WHO Special Envoy shares best practice for preventing spread of Covid-19 at protests

6 June 2020, 12:06 | Updated: 6 June 2020, 14:10

By Seán Hickey

Wearing masks, maintaining social distancing and avoiding singing and shouting are some ways protesters can prevent spreading Covid-19.

Whether or not social distancing will be practiced at Black Lives Matter demonstrations across the UK this weekend has been a subject for debate in advance of protests. A special adviser to the World Health Organisation on coronavirus briefed LBC listeners on how protesters can demonstrate without spreading the virus.

Dr David Nabarro is Special Envoy to the World Health Organisation on Covid-19 and he was speaking to Matt Frei in advance of Black Lives Matter protests set to take place across the country this weekend.

Matt asked the medical expert "would you tell your own children to go to the march or stay home" and the Special Envoy insisted that he would tell his children "of course you go because that matters."

The guidance Mr Nabarro offered to protesters was that they "wear a mask and you don't take it off" adding another important aspect is to "keep physical distance from others." Dr Navarro went on to explain that people need to check in with their health before committing to attending the protests, warning that if someone feels ill and still goes to the protests they "are a threat to other people."

The WHO adviser sympathised with police who will come in contact with potentially thousands of people today, telling people who may be going to protests that "we've got to look out for those we are in contact with as we move around."

The WHO adviser gave instructions on how demonstrations can be carried out safely
The WHO adviser gave instructions on how demonstrations can be carried out safely. Picture: PA

Dr Nabarro told Matt that people have "got to be thinking of other people" during today's demonstrations and all safety measures are taken with the health and wellbeing of other people in mind.

He was sure to stress the importance of wearing protective equipment during the commute to and from demonstrations, reminding Matt that the "risk is five or six times greater in a confined area" such as a bus or a train.

"It's up to us how we are to cope with this virus" the WHO Special Envoy said and told listeners that protesters today must be responsible for both themselves "and responsible for others at the same time."

Dr Nabarro told Matt that as lockdown is eased in the UK "we have to work through and evaluate for ourselves" what is and isn't safe, as we take in mind scientific and government advice. He encouraged listeners to "work out the right thing to do" in their day to day lives by keeping in mind social distancing guidelines and scientific information in an effort to protect themselves and others.

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