The UN body makes a complete U-turn after advising the adoption of Chinese-style restrictive measures. WHO expert Dr David Nabarro says that restrictions could double poverty and child malnutrition. A group of scientists warn that current coronavirus policies will cause irreparable damage.
Geneva (AsiaNews) – Dr David Nabarro, a special envoy from the director general of the World Health Organisation (WHO) tasked to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, on Sunday made a complete U-turn, saying that lockdowns had to stop.
Since the outbreak of the coronavirus crisis, WHO had called for strong restrictive measures on the movement of people, effectively interrupting economic activities, in order to contain the spread of the disease. According to the organisation, China’s approach was the model to follow.
However, for many governments, the WHO covered up Beijing's errors in the early stages of the pandemic.
Heavy criticisms were levelled at its director general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, seen as "a puppet" of China for submitting to Beijing and going along with its tendency to hush up things.
Speaking to the The Spectator newspaper, Nabarro noted that the WHO recommended a lockdown only to buy time, in the event that a country must “reorganise, regroup, rebalance your resources, protect your health workers”.
He points out that tight restrictions imposed by governments have negatively impacted the global economy, especially damaging the poorest countries.
Due to the lockdowns, “we may well have a doubling of world poverty by next year. We may well have at least a doubling of child malnutrition.”
Once praised, extreme measures, such as China’s controls on people carried out with new technologies like artificial intelligence and big data, are now deemed unnecessary by the WHO. Instead, Dr Nabarro is advocating a new approach to containing the virus.
His message comes a few days after a petition was created, calling for an end to lockdowns. A group of scientists from prestigious universities like Harvard, Oxford and Stanford, promoters of the Great Barrington Declaration, explain that the anti-COVID-19 policies adopted by most countries are causing irreparable physical, mental and economic damage.