The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned countries the Covid-19 pandemic will worsen if they fail to follow strict healthcare precautions.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus made the ominous warning during a virtual briefing from the UN agency’s headquarters in Geneva.
He said: ‘Let me be blunt, too many countries are headed in the wrong direction, the virus remains public enemy number one.’
Dr Tedros added: ‘If basics are not followed, the only way this pandemic is going to go – it is going to get worse and worse and worse.’
Global infections stand at 13 million, according to a Reuters tally, with more than half a million deaths.
Tedros said of 230,000 new cases on Sunday, 80% were from 10 nations, and 50% from just two countries.
The United States and Brazil have been worst hit.
WHO emergencies head Dr Mike Ryan said some places in the Americas may need ‘limited or geographically focused lockdowns that suppress transmission in specific areas where transmission is frankly out of control’.
He urged countries not to make schools into a political football, saying schools could safely reopen once the virus had been suppressed.
The US president Donald Trump accused the organisation of pandering to China, where the Covid-19 disease was first detected, at the end of 2019.
Tedros added the WHO had still not received formal notification of the US pullout announced by Trump.
Trump has himself been accused by political opponents of not taking the coronavirus seriously enough, something he denies.
A two-member WHO advance team in China to investigate the origins of the coronavirus, first discovered in the city of Wuhan, is in quarantine, as per standard procedure, before beginning work with Chinese scientists, Ryan said.
He said: ‘When it comes to understanding the origins of disease, you have to follow the science, too.
‘And that’s really, really, really important that ultimately – and I’m sure our Chinese colleagues are doing this already, they have tremendous capacities for disease investigation and scientific understanding.’
Source: Metro News