WHO: Overuse of antibiotics for COVID-19 pandemic will ultimately cause more deaths
By She Jingwei

Increased antibiotic use in combating the COVID-19 pandemic would lead to higher bacterial resistance rates, ultimately impacting the burden of disease and causing more deaths during the pandemic and beyond, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned Monday. 

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stated data provided by some countries indicated that the number of bacterial infectious was well concerned, which has become increasingly resistant to the medicines traditionally used to treat them.  

"It's clear that the world is losing its ability to use critically important antimicrobial medicines," he said, adding that the treatment of antimicrobial resistance is noted as one of the most urgent challenges of our time; while saving lives, people should pay attention to the rising problem of antimicrobial resistance. 

Concerning the inappropriate use of antibiotics, WHO has issued guidance to medics not to offer antibiotic therapy or prophylaxis to patients who develop mild Covid-19, or to patients with moderate illness without clinical suspicion of bacterial infections. 

In addition, the WHO revealed since the COVID-19 pandemic began last December, the prevention and treatment of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) had been severely disrupted, especially in low-income countries, according to a survey focusing on 155 countries. 

The main reason for halting those services was the reduction in available public transport and a lack of global health workers, who had been reassigned to support COVID-19 services.  

However, The Lancet reported the prevention and control of NCDs are of great importance during the crisis, as NCDs are major risk factors for patients with COVID-19. 

(Cover photo via CGTN)