Global Times US Edition
WHO chief calls COVID-19 ‘enemy against humanity’
The head of the World Health Organization on Wednesday called the new coronavirus an “enemy against humanity,” as the number of people infected by the pandemic soar past 200,000.
Worldwide fatalities topped 8,000 and more deaths have now been recorded in Europe, the new viral epicenter, than in Asia since the outbreak began. “This coronavirus is presenting us with an unprecedented threat,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told journalists in a virtual news conference. He stressed the need for countries everywhere to “come together as one against a common enemy: an enemy against humanity.”
Sub-saharan Africa has only recorded 233 cases and four deaths, making it the least affected region. But Tedros warned the situation could quickly shift. “In other countries, we have seen how the virus actually accelerates after a certain tipping point, so the best advice for Africa is to prepare for the worst, and prepare today,” he said. “Africa should wake up,” he said. Tedros said the WHO was speaking daily with decision-makers worldwide “to help them prepare and prioritize.” “Don’t assume your community won’t be affected. Prepare as if it will be,” he said. The WHO has called for every single suspected case to be tested.
In countries where that was not possible due to soaring numbers of infections, Tedros insisted there were measures to reduce the burden on healthcare systems and make epidemics more “manageable.”
He urged states to introduce physical distancing measures, including canceling sporting events, concerts and other large gatherings, to slow down transmission. But Tedros added that the only way to suppress and control epidemics of the virus was for countries to “isolate, test, treat and trace.”