COVID-19 worst global health emergency so far

Grant Boone
July 30, 2020

New Zealand's Covid-19 response has once again been put on a pedestal by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during a press conference in Geneva that the pandemic "continues to accelerate".

Tedros will convene a meeting of the WHO emergency committee for Thursday, which is mandatory given the declaration of a public health emergency six months before.

According to the World Health Organization chief, many countries have done a splendid job in tackling coronavirus and they have managed to reduce the number of COVID-19 cases.

Pointing to high case numbers at the height of the US summer, she urged vigilance in applying measures and warned against mass gatherings. "Where they are not, cases go up", he said, praising Canada, China, Germany and South Korea for controlling outbreaks.

Mr. Tedros said that while notable efforts have been made in countries around the world, there is a "long, hard road ahead of us".

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So far, she said, laboratory samples are not showing high numbers of flu cases, suggesting a later-than-normal start to the season. The committee will re-evaluate the pandemic and advise the United Nations health agency on further measures to be taken to control the pandemic.

An undated scanning electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2 (yellow), also known as novel coronavirus, the virus that causes COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the US, emerging from the surface of cells (blue/pink) cultured in the lab. NIAID-RML/Handout via REUTERS.

"We are not prisoners of the pandemic".

"Continuing to keep global borders sealed is not necessarily a sustainable strategy for the world's economy, for the world's poor, or for anybody else", said Michael Ryan, WHO Emergencies Director.

"It's going to be nearly impossible for individual countries to keep their borders shut for the foreseeable future", he said. "The future is in our hands".

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