“We, from the World Health Organization (WHO), do not advocate confinement as the main means of controlling this virus.”
When the WHO special envoy for COVID-19, the British David Nabarro, expressed himself in this way in an interview with The Spectator magazine, he certainly did not imagine the storm that his words would produce.
“Confinements have a consequence that we must never underestimate: they make the poor much poorer,” said Nabarro.
Lockdowns have caused massive disruption around the world – destroying jobs, affecting people’s health and taking children out of school – but they have controlled the virus.
“The ultimate puzzle is how to maintain control, while minimising daily disruption,” says Dr Kucharski.
Nobody is 100% sure how far we can go. That is why measures are being lifted in stages and new ways of controlling coronavirus are being introduced, such as contact tracing or face coverings.
Shortly thereafter, numerous media and personalities began to report that WHO had withdrawn in support of the confinements. The President of the United States, Donald Trump, went so far as to claim that the organization was agreeing with him.
“The World Health Organization has just admitted that I was right. Confinements are killing countries all over the world. The cure cannot be worse than the problem (…). A long battle, but they finally did the thing right, “Trump said on Monday through his Twitter account.
The position of the American president is the same as that of the Brazilian president, Jair Bolsonaro (without a party), who has repeatedly criticized the social isolation measures adopted by states and cities in the country, warning that the economic losses could be worse than the impacts of the pandemic itself. .
At a meeting with farmers in September, the president said that the defenses against the need for isolation were “soft talk”. “This is for the weak. The virus, I always said, was a reality, and we had to face it. Nothing to be cowed by what we cannot escape from it,” said Bolsonaro
In most of Brazil, milder isolation measures have been adopted, but in cities in some states, periods of confinement have been applied by determination of Justice or by decision of mayors or governors.
In response to this, the Bolsonaro government issued a provisional measure to focus on the federal executive the power to establish rules on this matter. The issue ended up in the Supreme Court, which ruled that states and municipalities had the autonomy to determine isolation measures.