70 Per Cent of COVID Cases Located in Just 10 Countries, WHO Reports

SPECIAL FEATURE, 12 Oct 2020

UN News - TRANSCEND Media Service

5 Oct 2020 – While COVID-19 has affected all countries, the pandemic is “uneven”, and it is estimated that 10 per cent of the global population may have been infected with the virus, senior officials with the World Health Organization (WHO) said today.

Wearing a full protective suit, a women doctor who leads a group of volunteer medical professionals attending to COVID-19 patients and persons under investigation at a community hospital in the Philippines.
UN Women/Louie Pacardo

Speaking to a special session of the agency’s Executive Board, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said 10 countries account for 70 per cent of all reported cases and deaths, and just three countries account for half.

“Not all countries have responded the same way, and not all countries have been affected the same way”, he told the 34 members.

Most people still at risk

Globally, there were more than 35 million cases of COVID-19 as of Monday, and more than one million deaths.

Dr. Michael Ryan, WHO Emergencies Director, reported that the pandemic continues to evolve, with a surge in Southeast Asia, an “upward trajectory” in the northern hemisphere, and an increase in cases and deaths in Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean.  Meanwhile, the situation “is currently rather more positive” in Africa and the Western Pacific.

“Our current best estimates tell us that about 10 per cent of the global population may have been infected by this virus. This varies depending on country; it varies from urban to rural; it varies between different groups. But what it does mean is that the vast majority of the world remains at risk”, said Dr. Ryan.

“We know the pandemic will continue to evolve. But we also know we have the tools that work to suppress transmission and save lives right now, and they are at our disposal.  The future depends on the choices we collectively make about how we use those tools; develop, scale-up and distribute others.”

Four country scenarios

Tedros outlined four scenarios countries are facing during the crisis.

Some nations took quick and decisive action against the pandemic, thus avoiding large outbreaks.  And while some countries suffered large outbreaks, they were able to bring them under control and suppress the virus.

“Third, while some countries brought the virus under control, as economies and societies have eased restrictions, there has been an increase in cases”, he continued.  And fourth, there are still some countries in the “intense phase of transmission.”

Tedros stressed that “every situation can be turned around”, underlining the importance of strong leadership, clear and comprehensive strategies, consistent communication, as well as engaging the population.

Funding and solidarity

With the northern hemisphere influenza season fast approaching, and COVID-19 cases increasing in some countries, the WHO chief outlined three priorities for the coming months, including increasing funding to ensure all people will have equal access to any potential treatments.

Tedros urged countries to “realize the full potential” of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, which includes a groundbreaking global collaboration to speed up development of vaccines that will be available to anyone, anywhere who needs them.

The ACT Accelerator was launched in April and has secured around $3 billion so far. However, Tedros said some $34 billion is still required, with $14 billion needed now to maintain momentum.

“History will not judge us kindly if it records that trillions of dollars were poured into domestic stimulus packages, but the international community could not find the funds to ensure equitable access for all people”, he said.

Besides highlighting the funding gap, Tedros underscored the need to “continue to make the most of the tools we have” to fight the pandemic.  These range from practicing physical distancing and wearing masks, but also include surveillance, isolation, compassionate care, contact tracing and quarantine.

“And third, I will never tire of calling for solidarity”, he said. “Finger-pointing will not prevent a single infection. Apportioning blame will not save a single life.”

Independent review expected

The meeting with WHO’s Executive Board provided an opportunity to discuss developments around the implementation of a COVID-19 strategic preparedness and response plan, as well as steps taken to initiate a review by an independent panel.

The 34 members will be briefed on Tuesday by the Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response (IPPR).  They also will hear from two other bodies: the International Health Regulations Review Committee and the Independent Oversight and Advisory Committee for the WHO Health Emergencies Programme.

Tedros has also launched an urgent investigation into reports of alleged sexual exploitation and abuse by people who identified themselves as working for WHO in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, during the major Ebola outbreak in the east which ended in June.

A list of candidates to lead the investigation has been identified, with more details to follow.

Go to Original – news.un.org


Tags: , , , ,

 

Share this article:


DISCLAIMER: The statements, views and opinions expressed in pieces republished here are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of TMS. In accordance with title 17 U.S.C. section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. TMS has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is TMS endorsed or sponsored by the originator. “GO TO ORIGINAL” links are provided as a convenience to our readers and allow for verification of authenticity. However, as originating pages are often updated by their originating host sites, the versions posted may not match the versions our readers view when clicking the “GO TO ORIGINAL” links. This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


There are no comments so far.

Join the discussion!

We welcome debate and dissent, but personal — ad hominem — attacks (on authors, other users or any individual), abuse and defamatory language will not be tolerated. Nor will we tolerate attempts to deliberately disrupt discussions. We aim to maintain an inviting space to focus on intelligent interactions and debates.

*

code

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.