“It is brutal in its simplicity. It’s brutal in its cruelty,” Ryan said
Covid-19 is brutal in its simplicity and its cruelty, but there are things that can be done to outsmart it, according to World Health Organization officials.
"When we talk about what is the virus trying to do and the virus being an enemy, the virus doesn't have a brain. We're the ones with the brains," said Dr Mike Ryan, director of WHO's Health Emergencies Programme, during a news conference in Geneva on Monday, reports the CNN.
Ryan described the virus as a simple biologic entity that can enter a human cell and instruct that cell to make more viruses, which can at minimum infect someone else; or in the worst case, kill the person.
"It is brutal in its simplicity. It's brutal in its cruelty," Ryan said.
"But it doesn't have a brain. We have the brains. And I think Maria may outline how we can outsmart something that doesn't have a brain, but we're not doing such a great job right now."
Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO's technical lead for coronavirus, elaborated on how this can be done, saying that the goal of the virus is to reproduce, find individuals to pass between but not kill too many, as it Is unable to pass to another person if it kills its host.
"There's many, many things that we can do right now with the tools that we have right now, to outsmart this virus," she said.
While work on therapeutics and vaccines will continue, at this point chains of transmission can be broken, she said.
These include social distancing, contact tracing, quarantining infected individuals, the use of masks when physical distancing isn't possible, and hand washing.
"If we do all of these things, we can outsmart the virus, and we can prevent this virus from passing from one individual to another," she said, adding that everyone on the planet needs to understand that they have a role to play in breaking chain of transmission.