Covid-19: Take each positive case seriously, WHO says

The UN health body said preventive measures are an 'absolute must'

Reuters file
Reuters file


Published: Sat 8 Jan 2022, 12:56 PM

Last updated: Sat 8 Jan 2022, 11:46 PM

The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Saturday urged strict implementation of Covid appropriate behaviour as coronavirus infections rose in most Southeast Asian nations, with some seeing an exponential rise.

“All preventive and protective measures must be implemented with full earnestness by one and all. Authorities must implement situation-specific measures to arrest the further spread of the virus. People must adhere to these measures. Masks, hand hygiene, cough etiquette, ventilation, and physical distancing is an absolute must,” said Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, regional director, WHO, Southeast Asia region.

She said that though the Omicron variant of the virus appears to be milder, it should not be overlooked. This highly contagious form, which has emerged as the most common, is already overwhelming health systems throughout the world and Omicron is causing illness and fatalities over the world, she added.

“We must also not forget that not every Covid-19 case is an Omicron infection. Other variants, including Delta, are also circulating, which, as we know cause severe infections and deaths,” Dr Singh said.

She urged people to take each positive Covid-19 case seriously. She informed the public that the Covid-19 virus spreads mostly among persons who are in close proximity to one another, such as at a conversational distance but the virus can also spread in a crowded or poorly ventilated indoor environment.

Because contagious persons don’t usually show symptoms or realise they’re harbouring the virus, it’s critical to promote proper ventilation by opening windows and doors whenever feasible when sharing an interior environment with others, she alerted.

She also pointed out that It is critical that individuals wear well-fitting masks and avoid crowds and large gatherings, among other precautions.

Another important Covid-19 preventative approach is to increase Covid-19 vaccine coverage, and all efforts must continue to guarantee that the high-risk group is covered as soon as possible, Singh said.


People must continue to take all preventative and protective measures even after being completely vaccinated, she added.

She cautioned people and said that to preserve lives, we must keep our healthcare systems from being overburdened as an overcrowded health system would be unable to save lives from Covid-19-related fatalities, as well as provide necessary treatments to save lives from other conditions that may need surgery and immediate critical care.

“It’s time to do all we can, to arrest the current surge,” Dr Singh said.

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