The coronavirus pandemic “continues to accelerate”, with a doubling of cases over the last six weeks, the World Health Organisation (WHO) chief said Monday.
WHO Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said nearly 16 million cases have now been reported to the United Nations (UN) health agency – with more than 640,000 deaths worldwide.
The Director-General said he will convene WHO’s emergency committee meeting on Thursday, a procedural requirement six months after the agency’s declaration of a public health emergency of international concern – made on January 30 for the coronavirus outbreak.
The panel will advise him on the pandemic.
“COVID-19 has changed our world,” he told reporters from WHO’s Geneva headquarters on Monday.
“It has brought people, communities and nations together – and driven them apart,” he said.
But he added that political leadership, educating and listening with communicating, increased testing, and hygiene and physical distancing measures have proven effective in some countries that have followed such techniques carefully to fight the outbreak.
“We are not prisoners of the pandemic. Every single one of us can make a difference,” the Director-General said.
“The future is in our hands,” he added.