International World WHO wants world leaders to unite, six months since pandemic call

WHO wants world leaders to unite, six months since pandemic call

World Health Organization director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the new coronavirus was still spreading around the planet precisely due to the gaps between the major players in combatting the disease.

Author

Date

Category

- Advertisement -

Six months on since declaring a pandemic, the WHO chief said on Thursday the lack of solidarity and leadership among world powers was “what worries me most” in the fight against Covid-19.

World Health Organization director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the new coronavirus was still spreading around the planet precisely due to the gaps between the major players in combatting the disease.

Though the UN health agency declared a public health emergency of international concern — its highest level of alarm — on January 30, Tedros first described the outbreak as a pandemic on March 11, capturing public attention.

Reflecting on this point in the crisis during a virtual news conference, Tedros said: “What worries me most is… a lack of solidarity.

- Advertisement -

“Because when solidarity lacks, and when we’re divided, that’s a very good opportunity for the virus — and that’s why it’s still spreading.

“That’s what worries me and that’s what I ask the world to do.

“We will need solidarity and we will need global leadership, especially of the major powers in the world. That’s how we can defeat this virus.”

The virus has killed more than 900,000 people and infected at least 27.9 million since the outbreak emerged in China last December.

– ‘End will not come soon’ -The United States is pulling out of the WHO, with President Donald accusing it of being too slow to declare a pandemic and too close to China.

And the WHO-led ACT-Accelerator progamme, a global collaboration to hunt for Covid-19 vaccines and treatments, has so far only received less than a tenth of the required funding.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Thursday that the near $3 billion contributed so far had been critical for the initial phase since the accelerator’s launch four months ago.

However, $35 billion more was needed to shift from start-up to scale-up — beginning with $15 billion in the next three months.

WHO emergencies director Michael Ryan said that in the last six months, the pandemic had hit the world hard — but warned the end was not yet in sight.

“We mourn the loss of the people who have been lost, we celebrate the bravery of our front-line health workers… we stand with those people who are feeling the pain from this pandemic,” he said.

Ryan said the WHO would now commit to continuing to fight the virus, to suppress transmission and to develop and deliver a safe vaccine.

“We can only commit to do what is humanly possible,” he said.

“The end will not come soon.

“Every citizen on this planet is tired, and we wish this virus were not with us. But we we must work to the end of this — and I believe we will.”

rjm/har

© 1994-2020 Agence France-Presse
/AFP

Please follow and like us:
Tweet
Share
- Advertisement -

Man charged with criminal trespass and defiling a statue of Mary in church

Singapore – A man was charged in court on Friday (Nov 20) with criminal trespass and  defiling a statue of Mary in a church along Upper Serangoon Road. Race Koh Jun Xian, 37, was alleged to have committed the offences at the...

NTUC, environmental group submit names of candidates for appointment as NMPs

Singapore — At least two groups have submitted the names of their candidates for appointment as  Nominated Members of Parliament (NMPs), only days before the submission deadline of 4.30 pm on Monday (Nov 23). They are the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC)...

Falling concrete from Tampines HDB block sparks worry among residents

Singapore – Residents of a HDB (Housing & Development Board) block in Tampines are worried about the state of their building after experiencing concrete falling off two pillars along the corridor. Large cracks could be seen forming on many of the concrete...
Please follow and like us:
Tweet
Share
Follow Me
Tweet