts to combat the virus, WHO Regional Director for the Western Pacific, Dr. Takeshi Kasai says, “This is going to be a long-term battle and we cannot let down our guard. We need every country to keep responding according to their local situation.”
He said the WHO realizes there is no one-size-fits-all approach but there are common tactics.
Those are: finding, isolating and testing case early, tracing and quarantining contact quickly, and putting in place multiple public health interventions to place physical distance between people to slow and stop transmission. Takeshi also cautioned that countries still need to prepare for large-scale community transmission.
We need to be clear that even with all of these measures, the risk will not go away as long as the pandemic continues. Rather, these measures can buy us valuable time to prepare, he said.