WHO sees ‘Green Shoot of Hope’ as global affairs closer to 20 million

Children sit in the class room on the first day of new school year classes at GuthsMuths Elementary School during the Coronavirus epidemic in Berlin, Germany on August 10, 2020.

Maja Hitij | Getty Images

The World Health Organization said Monday saw a glimmer of hope in the fight against coronovirus, with global cases and deaths from the virus reaching 750,000 near 20 million.

“I know a lot of you are sad and this is a difficult moment for the world,” WHO Director General Tedros Adnom Ghebreyus said during a press conference from the agency’s Geneva headquarters. “But I want to be clear, there are green shoots of hope and no matter whether there is a country, region, city or town, it is never too late to turn the outbreak of Kovid-19.”

Tedros said that some countries in Southeast Asia, New Zealand, Rwanda and the islands of the Caribbean and the Pacific were able to suppress the virus quickly.

He said that France, Germany, South Korea, Spain, Italy and Britain had major coronovirus outbreaks and were also able to suppress it. He attributed the decline in the rate of new cases in those countries to “strong and precise” measures from leaders such as the halt-house order and the masked mandate.

The WHO suggests that people wear masks to slow the spread of the virus, as well as regularly wash hands, keep distance from others, and avoid crowded spaces.

“In France, President Emanuel Macron introduced compulsory masking in the busy outer spaces of Paris in response to an increase in cases,” Tedros said.

He said that whether countries or regions have successfully eliminated Kovid-19, suppressed transmission to a low level or are still in the midst of a major outbreak, now is the time to “do it all”. “Invest in the fundamentals of public health and we can save both life and livelihood,” he said.

The United States has the worst outbreak in the world with more than 5 million cases and at least 162,900 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. President Donald Trump has attributed the cases to increased trials. However, pathologists claim that the rate of positive test cases, hospitals and deaths in the US is higher in some states.

Coronoviruses previously used by the White House and estimates have already killed at least 162,000 people, which could climb to about 300,00 Americans by December 1. The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation also expects the number of hospital beds and ventilators to increase.

Public health experts and infectious disease experts say a stronger, coordinated message on the virus from the federal government and US states is more important than ever as health officials fear the virus may now be widely spread in parts of the Midwest .

In recent weeks, what and how to reopen schools in the US this fall has become a hot issue as the role of children in spreading the disease is still unclear. On Friday, the New York government announced that Andrew Cuomo had authorized all school districts in the state to reopen for the fall semester, including New York City, the nation’s largest school district.

Tedros addressed the reopening of schools on Monday, saying countries should use a “risk-based approach” while remaining “vigilant” for potential groups.

“We want to revisit all schools safely, but we must also ensure that students, staff and faculty are protected,” he said. “The foundation for this is adequate control of the Kovid-19 transmission.”

He said his message is clear: “suppress the virus, suppress it.”

“If we suppress Kovid-19 effectively, we can safely open societies,” he said.


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