GENEVA: Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General, World Health Organization (WHO), on Monday, July 27 said that the new coronavirus pandemic, which has infected more than 16 million people, is easily the worst global health emergency the WHO has faced. He added that the world will succeed in overcoming the situation only when the health measures like wearing masks and avoiding crowds are strictly followed.
While praising Canada, China, Germany, and South Korea for controlling the outbreak, Dr Tedros said that where these measures are followed, cases are going down. While in countries where the health measures are not properly followed, the number of cases are increasing. Coronavirus resurgences in various regions, including in those nations which thought they had controlled the disease, are alarming the world, with nearly 650,000 deaths.
Dr Mike Ryan, Emergencies Programme Head, WHO, said that the need for nations across the globe to enforce strict health restrictions such as physical distancing was much more important than defining of second wave, new peaks, and localized clusters. Dr Ryan, while acknowledging that it was virtually impossible for nations to keep borders shut for the foreseeable future, said that the pressure on the virus is pushing the numbers down and releasing it causes the number of cases to creep back up.
Dr Tedros emphasized that while working towards suppressing the virus transmission, countries must, at the same time, identify the vulnerable groups and save lives, bringing the death rate down to the minimum possible rates, if not to zero. He also praised Japan and Australia in that respect.