According to the General Director of the World Health Organization Tedros Adhan Gebreias, the coronavirus pandemic is accelerating throughout the world, as many countries that have re-opened their economies are experiencing a resumption of cases of Covid-19.
“Although many countries have made some progress, the global pandemic is actually accelerating,” he said during a virtual press conference at the agency’s headquarters in Geneva. “We all want this to end. We all want to continue our lives, but the complex reality is that it is not even close to ending. ”
According to data collected by Johns Hopkins University, the virus infected more than 10.1 million people worldwide and killed more than 502 thousand people. According to Sunday data, more than 60% of new cases occurred daily in the countries of North and South America. data published by WHO,
According to WHO, more than 23% of the 189,077 new cases reported worldwide on Sunday came from the United States. According to WHO, Brazil was the only country in the world to report more new cases on Sunday than the United States.
“Some countries are currently experiencing a surge in cases when they begin to rediscover their economies and societies,” Tedros said. “Most people remain susceptible. There is still room for the virus to move. ”
The United States is one of the countries experiencing a resurgence of infection after the resumption of business and the relaxation of restrictions in large areas of the country. New cases have increased in several states across the country, setting new records almost daily, mainly due to the expansion of outbreaks in the American South and West. Florida, Texas, California and Arizona are just some of the states that reported a record number of daily new cases last week.
According to officials from Florida, Texas and other countries, the number of cases in the United States continued to increase, and the average age of patients decreased. Some government officials say this is why the death rate from Covid-19 has declined, even though the number of cases is increasing as the virus is more deadly for older people. However, several health officials, including White House Health Advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci, have warned that mortality will increase over time, especially when younger patients infect older and more vulnerable people.
Tedros said the ongoing strategy of extensive virus testing, investigating infections, identifying people who might have been infected, isolating infected people, and improving patient care will save lives.
“The single most important intervention to break the transmission circuits is not necessarily high-tech and can be performed by a wide range of specialists. This is tracking and quarantine contacts, ”he said. “Six months after the appearance of the virus, it may seem that a broken record says the same thing, but it works the same. Test, test, isolate, quarantine. ”
Tedros specifically cited dexamethasone, a cheap and widely available steroid, as an example of how clinicians have learned to better care for Covid-19 patients and save lives. Earlier this month, researchers from Oxford University published the results of their study, which showed that a steroid can reduce the risk of death by a third for patients with Covid-19 on ventilators and a fifth for patients receiving additional oxygen.
Tedros said Japan has done a particularly good job of preserving life and protecting the most vulnerable members of society. According to him, one of the oldest population groups in the world lives in Japan, but the mortality rate from Covid-19 remains one of the lowest. The virus has infected more than 18,476 people in Japan, according to Hopkins, and killed at least 972 people.
South Korea is another example of a successful response, Tedros said, adding that “South Korea has shown the world that without vaccines and drugs it can reduce the number of cases and suppress an outbreak.”
South Korea was one of the first countries outside of China to be affected by the virus. Government officials quickly increased testing and aimed at people who might be exposed to known infection clusters. Government officials used credit card transaction data and mobile phone tracking data to determine who might be exposed to the virus.
Tedros said some governments should consider replicating South Korea’s testing, contact tracing and isolation strategies for infected people. He added that governments should engage the community in any effort to accelerate testing, tracking, and isolation.
According to Tedros, countries must come together to learn from each other’s experiences in the fight against the virus, stressing that the “lack of global solidarity” is hampering a global response.
“The worst is yet to come,” as many countries and world leaders remain divided on how to deal with the virus, Tedros said. “I am sorry to talk about this, but in such an environment and conditions we are afraid of the worst. And that is why we must combine our actions and fight this dangerous virus together. ”
– CNBC Noah Higgins Dunn contributed to this report.