Monday, 10 August 2020

WHO urges countries to ‘wake up’ and halt coronavirus

GENEVA: The World Health Organization urged countries hit by serious coronavirus outbreaks to “wake up” to the realities on the ground instead of bickering, and to “take control”.

“People need to wake up. The data is not lying. The situation on the ground is not lying,” WHO emergencies director Michael Ryan told journalists at a briefing hosted by the UN correspondents  association in Geneva.

Touching almost every country on Earth since it emerged in China late last year, the coronavirus has hit at least 10.8 million people and killed 521,000 worldwide.

The Americas are the hardest-hit region, with most cases and deaths registered in the United States, and with numbers skyrocketing in a several countries in Latin America.

Asked about the dire situations in nations like Brazil and Mexico, which have been moving away from lockdowns despite ballooning numbers of infections and deaths, Ryan cautioned that “too many countries are ignoring what the data is telling them”.

“There are good economic reasons that the countries need to bring their economies back online,” he said.

“It s understandable, but you can t ignore the problem either. The problem will not magically go away.”

While he acknowledged that countries facing explosive outbreaks had some “pretty stark choices” ahead, he insisted that “it is never too late in an epidemic to take control”.

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