Publish: 30 Jun 2020, 11:14 am
The Covid-19 pandemic is 'not even close to being over,' the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) has said nearly six months after the new coronavirus first emerged.
On Monday, on the eve of the grim milestone, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called for a renewed global dedication to saving lives, with cases approaching 10 million globally, and 500 000 fatalities, as the epidemic continues to propagate, notes UN News.
“We all want this to be over. We all want to get on with our lives. But the hard reality is: this is not even close to being over”, he told journalists.
Although many countries have made some progress, globally the pandemic is actually speeding up, said Tedros adding that “We’re all in this together, and we’re all in this for the long haul.”
Five priorities to save lives
Tedros outlined the five priorities that countries must focus on in order to save lives in the current situation.
Five ways include empowering people to protect themselves through physical distances and other public health measures, but also by sharing reliable information about Covid-19.
He encouraged governments to start collaborating to prevent the spread of viruses, and guarantee the identification and quarantine of connections.
The government will, therefore, provide importance to early detection and health treatment, with special consideration to high-risk populations such as the aged and people residing in long-term care facilities.
As there is still much to learn about the new coronavirus, Tedros emphasized the need for accelerated research.
Evaluate research priorities again
WHO has been convening a meeting this week to assess progress and re-evaluate research priorities for the next stage of the pandemic.
Responding to the question, Tedros said the WHO intends to send a delegation to China next week in anticipation of a conference on the zoonotic origins of the virus.
The UN 's highest health official, the former parliamentarian and the Ethiopian Foreign Minister, all underscored the importance of political leadership during the pandemic.
“As we’ve said repeatedly, national unity and global solidarity are essential to implementing a comprehensive strategy to suppress transmission, save lives and minimize the social and economic impact of the virus”, he said.
WHO has published an updated timeline on its actions since 31 December 2019, which is when it first learned about a cluster of cases of “pneumonia of unknown cause” in Wuhan, China.
That response includes educating health workers through online portals, transporting planeloads of tests and protective equipment to health workers in developing countries, and launching a “solidarity trial” to find medicines to defeat the virus.
Tedros said the UN agency will continue to serve countries with science, solidarity and solutions, repeating a phrase he has used throughout the pandemic.