World Health Organization chief warns worst of COVID-19 pandemic is 'yet to come'

Cheryl Sanders
June 30, 2020

Reaching the half-year milestone just as the death toll surpassed 500,000 and the number of confirmed infections topped 10 million, the World Health Organization said it was a moment to recommit to the fight to save lives.

"We all want this to be over".

The Middle East's most affected country Iran reported 162 more deaths on Monday, its highest single-day toll yet, a day after it also made mask-wearing mandatory for inside gatherings.

"The worst is yet to come". But the hard reality is that this is not even close to being over. "We're all in this for the long haul". "We have already lost so much - but we can not lose hope". "I'm sorry to say that".

The WHO chief added, "The worst is yet to come".

Reflecting on the global death toll and infection numbers, Tedros said: "Still, this could have been prevented through the tools we have at hand".

After the U.S., the hardest-hit countries are Brazil with 57,622 deaths from 1,344,143 cases, United Kingdom with 43,575 deaths from 311,965 cases, Italy with 34,744 deaths from 240,436 cases, and France with 29,813 deaths from 200,667 cases.

More than 4,700 people are dying every 24 hours from Covid-19-linked illness, according to calculations based on an average from June 1 to 27.

A World Health Organization situation report on January 30 noted 7,818 cases of Covid-19, including the first documented person-to-person transmission among the 82 cases in 18 countries outside of China.

India, which is gradually easing a nationwide lockdown, registered a daily record of 18,500 new cases and 385 new deaths on Saturday.

Europe overall has 196,428 deaths from 2,660,794 cases, the United States and Canada 134,538 deaths from 2,667,981 infections, Latin America and the Caribbean 112,321 deaths from 2,491,030 cases, Asia 33,689 deaths from 1,251,153 cases, Middle East 15,819 deaths from 743,172 cases, Africa 9,671 deaths from 385,166 cases, and Oceania 133 deaths from 9,244 cases.

The UN's top health official, a former parliamentarian and Ethiopian Foreign Affairs minister, also underlined the role of political leadership during the pandemic.

In recent months, countries with large COVID-19 outbreaks, including Britain and the United States, have said there are simply too many contacts to trace for an effective system to be put into place.

The WHO director general pointed to the rigorous contact tracing that was carried out in the North Kivu region of Democratic Republic of Congo during its Ebola outbreak, which was declared over last week.

New Zealand, however, has cause for celebration, after it confirmed no new cases of Covid-19, after two weeks with a number of cases in returning travellers.

Other reports by iNewsToday