Editorial

What’s happening with COVID-19? Does anyone know?

Summary

It is ridiculous that so many government officials and healthcare professionals are commenting and contradicting each other on COVID-19.

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It’s new. Still. We hear of learning curves, of science trying to keep up and of course different situations and developments requiring change of course.

Understood. Also understood is the fact that the understandably anxious, the salivating detractors of the government, all politicians and most citizens are not epidemiologists.

That said, it is certainly ridiculous that so many government officials and healthcare professionals are commenting and contradicting each other on COVID-19.

The Government should authorize a single person to do this. Others should obtain from what this person says and not act as though they are epidemiologists. That goes for the opposition and political commentators as well, of course.

In Canada, for example, there’s a chief medical officer  giving daily recaps at the federal level with Prime Minister Trudeau offering a daily non-medical brief. At the provincial level,  the chief provincial medical officer gives a daily briefing. All financial assistance information is conveyed by Trudeau since it’s all federal at this stage. 

In China, senior pulmonologist Zhong Nanshan, a local celebrity due to his work during the SARs outbreak, became an unofficial spokesperson for the government, helping to raise awareness while keeping people calm.

In Sri Lanka, in contrast, everyone except the Minister of Health is an authority on the pandemic!

Mister President, appoint ONE PERSON, someone who knows what’s happening, what is being done, is fully cognizant of resources needed and available, plans in place and gaps in implementation.

Give him/her the authority to speak. Ask others to shut up.

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