Headlines April 22, 2020
Worst is yet to come, warns WHO on COVID-19
The head of the World Health Organisation (WHO) has given a warning that things are going to get worse in the COVID-19 outbreak. They have raised this concern just as many countries are gradually relaxing the restrictive measures aimed at reducing its spread.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus did not give specific details about why the pandemic could get worse but he has indicated earlier that the illness could spread further through Africa, where health systems are far less developed.
“Trust us. The worst is yet ahead of us,” Tedros told reporters at the WHO headquarters in Geneva. “Let’s prevent this tragedy. It’s a virus that many people still don’t understand.”
Some governments in Asia and Europe have gradually eased or started relaxing “lockdown” measures like quarantines, school and business closures and restrictions on public gatherings, pointing to a fall in the growth of cases and deaths.
WHO has been on the defensive after United States President Donald Trump stopped US funding to the agency alleging that it had botched the early response to the outbreak. Trump said that the WHO had not shared “in a timely and transparent” way information about the outbreak after it erupted in China late last year.
Tedros said: “There is no secret in WHO because keeping things confidential or secret is dangerous. It’s a health issue. This virus is dangerous. It exploits cracks between us when we have differences”.
Tedros called the illness “Public Enemy No. 1,” and said: “We have been warning from Day One: This is a devil that everybody should fight.”