by Catherine Smith
A World Health Organization (WHO) official urged world leaders this week to stop “using lockdowns as your primary control method” to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, The Daily Caller reports.
The statement has prompted questions about whether the WHO has backflipped on its advice, after they previously advised against lifting lockdown restrictions too quickly. Back in June, Dr. Michael Ryan, executive director of WHO’s Health Emergencies Program, explained, “We all want to avoid whole countries going back into total lockdown, that is not a desire anybody has,” continuing, “But there may be situations in which that is the only option.”
The latest advice about strict lockdowns started after Dr. David Nabarro, the WHO’s special envoy on COVID-19 said they should not be used as the primary method of control.
Dr. Nabarro made the statements in an interview with The Spectator’s Andrew Neil, Nabarro explained, “We in the World Health Organization do not advocate lockdowns as the primary means of control of this virus.”
“The only time we believe that a lockdown is justified, is to buy you time to reorganize, regroup, rebalance your resources, protect your health workers who are exhausted, but by and large, we’d rather not do it,” he said.
Nabarro continued to highlight some of the negative global impacts of the lockdowns, noting how poorer economies have been greatly affected.
“Just look at what’s happened to the tourism industry, for example, in the Caribbean, or in the Pacific because people aren’t taking their holidays,” he said. “Look what’s happened to smallholder farmers all over the world.”
“Look what’s happening to poverty levels, it seems that we may well have a doubling of world poverty, by next year,” he added. “We may well at least have a doubling of child malnutrition because children are not getting meals at school.”
Instead, Dr. Nabarro suggested another approach to contain and stop the spread of the virus.
“We really do appeal to all world leaders, stop using lockdown as your primary control method. Develop better systems for doing it. Work together, and learn from each other, but remember, lockdowns just have one consequence that you must never ever belittle, and that is making poor people an awful lot poorer.”
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