Health, Humanitarian Emergencies, Multimedia, Video

How do we get out of lockdown?

Jul 3 2020 -  

Dr David Nabarro is a Special Envoy of World Health Organization Director-General on COVID-19, Co-Director of the Imperial College Institute of Global Health Innovation at the Imperial College London and Strategic Director of 4SD. His Narratives are being written with the 4SD team to help readers to make sense of the fast-evolving pandemic and its multiple consequences and to identify the questions to consider when making decisions about measures to contain and suppress outbreaks. They provide readers with insight from David’s leadership and continuous learning, as a public health and development professional with over 40 years’ experience across many countries and contexts, as we navigate this complex, multi-faceted crisis.

Video production: A very special thanks to Arti Jain, BJ Golnick, Jeffrey Daniels, Derek Owen, Undivided Attention, Brothers Golnick Productions.

The COVID-19 pandemic is a global emergency caused by a new coronavirus that requires a coordinated global response. Large-scale outbreaks have led to many needing hospital-care. As health care workers are struggling to cope with the rapidly accelerating demands on them whilst trying to keep themselves safe, hospitals are quickly overwhelmed.

Extraordinary efforts are underway to limit outbreaks by interrupting transmission from person to person. This involves detecting and isolating those with the disease, so they are not able to infect others. Small outbreaks require prompt action at the community level and are much easier to suppress than those that have become intense with widespread community transmission.

If outbreaks are being detected early through community-level public health action, lockdowns will be a short and sharp shock to society. Containing larger outbreaks may call for several weeks of enforced physical distancing and varying degrees of lockdown: this will lead to a longer and more drawn-out process. All of these challenges provoke strains in our systems: stress among staff, personal anxiety, financial challenges and logistical difficulties. All will need to be relieved.

While containment of COVID-19 requires that people the world over physically distance themselves from each other, social cohesion and connectedness are more important than ever to ensure that we come together to be part of the response.

Source: 4SD Sustainable Development

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