After 6 months, COVID-19 pandemic 'not even close' to being over

Elias Hubbard
June 29, 2020

"Six months ago, none of us could have imagined how our world - and our lives - would be thrown into turmoil by this new virus", WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a virtual briefing.

"Although many countries have made some progress, globally, the pandemic is actually speeding up, We all want this to be over". But the hard reality is: this is not even close to being over.

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In recent weeks, British health officials have said their contact tracers are failing to reach about one quarter of people with the virus - leaving thousands of people free to pass on COVID-19.

"If contact tracing helps you to win the fight, you do it, even (when) risking your life", he said.

"No excuse for contact tracing".

"More leaders should join the boat, and we need to have a truly global political commitment and global consensus before we even have the product", he said.

U.S. President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have both said the disease could have escaped from a lab in Wuhan, although they have presented no evidence of this, and China denies it.

He also criticised the "politicisation" of the pandemic, though he didn't say who he was referring to.

His remarks came after the number of confirmed global cases surpassed 10 million and the coronavirus death toll passed 500,000.

Ryan said there had been tremendous progress towards finding a vaccine, but there was no guarantee of success. In the meantime countries must use the strategies available, such as social distancing and contact tracing.

He has previously lauded the contact tracing programmes adopted by countries like South Korea, Singapore and China, which involved teams of health workers tracing tens of thousands of people and ensuring that those exposed to the virus were isolated.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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