• Today
    July 08

  • 07:26 AM

WHO: Dangerous phase as pandemic accelerates


Added 19 June 2020


Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. (Internet image)

GENEVA - The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is accelerating, with Thursday’s 150 000 new cases the highest in a single day and nearly half of those in the Americas, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said today.

“The world is in a new and dangerous phase,” Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a virtual briefing from WHO headquarters in Geneva.

“The virus is still spreading fast, it is still deadly, and most people are still susceptible.”

More than 8.53 million people have been reported infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 453 834​ have died, a Reuters tally showed as of 1:26 p.m. on Friday.

Tedros, whose leadership of the WHO has been severely criticised by United States President Donald Trump, urged people to maintain social distancing and “extreme vigilance”.

As well as the Americas, a large number of new cases were coming from South Asia and the Middle East, Tedros added.

WHO emergencies expert Mike Ryan drew attention to the situation in Brazil, where he said there had been 1 230 additional COVID-19 deaths in the previous 24 hours.

About 12 per cent of infections in Brazil involved healthcare workers, he added, praising their bravery.

Brazil has the world’s worst outbreak outside the United States, with 978 142 confirmed cases and 47 748 deaths.

'Difficult journey' to vaccine'

With many nations easing restrictions but fearful of a second wave of infections, Ryan urged a gradual and scientific approach.

“Exiting lockdowns must be done carefully, in a step-wise manner, and must be driven by the data,” he said. “If you don’t know where it is, the chances are the virus will surprise you.”

Ryan said the resurgence of new clusters did not necessarily mean a second wave, while “second peaks” were also possible in one wave. The emergencies expert praised Germany, China and South Korea for their handling of the pandemic.

With trials underway around the world to find medicines and a vaccine for COVID-19, WHO officials warned that large-scale testing would be needed with side-effects carefully monitored.

“Although it is not impossible to find a vaccine . . . it’s going to be a very difficult journey,” Tedros said. (Reuters)


Dos and Donts

Welcome to our discussion forum here on nationnews.com. We encourage lively debate, but we also urge you to take note of the following:

  • Stay on topic – This helps keep the thread focused on the discussion at hand. If you would like to discuss another topic, look for a relevant article.
  • Be respectful – Meeting differences of opinion with civil discussion encourages multiple perspectives and a positive commenting environment.
  • Do not type in capitals – In addition to being considered “shouting” it is also difficult to read.
  • All comments will be moderated – Given the volume of comments each day, this may take some time. So please be patient.
  • We reserve the right to remove comments – Comments that we find to be abusive, spam, libellous, hateful, off-topic or harassing may be removed.
  • Reproduction of comments – Some of your comments may be reproduced on the website or in our daily newspapers. We will use the handle, not your email address.
  • Do not advertise – Please contact our Advertising Department.
  • Contact our Online Editor if you have questions or concerns.
  • Read our full Commenting Policy and Terms of Use.
comments powered by Disqus


Should the headquarters of a new regional airline remain in Antigua & Barbuda?