WHO warns COVID-19 not the last pandemic, be better prepared for next one

‘Pandemics are a fact of life,’ WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said

who-tedros-reuters [File] WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus | Reuters

Head of the World Health Organization Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that pandemics are “a fact of life” and that the world must be better prepared to deal with future ones.

Ghebreyesus called on leading nations to invest in public health. So far, more than 27.29 million people have contracted the virus and 888,326 have died globally since the first cases of the virus were identified in China in December 2019.

“This will not be the last pandemic,” Ghebreyesus said. “History teaches us that outbreaks and pandemics are a fact of life. But when the next pandemic comes, the world must be ready—more ready than it was this time.”

India on Monday became the second hardest-hit country in the world as it recorded 90,802 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours. The United States is the worst-hit nation globally with more than 6.3 million cases of coronavirus.

Brazil has the highest number of deaths among Latin American nations with 126,000 so far.

In the Middle-East, Iran has been the worst affected with a death toll of more than 22,000.

More than a million cases have been reported in Africa, but, testing in the continent still needs to be amped up. Libya recorded 1,080 people testing positive in the last 24 hours, setting a record for reporting more than 1,000 coronavirus cases since the first cases were reported in March.

Malaysia reported the sharpest spike in three months with 62 new cases on Monday.

Cases of coronavirus have been increasing in European nations since lockdown measures were lifted. Europe saw 100,000 new cases in the last week.

Authorities warn that youngsters being affected by the virus could spread it to the vulnerable elderly population.

Philippines health ministry on Monday reported 1,383 new coronavirus infections, the lowest number of new daily cases in nearly eight weeks.

Russia reported 5,185 new coronavirus cases on Monday, pushing its national tally to 1,030,690, the fourth largest in the world.

Executive Director of the World Health Organization’s Health Emergencies Programme Dr Michael Ryan in the meantime warned of politics around COVID-19. He said that some COVID-19-related messages tend to come with political overtones and that countries that propagate politically motivated messages along with COVID-19 information should face apolitical backlash. Ryan said, “trying to present oversimplified, simplistic solutions for people is not a long-term strategy that wins”.

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