“This Thursday has been six months since the WHO declared Covid-19 an international public health emergency. When I declared the international public health emergency on January 30 – the highest alert level under international law – there were less than 100 Covid cases outside China and no deaths. Today there are nearly 16 million cases reported to the WHO with over 640,000 deaths. And the pandemic continues to accelerate. ” This was underlined by the director general of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, at a press conference in Geneva.

“In the past 6 weeks, the total number of cases has almost doubled. This is the sixth time that a global health emergency has been declared under international health regulations, but it is certainly the most serious,” added the DG. “Covid-19 – reiterated Tedros – has changed our world. It has brought people, communities and nations together and separated them. It has shown what human beings are capable of, both positively and negatively. We have learned a lot and are still learning. As required by the International Health Regulations – he added – I will meet the Emergency Committee within this week to re-evaluate the pandemic and advise myself accordingly “.

“The pre-team of two World Health Organization experts is already present in China, and colleagues are having meetings” with Chinese counterparts “to plan the mission to clarify the origin of Sars-Cov-2.” This was stated by Maria Van Kerkhove, head of the World Health Organization’s technical group for coronavirus, who at the press conference in Geneva responded to journalists who inquired about the timing of the mission announced to shed light on the animal origin of the new coronavirus, and in particular on the intermediate host of the pandemic pathogen, which would pass from bats to humans. “In particular, colleagues are planning the mission, understanding which and how many specialists will need to be involved,” he explains.

“The picture is complex worldwide: in many countries there is a widespread internal transmission, in others the peak has passed and the virus appears to be under control. But in some cases we see a resurgence, with the outbreak of outbreaks. Here, if the virus finds the opportunity to emerge it does, in the industries, in the event of large aggregations. An aggressive approach is needed against outbreaks, capable of quickly interrupting the transmission chain “. To underline it is Maria Van Kerkhove, head of the technical group of the World Health Organization for coronavirus, who at a press conference in Geneva answered questions from journalists on countries, such as Italy, which are dealing with Covid-19 outbreaks.

Countries “such as Spain, which has also controlled Covid-19 well – the head of the World Health Organization’s health emergencies, Mike Ryan – Let’s wait a few weeks to see how it will go, but certainly the approach that combines testing and surveillance “The virus moves if the opportunity arises,” adds Ryan, “and the move from heavily affected areas to others worries governments. The fact is that borders cannot be sealed forever.” How to reopen, then? “We have to do it in such a way – Ryan replies – to minimize the risks, therefore with checks at the start, but also at the arrival. And with the monitoring of the movements. We have to put the virus under pressure to change things”. The fact is that the virus in the world is not moving at the same rate. “That’s why we never tire of reaffirming the importance of distancing, hand hygiene, the use of masks when needed and staying at home if you feel bad,” concludes Van Kerkhove.

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