| 5.9°C Dublin

'None of us are safe until all of us are safe' - WHO’s Dr Michael Ryan says that Covid-19 could spread again after restrictions lifted

Close

World Health Organisation (WHO) Health Emergencies Programme head Michael Ryan

World Health Organisation (WHO) Health Emergencies Programme head Michael Ryan

World Health Organisation (WHO) Health Emergencies Programme head Michael Ryan

A second wave of the coronavirus after life returns to normal “can happen” according to the executive director of emergency programmes at the World Health Organisation (WHO), Dr Michael Ryan.

Speaking on RTÉ's Sean O’Rourke show this morning, he said that it is possible that people can get infected with the coronavirus again after life returns to normal and facilities re-open.

He said that we have to be “exceptionally careful” when we chose to lift restrictions.

“There’s a huge trade off here between the pandemic and the economic and social activities for prosperity and for people to have work and do their jobs and get our societies moving again.

“But we have to be exceptionally careful in doing that."

In regards to the virus spreading again once things return to normal, he said that “it can happen”.

“If we’re lifting restrictions and transitioning into a more normal, steady state, we have to have in place the public health infrastructure to deal with the consequences of that.

“It’s perfectly acceptable if countries do that.”

On the question of a second wave of the coronavirus, he urged for global solidarity.

“We’ve seen in Singapore that now they’ve suppressed the infection, the vast majority of their cases in the last two weeks have been imported cases.

“What we all need to do, and this is about global solidarity and the G20 is meeting today and there’s a lot of pressure on global leaders - we all need to do this together at the same time,” he said.

He added that living restrictions need to be put in place everywhere to ensure there is no risk to being infected.

“There is no zero risk for Covid anywhere until we put the measures in everywhere.

“None of us is safe until all of us are safe,” he added.

He said that extending the life of protective equipment needs to be done “exceptionally carefully”.

“Extending the life of certain PPE is possible, re-use of PPE needs to be carefully considered.

"The best way forward is to rationalise the use, prioritise the use,” he added.

Online Editors