WHO concerned as pandemic worsens

—many countries headed in wrong direction

—investigative team arrives in China to probe virus origins

DPI, Guyana, Monday, July 13, 2020

The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has had a devasting impact on countries worldwide, with more than twelve-million cases and half a million deaths recorded.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) is warning governments that the situation has still not peaked and is worsening.

WHO’s Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

“Although the number of daily deaths remains relatively stable, there is a lot to be concerned about,” Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of WHO stated in a media briefing on Monday.

Noting that four situations are playing out globally, he said: “all countries are at risk of the virus, as you know, but not all countries have been affected in the same way”.

The first situation occurs where countries were alert, prepared and responded to the first cases, which helped in avoiding large outbreaks so far.

“Several countries in the Mekong region, the Pacific, the Caribbean and Africa fit into that [first] category,” he stated.

The second is where a major outbreak was controlled in countries. Looking at the first two situations, WHO asserted that it’s never too late to bring the virus under control and many countries are on the wrong path.

“Let me be blunt, too many countries are headed in the wrong direction. The virus remains public enemy number one, but the actions of many governments and people do not reflect this,” the Director-General said.

“If the basics aren’t followed, there is only one way this pandemic is going to go. It’s going to get worse and worse and worse.”

Countries that overcame the first peak and eased restrictions, which led to new major outbreaks represent the third situation. The fourth is countries in the intense transmission phase, such as those in the Americas, namely Guyana’s neighbour, Brazil.

Dr. Ghebreyesus stated that the three strategies that can lead to the disease’s control are science, solutions and solidarity.

The WHO is currently leading an international investigation into the origin of the COVID-19 in China.

It was first said to originate in a market in Wuhan, China via animal-to-human transmission in December 2019. However, recent information showed traces of the virus in France, Italy and Spain.

An animal health specialist and an epidemiologist from WHO arrived in China on Friday and were slated to begin work the following day. The WHO has committed to providing updates as information develops.

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