“There will be no return to the old normal for the foreseeable future,” WHO director-general says

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization, said Monday “There will be no return to the old normal for the foreseeable future.”

Speaking at a media briefing in Geneva, he added, “But there is a roadmap to a situation where we can control the disease and get on with our lives.”

“We need to reach a sustainable situation where we do have adequate control of this virus without shutting down our lives entirely or lurching from lockdown to lockdown,” he said.

In order to get to this place, Tedros said that three things would be required. These are a focus on reducing mortality and suppressing transmission; an “empowered, engaged community” that takes individual measures to protect the whole community; and strong government leadership and communication.

“It can be done. It must be done,” Tedros said.

Tedros said that there are no shortcuts out of this pandemic, and that while we hope for an effective vaccine, there must be a focus on using the tools that are available now to suppress transmission and save lives.