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Covid-19: WHO strategy is wrong for one third of the planet

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Publication date: 2020/04/06 23:14

Editorial

Dear readers,

As the founder and CEO of Smart News Agency, and as a former molecular biologist at the CNRS in France, I am feared and alarmed.

What we, at Smart News Agency, are exposing about the Covid-19 situation in Syria, is not an exception. About one third of the global urban population lives in slums, 2.5 billion people lack access to improved sanitation, 70 million people are forcibly displaced worldwide. All these people share the same problem with the pandemic: they cannot be confined at the individual level.

Without any doubt, the situation we are exposing in North East Syria is global. If the war in Syria is a nightmare for millions, it is also a reflection of the world. Every vulnerable population, all over the world, in the Brazilian favelas, the slums of India, or the Gaza Strip, but also in jails, IDP camps or dense rural villages, is in danger.

The current global strategy recommended by WHO is not affordable nor deployable in the above mentioned contexts. Flattening the curve of active cases is intended only to delay the number of concomitant serious and severe cases of Covid-19, to allow an existing and performant health care system to cope with them and save them from death. This is not an appropriate strategy for one third of the global population living in conditions where the contagion will spread like a wild fire.

By the time needed to raise health care capabilities accessible to these communities, or to find a suitable treatment, to start a vaccination campaign (when it will be available), or get a herd immunity, probably 70% to 90% of these population will have been infected.

There is an emergency to save the most vulnerable at first. All the WHO-recommended measures make sense only for the healthy people within this communities, not for the elderly, and the persons having pre-existing conditions making them vulnerable to SARS-CoV-2 infection, such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases or hypertension. A strategy protecting the most exposed to death risk within these communities is the only way to prevent the massacre.

I wanted to share with you a clip describing the situation of an IDP camp in Syria - would it be a poor neighborhood in San Francisco, the situation wouldn’t be pretty much different.

The shy solidarity shown by the UN and the international community to the abandoned communities all over the world is not sufficient. Provide the locals with massive and simple test capacities, with tents and with spaces or lands. Empower them. Give them a chance to cope with death. Let them do the rest.