Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus OMS

WHO Says the COVID-19 Pandemic is Far From Over

The World Health Organization recently stated that it does not expect the coronavirus pandemic to end soon. The organization warned that the risk the virus is posing was still “very high”. Despite the increasing oblivion of the population and all the easing in recent weeks and months, COVID-19 is currently spreading rapidly in many parts of the globe.

WHO: COVID-19 Likely to Continue for ‘a Very Long Time’

The WHO’s emergency committee expects the pandemic to “last for a very long time.” This announcement comes six months after the WHO first declared an international state of emergency.

Certain regions on the globe are currently returning to critical infection rates and fatalities.

In Latin America and the Caribbean, the number of coronavirus deaths increased to more than 200,000. The virus is also spreading rapidly in South Africa and many parts of Australia. The WHO’s committee warned that the danger from COVID-19 remains “very high,” despite all the precautions and adjustments that have been taken over these previous months. Moreover, the WHO is concerned regarding that, due to the “socio-economic pressure,” fatigue among people could occur when measures to combat the virus continued to be utilized over a more extended period than initially anticipated.

The Impact of Coronavirus

Around 17.8 million people worldwide have been infected with the coronavirus to date. Moreover, more than 685,000 people died as a result of health complications the virus caused.

Even countries that initially were able to semi-control the spread and thus the pandemic are now reporting new and rapid outbreaks. After a dramatic increase in COVID-19 infections, the Australian state of Victoria declared the “state of disaster” and tightened the restrictions and curfew in the metropolis of Melbourne.

Meanwhile, in South Africa, the number of registered COVID-19 infections on Saturday exceeded half a million while, according to official figures, the number of deaths to date stands at 8200. As a result, South Africa remains the worst affected country by the pandemic on the African continent. However, the figures are hard to compare as South Africa is conducting many more tests than most other African countries also. Particularly smaller African countries reportedly do not possess the testing kits nor facilities to provide accurate test figures for the time being.

On the American continent and its proximity, more than 4.9 million infections have been reported in Latin America and the Caribbean to date. Almost three-quarters of the fatalities caused by the virus occurred in Brazil and Mexico. Mexico reported a new daily COVID infection record for the second day in a row the previous Saturday, with 9,556 new cases were registered within 24 hours, according to Mexican authorities. The total number of infections in Mexico has increased to over 434,000, making Mexico is the worst affected by the pandemic worldwide, after aforementioned Brazil and the United States, who is currently in the middle of a second wave with not only a severe increase in cases but most importantly hospitalizations and fatalities also. The virus has infected approximately 4.6 million people, and more than 154,000 deaths have been reported in the United States. The numbers in Europe have also increased almost without exception and are now reaching almost 3.2 million. More than 210,000 people died as a result of the virus on the European continent.

Even in Hong Kong, which initially was able to keep the virus under control, the number of infections has increased again dramatically, too. The previous weekend, the authorities in Hong Kong were forced to open a field hospital for 500 COVID-19 patients on the former Expo site. Whether the latter can be sufficient is currently unlikely, with the spread rapidly rising.