Mr. Bill Gates, Chairman, Microsoft Corporation

How to stop COVID-19, reopen global economies ─Bill Gates

* Microsoft Chief compares pandemic to a war

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

On practical measures that the world leaders need to decisively take in order to stop the COVID-19 pandemic, and reopen their economies, American billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates has outlined a number of recommendations to overcome the raging virus.

In a recent blog post, Gates, a business executive and Chairman of Microsoft Corporation, the leading computer software company in the United States, said the world must advance its treatments, vaccines, testing, contact tracing, and examine its policies for opening up global economies, in order to stop the fatal virus, according to CNBC.

While comparing the pandemic to a war, he said “during World War II, an amazing amount of innovation, including radar, reliable torpedoes, and code-breaking, helped end the war faster.

“This will be the same with the pandemic.”

It was learnt that Gates, who has been vocal on the COVID-19 pandemic, has described its spread with a worldwide total infections estimated at over 3.2million cases as a “nightmare scenario”.

Below are what Gates said on the five areas of innovation needed to tackle Coronavirus:

Treatment: Gates acknowledged that many treatments may fail, but said he’s optimistic some will be successful in reducing the Coronavirus burden.

The Chairman of Microsoft Corporation stated that the public would need a treatment that’s 95% effective in order for people to feel safe in public gatherings, such as football games or concerts.

He pointed toward the potential of using blood plasma or antibodies, antivirals and Hydroxychloroquine.

Vaccines: “Short of a miracle treatment,” the only way for people to return to some sense of normal is through a vaccine, Gates said.

However, he warned that producing it normally takes five years for a vaccination for a new disease to be brought to market.

Report says he is optimistic, however, that a vaccine could emerge in 18 months, though it could be as short as 9 months or up to two years.

Testing: Gates said the United States (US) needs to prioritise and speed up COVID-19 testing to have results in one day.

According to him, health workers should all have access to tests, while asymptomatic people should wait to be tested until all symptomatic people have been tested.

People should also have access to taking tests at home, whether it’s a rapid result one or one that’s sent off to labs, he said.

Contact tracing: He said that people who have been in close contact with someone who tested positive should be prioritised for testing and self-isolate.

Gates believes that most countries will follow Germany’s contact-tracing lead, which requires interviewing those positive and using a database to confirm they followed-up with patients.

Opening up: The American business professional believes that most developed countries will enter the second phase of the pandemic in the next two months.

That’s where the world is semi-normal, though people still practise physical distancing. Countries, he added, will have to learn from other countries that have strong testing in place on when it’s appropriate to open up, he said.

In this regard, officials will have to make trade-offs based on the risks and benefits, he said.

Since the virus emerged and was reported in Wuhan, China, December 2019, latest verified data indicates that the Coronavirus epidemic has infected about 3,136,232 million people worldwide, killed 217, 799 persons with 953, 245 recoveries.

According to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), the country has recorded 1, 532 COVID-19 cases, with 255 recovered patients and 44 deaths as of 11.59p.m. Tuesday, April 28, 2020.

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