Worst Could Be Yet To Come: Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

Worst Could Be Yet To Come: Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

June 30, 2020, 8:45 a.m.

The worst could be still to come in the Covid-19 pandemic, the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned, six months on from when the outbreak began.

WHO head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the virus would infect many more people if governments did not start to implement the right policies.

His message remained "Test, Trace, Isolate and Quarantine", he said.

More than 10m cases have been recorded worldwide since coronavirus emerged in China late last year.

The number of patients who died is now above 500,000. Half the world's cases have been in the US and Europe but Covid-19 is rapidly growing in the Americas.

The virus is also affecting South Asia and Africa, where it is not expected to peak until the end of July.

Dr Tedros told a virtual briefing on Monday: "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.

"Although many countries have made some progress, globally the pandemic is actually speeding up."

"With 10 million cases now and half a million deaths, unless we address the problems we've already identified at WHO, the lack of national unity and lack of global solidarity and the divided world which is actually helping the virus to spread... the worst is yet to come," he said.

"I'm sorry to say that, but with this kind of environment and conditions we fear the worst."

He also urged more governments to follow the examples of Germany, South Korea and Japan, which kept their outbreak in check through policies that included rigorous testing and tracing.

Confirmed Cases Reached to 10.1 Million

Confirmed COVID-19 cases have exceeded 10.1 million globally, with over 502,000 fatalities and more than 5.1 million recoveries, according to the latest tally from Johns Hopkins University (JHU).

The Chinese mainland has recorded 83,531 COVID-19 cases. A total of 99 asymptomatic patients are under medical observation. Its death toll stands at 4,648, including seven from the Hong Kong SAR and seven from the Taiwan region.

Beijing reported seven new domestically transmitted cases on Monday. The Chinese capital has seen a total of 325 local infections since June 11.

The U.S. has recorded over 2.5 million confirmed cases, with a death toll of over 125,000. The nation's top health expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, warned that the U.S. is "unlikely" to develop herd immunity to the coronavirus once a vaccine is available, partly because a large number of Americans refuse to be vaccinated.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson admitted the coronavirus crisis had been a disaster for the country but said now is not the right time for an inquiry into what has gone wrong.

The Beijing Health Commission said on Tuesday that seven new locally transmitted COVID-19 cases were recorded on Monday, raising total infections to 324 since June 11, when the first case from Beijing's Xinfadi market cluster was detected.

Brazil registered 692 new coronavirus deaths on Monday, bringing the total death toll to 58,314, the Ministry of Health said. The confirmed cases rose by 24,052 to reach 1,368,195, the second biggest number in the world trailing the United States.

Chile on Monday reported 275,999 positive cases for the novel coronavirus in total. The death toll climbed to 5,575 after 66 more people died in the previous 24 hours, and tests detected 4,017 new cases of infection, with 3,092 showing symptoms and 432 presenting no symptoms despite testing positive.

Israel reported 686 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, the highest daily number since April 2, taking the tally to 24,441. The number of deaths increased from 318 to 319. Earlier on Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Finance Minister Israel Katz announced a two-billion-shekel (580 million U.S. dollars) aid package to help businesses affected by the coronavirus.

Iran, the hardest-hit country by the COVID-19 pandemic in the Middle East, reported 2,536 new cases, lifting the total number of infections to 225,205. The pandemic has so far claimed 10,670 lives, up by 162 in the past 24 hours. A total of 186,180 patients have recovered while 3,037 remain in critical condition.

Egypt's coronavirus cases reached 66,754 after 1,566 new infections were found. The Egyptian Health Ministry also reported 83 more deaths and 412 cases of recoveries, pushing the death toll to 2,872 and the total recoveries to 17,951.

Saudi Arabia announced 3,943 new cases and 48 more deaths, raising the total number of confirmed cases to 186,436 and the death toll to 1,599. It also reported 2,363 more recovered patients, taking total recoveries to 127,118.

What are the worst-affected countries?

The US has reported more than 2.5 million cases and about 126,000 deaths with Covid-19 so far - more than any other nation.

US states that emerged from lockdown in recent weeks - notably in the south - have been reporting sharp increases in new infections in recent weeks.

The spike has led officials in Texas, Florida and other states to tighten restrictions on business again.

The country with the second-highest number of recorded cases is Brazil, with a total of 1.3 million, and deaths in excess of 57,000.

Source: Agencies

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