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Fitness & Health

24th Mar 2020

WHO warns the Covid-19 pandemic is accelerating

Alan Loughnane

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“We can change the trajectory of this pandemic.”

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned that the coronavirus disease pandemic is “accelerating”, as there are now more than 300,000 cases worldwide.

WHO said that it’s still possible to change the direction of the outbreak but only if nations attack now.

“The pandemic is accelerating,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.

“It took 67 days from the first reported case to reach the first 100,000 cases, 11 days for the second 100,000 cases and just four days for the third 100,000 cases.”

He called on countries to introduce rigorous testing and contact-tracing strategies.

“But we’re not prisoners to statistics,” he said.

“We’re not helpless bystanders. We can change the trajectory of this pandemic.”

Tedros said asking people to stay at home and other physical-distancing measures were important in slowing down the spread of the virus, but these were “defensive measures that will not help us win”.

“You can’t win a football game only by defending. You have to attack as well,” Tedros said at news conference with Fifa president Gianni Infantino to launch a “kick out coronavirus” campaign featuring footballers.

“To win, we need to attack the virus with aggressive and targeted tactics – testing every suspected case, isolating and caring for every confirmed case, and chasing and quarantining every close contact.”

Despite wanting an aggressive response to the outbreak, the WHO chief acknowledged that a number of countries were struggling to go on the attack due to a lack of resources and access to tests.

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