The World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned the worst of the coronavirus pandemic is “yet to come” if governments around the globe do not overcome their divisions.
Head of WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, yesterday said that “although many countries have made some progress, globally the pandemic is actually speeding up”.
“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 warned.
“We all want this to be over. We all want to get on with our lives, but the hard reality is that this is not even close to being over.”
Tedros praised Germany, South Korea and Japan’s handling of the pandemic. He referenced their diligent track and trace programmes as the key to their success in combating their outbreaks.
But this week has seen the total number of coronavirus deaths hit 509,516 worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University, and 10.4m cases.
The US is the worst-hit country and many states have been forced to re-impose lockdowns following a second spike. The country now has 2.7m infections and 129,544 deaths.
Tedros said the WHO’s fundamental message was to “test, trace, isolate and quarantine”.
The World Health Organisation is sending a team to China next week in order to search and aid in investigations of the origins of the virus, CNN reported.
And the UK is changing laws to impose a local lockdown in Leicester, where cases have rapidly increased. Pubs and restaurants there may now remain closed for a further two weeks, while they will reopen this weekend elsewhere in the UK.
Meanwhile, Australia’s state of Victoria has also declared fresh lockdowns in parts of Melbourne.
Peaks in Africa and South Asia are also predicted for the end of July.