Ireland's Covid-19 data promising but 'dashboard of indicators' necessary, says WHO doctor

The World Health Organisation’s director-general for Covid-19, Dr David Nabarro has said that Ireland’s data in relation to the suppression of the virus is very promising.
Ireland's Covid-19 data promising but 'dashboard of indicators' necessary, says WHO doctor
File image.
File image.

The World Health Organisation’s director-general for Covid-19, Dr David Nabarro has said that Ireland’s data in relation to the suppression of the virus is very promising.

However, he warned that “a dashboard of indicators” was necessary to continue the fight against the virus.

Speaking on RTÉ radio’s News at One, Dr Nabarro explained that the ‘dashboard’ included the ability to isolate and track cases, how well hospitals were stocked and how well nursing homes were operating.

“It’s not just the number of cases, it’s how well prepared you are for a second wave.”

It was important for public health officials to be as open as possible so that people were aware of what was happening, he added.

The situation in the world was disturbing, said Dr Nabarro.

“I am really worried about the next six months.”

Some western countries have done very well, but in some parts of the world the virus was advancing, leaders who downplay the issue were a huge problem, he said.

“We need governments everywhere to be consistent.”

Dr Nabarro said he found it very hard to understand the rationale for US President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the WHO, especially at a time when the world was facing “the biggest health crisis we’ve ever known.”

Dr Nabarro also defended the WHO position on the possible transmission of the virus through airborne or aerosol connections. There wasn’t “a bundle of evidence” so it was right for the WHO to be extra careful.

“The implications are absolutely huge.”

The WHO could not come out with a position until there was more information, he said. It was important that the advice the WHO gives “is as good as we can make it” and could be updated.

In the meantime the evidence remained that the “vast majority” of transmission was via droplets so keeping the two metre rule was important, he said.

More in this section

Lunchtime News Wrap

A lunchtime summary of content highlights on the Irish Examiner website. Delivered at 1pm each day.

Sign up