The WHO chief warns that COVID-19 pandemic is “not even close to being over,” urging people to follow health protocols until vaccines become available.
Rabat – The novel coronavirus has spread like lightning across the globe. Nearly six months after the start of the outbreak, there have been 10 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 and more than 500,000 deaths.
The United States remains the most severely affected country with over 2.68 million cases, followed by Brazil (1.37 million cases), Russia (647,849), and India (568,473) as of June 30.
Despite the fact that many countries have reported a decrease in daily new cases and an increase in recoveries, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the chief of the World Health Organization (WHO), said in a media briefing on June 29 that “globally, the pandemic is actually speeding up.”
The situation is alarming for many countries, and a global recovery seems to be further into the future than previously anticipated.
“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,” said Ghebreyesus.
“All over the world, we have seen heartwarming acts of resilience, inventiveness, solidarity, and kindness. But we have also seen concerning signs of stigma, misinformation, and the politicization of the pandemic,” the WHO chief continued.
The statement echoes what Ghebreyesus said in a video conference on June 22 for the Dubai-based World Government Summit. He warned that the politicization of the pandemic hinders global solidarity and national unity.
While the WHO chief did not specify which countries and leaders he believes to be politicizing the crisis, US President Donald Trump has attacked WHO for its response to the pandemic and relationship with China, announcing his decision to cut all US funding for the organization on May 29.
After a global pause, countries around the world have started easing restrictions, lifting lockdowns, and allowing businesses to resume operations in hopes of helping their economies recover from the pandemic.
Ghebreyesus urged these countries on Monday to prioritize the empowering of communities through raising awareness about the necessary precautionary measures. The WHO chief also emphasized the importance of the early detection of cases, mass testing, the acceleration of COVID-19-related research, national unity, and global solidarity amid the pandemic.
While all countries await a COVID-19 vaccine, WHO encourages everyone to be resilient, patient, humble, and generous during the pandemic.