TEDROS Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO), said that the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic could be over within two years. Addressing a virtual press briefing from Geneva on Friday, the WHO chief said that the Spanish flu of 1918 had also taken two years to overcome, but current advances in technology could enable the world to halt the COVID-19 pandemic “in a shorter time”, the BBC reported.
“Of course with more connectiveness, the virus has a better chance of spreading,” he said. “But at the same time, we have also the technology to stop it, and the knowledge to stop it,” he said, stressing the importance of “national unity, global solidarity”. During the briefing, Tedros also responded to a question about corruption linked to personal protective equipment (PPE), which he described as “criminal”. “Any type of corruption is unacceptable,” he said. “However, corruption related to PPE... for me it’s actually murder. Because if health workers work without PPE, we’re risking their lives. And that also risks the lives of the people they serve,” the BBC quoted the Director-General as saying.
Tedros also said that the pandemic has given new impetus to the need to accelerate efforts to respond to climate change, ‘Xinhua’ news agency. “Throughout history, outbreaks and pandemics have changed economies and societies, this one will be no different.” Noting that the global health crisis “has given us a glimpse of our world as it could be: cleaner skies and rivers... Building back better means building back greener”. In May, WHO published its Manifesto for a Healthy Recovery from COVID-19, with six policy prescriptions for a healthy and green recovery -- protecting nature, investing in water and sanitation, promoting healthy food systems, transitioning to renewable energy, building liveable cities, and stopping subsidies on fossil fuels.
Global COVID-19 cases top 22.8 million
Aug 22 (IANS)
THE overall number of global coronavirus cases has topped 22.8 million, while the deaths have increased to over 797,000, according to the Johns Hopkins University. As of Saturday morning, the total number of cases stood at 22,864,873 and the fatalities rose to 797,787, the University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) revealed in its latest update. The US accounted for the world’s highest number of cases and deaths at 5,621,035 and 175,350, respectively, according to the CSSE. Brazil came in the second place with 3,532,330 infections and 113,358 deaths.
In terms of cases, India ranks third (2,905,825), and is followed by Russia (944,671), South Africa (603,338), Peru (567,059), Mexico (549,734), Colombia (513,719), Chile (393,769), Spain (386,054), Iran (354,764), Argentina (329,043), the UK (325,241), Saudi Arabia (305,186), Pakistan (291,588), Bangladesh (290,360), France (271,960), Italy (257,065), Turkey (255,723), Germany (233,029), Iraq (197,085), Philippines (182,365), Indonesia (149,408), Canada (126,319), Qatar (116,481), Ecuador (106,481), Bolivia (106,065), Kazakhstan (104,071), Ukraine (102,948) and Israel (100,716), the CSSE figures showed.