"Coronavirus is accelerating at a really scary rate," confirms WHO Special Envoy

28 July 2020, 17:11

WHO Special Envoy David Nabarro on the likelihood of a second wave in Europe

By Fiona Jones

World Health Organisation Special Envoy Professor David Nabarro told LBC coronavirus is accelerating "at a really scary rate" and confirmed that Europe is on the cusp of a second spike.

Professor David told Tom Swarbrick that Boris Johnson had "certainly" made the right decision to impose a 14 day quarantine for travellers from Spain.

The WHO Special Envoy told LBC: "There are going to be resurgences of this virus, we know that, we don't know where they're going to come from but we do know that they have the potential to build up super-fast. Certainly he had to do something."

Professor David reflected that the Prime Minister was right to warn a second wave is possible, although the term "wave" he felt was inaccurate; "I prefer to talk about spikes. You get spikes of disease coming really quickly, often they catch you unawares and that's because the virus hasn't gone away."

He confirmed that "as soon as people move around again the spikes will come" and "there will be a lot of them."

However each country's measurement of their cases is idiosyncratic: "There are not a nice set of agreed indicators that countries can use to compare experiences with each other.

"The World Health Organisation would like to encourage that but just at the moment countries are so busy working on their own issues they haven't really developed the mechanism."

Professor Nabarro insisted countries should ask for a "harmonised approach" to the pandemic and a standardised set of indicators.

"This thing is accelerating at a really scary rate and it's getting faster and faster, it's global. We're at the beginning of something the whole world is going to have to deal with, and the more that Britain...can show that's it's able to do this in a collective way, the better it will be for the rest of the world as well."

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