Worst of the coronavirus pandemic yet to come, WHO head warns

The WHO, which has been accused of failing the global community during the coronavirus crisis, warns that the pandemic will worsen

editor: REMIX NEWS
author: Dénes Albert

The worst of the coronavirus pandemic is yet to come, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO), warned in Geneva on Monday.

“Trust us. The worst is yet ahead of,” Tedros told reporters from WHO headquarters in Geneva. “Let’s prevent this tragedy. It’s a virus that many people still don’t understand.”

He said that 2.5 million people contracted the disease so far and there have been 166,000 casualties but did not specify why he thinks the worst is still ahead. Many experts, including Ghebreyesus himself, have also previously pointed to the likely future spread of the illness through Africa, where health systems are far less developed.

Some Asian and European governments are gradually easing lockdown measures and attempting a gradual return to normal life, opening schools, shops and resuming production where possible.

Ghebreyesus and his agency have been on the defensive after President Donald Trump ordered the United States, the WHO’s biggest single donor, to halt to all funding for the agency last week due to the organization botching the early response to the outbreak. Trump said the U.S. would redirect the nearly $500 million in funding to worthier projects and organizations that are dedicated to fighting the virus and protecting global health.

The WHO has been accused of failing in protecting the globe from the virus, including ignoring warnings from Taiwan at the beginning of the outbreak, defending China despite the country silencing whistleblowers, and advocating for countries to keep their borders open to travelers from China.

Ghebreyesus has adamantly defended the organization and his own handling of the coronavirus crisis.

“Whoever has whatever ideology, whether that person is from left or right or center, they should work together to fight this virus, to save these real people,” Ghebreyesus said. “Please work together. Don’t use this virus as an opportunity to fight against each other or score political points. It’s dangerous. It’s like playing with fire.”

Title image: The Budapest Technical University opens a laboratory for testing face masks on April 20, 2020. (MTI/SZilárd Koszticsák)


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