WHO says some countries ‘are on a dangerous monitor’ as Covid cases begin to stress health systems

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director normal of the World Health Organization (WHO), speaks throughout a information convention on the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak in Geneva, Switzerland, on Monday, March 2, 2020.

Stefan Wermuth | Bloomberg by way of Getty Images

Some countries throughout the globe are on “a dangerous track” within the coronavirus pandemic and hospitals are starting to attain capability forward of the Northern Hemisphere’s winter season, the top of the World Health Organization mentioned Friday.

“We are at a critical juncture in this pandemic, particularly in the Northern Hemisphere. The next few months are going to be very tough and some countries are on a dangerous track,” mentioned Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus throughout a press briefing.

Too many countries are seeing an exponential increase in cases and that’s now leading to hospitals and ICU running close or above capacity and we’re still only in October,” he mentioned.

Discovered in late December, Covid-19 has unfold to greater than 41.eight million individuals throughout the globe, taking greater than 1.1 million lives thus far, shuttering companies and devastating economies from the U.S. to Asia, in accordance to knowledge compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

WHO officers warned final week that coronavirus outbreaks in Europe have grow to be “concerning.” The area continues to report a “rapid increase in cases and deaths,” with new cases rising 25% over the week, in accordance to a WHO state of affairs report revealed Tuesday.

France, the United Kingdom, Russia, the Czech Republic and Italy contributed to over half of all reported cases throughout that interval, the report says.

In the U.S., outbreaks taking maintain within the Midwest have led to a vital spike in new Covid-19 cases. The nation reported greater than 71,600 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, approaching a file variety of day by day infections set in late July.

Even for countries which have efficiently suppressed their outbreaks, Tedros mentioned “now is the time to double down” and to take fast motion for arising clusters. He referred to as on world leaders the place cases are surging to “course correct as quickly as possible.”

“We urge leaders to take immediate action to prevent further unnecessary deaths, essential health services from collapsing and schools shutting again,” Tedros mentioned on the group’s Geneva headquarters. “This is not a drill.”

Dr. Mike Ryan, government director of the WHO’s health emergencies program, mentioned that a second wave of infections is “not only possible but highly likely anywhere in the world.” Ryan mentioned some countries which were ready to suppress their outbreaks did not “follow through” on testing, contact tracing and isolation, together with different measures to cut back the virus’ transmission, and allowed the illness to “creep back in.”

“No country is out of the woods,” he mentioned.

While new cases have accelerated, coronavirus fatalities have remained comparatively steady, in accordance to the WHO. However, fatalities sometimes lag infections by a few weeks. Deaths have began to creep up in Europe, the Eastern Mediterranean area and Africa over the past seven days.

“We need to prevent transmission, but we also need to focus on reducing the death toll, which will rise in the coming days — I have no doubt,” Ryan mentioned.

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