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As scientists race to produce Covid-19 vaccine, WHO urges frequent hand-washing

By Analou De Vera

An official of the World Health Organization (WHO) has reminded the public anew to always practice basic protective measures as these are important when it comes to preventing the spread of diseases.

Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe (WHO Philippines official facebook page/ MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe (WHO Philippines official facebook page/ MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

WHO Country Representative Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe emphasized the importance of frequent hand-washing, maintaining social distancing, and cough etiquette following the health concerns brought about by the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-19).

“We have tried and tested measures that have been proven to be effective in controlling and preventing the spread of previous coronavirus diseases, and that is the basis on which we continue to advocate for personal hygiene, cough etiquette, and ensuring that you do social distancing if you have the (flu-like) symptoms,” said Abeyasinghe.

WHO-Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that a possible vaccine for the Covid-19 might be available in 18 months.

“We welcome the research community to develop the vaccine. But as our DG (director-general) mentioned, it is expected to take 18 months (to develop). So in the meantime, we need to do what we know works,” said Abeyasinghe.

“These measures have been clearly shown to be effective,” he noted.

Abeyasinghe said that the recent advisory of the Department of Health that urges the public to avoid attending public gatherings for the time being was “an accepted measure.”

“It’s an internal matter that the government has decided. As you are aware to the best of our knowledge, there is no community level transmission in the Philippines. But taking measures to prevent the congregation of large of people is an accepted measure,” said the WHO official.

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