COVID-19 is the worst health emergency WHO has faced, says Ghebreyesus

Resurgences of the virus in various areas have been alarming

tedros reuters Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus | Reuters

World Health Organisation Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said COVID-19 “continues to accelerate” with a doubling of cases over the last six weeks. Ghebreyesus described the pandemic as the worst health emergency faced by the UN agency.

More than 16 million cases have now been reported, with more than 640,000 deaths. "Where these measures are followed, cases go down. Where they are not, cases go up," Ghebreyesus said, praising Canada, China, Germany and South Korea for controlling outbreaks.

As per a Reuters report, WHO’s emergency committee will convene on Thursday. It is a protocol to convene six months after WHO declared the disease a public health emergency, an announcement made on January 30. The panel is expected to advise Ghebreyesus on the way forward. Ghebreyesus further added that only with strict adherence to health measures, from wearing masks to avoiding crowds, would the world manage to beat the pandemic.

Resurgence of COVID-19, in different regions, including nations that had thought to have controlled the disease is alarming, with deaths worldwide nearing 650,000.

WHO emergencies programme head Mike Ryan said new peaks and localised clusters, was the need for nations around the world to keep up strict health restrictions such as physical distancing.

 “We have to suppress transmission but at the same time we have to identify the vulnerable groups and save lives, keeping the death rates if possible to zero, if not to a minimum,” Ryan said, praising Japan and Australia in that respect.