No return to “old normal” for foreseeable future: WHO chief

UNTV News   •   July 14, 2020   •   275

There will be no return to the “old normal” for the foreseeable future as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the chief of the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Monday.

At a press conference held in Geneva, Switzerland, on Monday, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned of the grim epidemic situation the world is still facing in the near term, and called for continuing efforts to control the disease and get on with people’s lives.

“There will be no return to the old normal for the foreseeable future, but there is a roadmap to a situation where we can control the disease and get on with our lives. But this is going to require three things. First, a focus on reducing mortality and suppressing transmission. Second, an empowered, engaged community that takes individual behavior measures in the interest of each other. And third, we need strong government leadership and coordination of comprehensive strategies,” said Tedros.

Tedros stressed that no matter where the country is in its epidemic curve, it is never too late to take decisive action.

Speaking at the same press briefing, Michael Ryan, executive director of WHO Health Emergencies Program, said it is unrealistic to expect that the virus will be eliminated, or an effective COVID-19 vaccine will be available to all in the next few months.

The good news is that mortality rates of the disease have dropped in many countries, Ryan added, noting there are also better ways now to give early diagnosis and treatment. (Reuters)

India’s interior minister tests positive for coronavirus, hospitalised

UNTV News   •   August 3, 2020

India’s Interior Minister Amit Shah said on Sunday (August 2) that he had tested positive for coronavirus and had been admitted to hospital.

Amit Shah, a close aide to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and one of the country’s most powerful politicians, heads a key ministry that has been at the forefront of managing India’s coronavirus outbreak.

“I request all of you who came in contact with me in the last few days to isolate yourselves and get tested,” Shah said in a tweet.

India has 1,695,988 confirmed cases and 36,511 deaths due to coronavirus as of August 2, according to a Reuters tally. (Reuters)

(Production: Polly Rider, Michael Fiorentino)

All people should take precautions against COVID-19: WHO chief

UNTV News   •   July 31, 2020

Every age group should take the necessary precautions to protect themselves and others from being infected with COVID-19, stated the director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO) during a press conference on Thursday.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus also acknowledged that long-term care facilities are being hit hard by the coronavirus in many countries.

“In many countries, more than 40 percent of COVID-19-related deaths have been linked to long-term care facilities and up to 80 percent in some high-income countries,” said Tedros.

He stated that although seniors are vulnerable to COVID-19, young people face the same risk of being infected.

In some countries, the number of cases increased because young people relaxed their vigilance and didn’t follow precautionary measures.

“Young people are not invincible. Young people can be infected. Young people can die. And young people can transmit the virus to others. That’s why young people must take the same precautions to protect themselves and protect others as everyone else,” said Tedros.

As of 18:03 Central European Summer Time on Thursday, there have been 16,812,755 confirmed COVID-19 cases, including 662,095 deaths, reported the WHO. (Reuters)

Tokyo could declare new emergency if coronavirus worsens

UNTV News   •   July 31, 2020

Tokyo could declare a state of emergency if the coronavirus situation in the Japanese capital deteriorates further, its governor warned on Friday (July 31).

Yuriko Koike said Tokyo had confirmed 463 new cases on Friday – another single-day record – and implored residents to follow health guidelines to contain the spread of the virus.

“If the situation worsens, Tokyo would have to think about issuing its own state of emergency,” Koike told a news conference.

The Japanese government lifted the nationwide state of emergency in late May after Japan appeared to have contained the outbreak, touting its mask-wearing habits and health system as some of the factors that helped it fare better than Europe and the United States.

But the virus has made a worrying resurgence. The number of daily new cases in Japan hit a new record on Thursday (July 30), with infections spreading rapidly not only in Tokyo but also in other regions. (Reuters)

(Production: Akira Tomoshige, Hideto Sakai)

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