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'Worst is yet to come': WHO chief warns over coronavirus pandemic

It has now been six months since the first cases of a mysterious pneumonia-like illness were reported in Wuhan, China

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WHO | World Health Organisation | Coronavirus

Agencies  |  New Delhi 

Health workers in protective gear walk in a lane to administer a free medical checkup in a slum Appa Pada area at Malad, in Mumbai on Sunday.
Health workers in protective gear walk in a lane to administer a free medical checkup in a slum Appa Pada area at Malad, in Mumbai on Sunday.

The head of the has warned that the pandemic is not even close to being over.

It has now been six months since the first cases of a mysterious pneumonia-like illness were reported in Wuhan, China.

At the time it was feared that we would see a repeat of the Sars outbreak of 2002 to 2004, which killed 774 people.

Now, with more than 500,000 people dead and more than 10 million confirmed cases worldwide, director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has said this is "a moment for all of us to reflect", the BBC reported.

But, he warned, the "worst is yet to come" - adding that "with this kind of environment and conditions, we fear the worst".

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Despite progress in some countries, he said the pandemic was speeding up and the world would need even greater stores of resilience, patience and generosity in the months ahead. "The critical question that all countries will face in the coming months is how to live with this virus.

That is the new normal," said Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus at a daily press briefing on Monday, Xinhua news agency reported.

A health worker collects a nasal sample for Covid-19 Ag rapid antigen testing at Chakkarpur Community Centre, near DLF Phase 4, in Gurugram A health worker collects a nasal sample for Covid-19 Ag rapid antigen testing at Chakkarpur Community Centre, near DLF Phase 4, in Gurugram

"Six months ago, none of us could have imagined how our world - and our lives - would be thrown into turmoil by this new virus," Tedros said at the press conference. He urged all countries to prioritise five sets of measures to save lives, including empowering communities and individuals to protect themselves and others, suppressing virus transmission, saving lives with oxygen and dexamethasone for instance, accelerating research on COVID-19, and strengthening political leadership and solidarity.

Tedros also announced an updated and detailed timeline of the WHO's response to the pandemic for the public to understand how the UN health body has been responding to the outbreak.

First Published: Tue, June 30 2020. 08:14 IST
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