It’s now clear that the Covid-19 pandemic affects countries in different ways, says WHO

Covid-19 infections globally
Covid-19 has had a global toll. (Pexels/Anna Shvets)

There are at least four distinct ways the Covid-19 pandemic has unfolded in different countries around the world, says the World Health Organisation. The virus has affected countries in different ways, and countries have in turn responded with different measures, says WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

“First, some countries acted decisively and quickly and have avoided large outbreaks. Second, some countries have had large outbreaks but were able to bring them under control and continue to suppress the virus,” said Ghebreyesus, speaking during WHO executive board meeting on Monday. “While some countries brought the virus under control, as economies and societies have eased restrictions, there has been an increase in cases. And fourth, there are still some countries that are in the intense phase of transmission.”

Almost 35 million cases of Covid-19 have now been reported to WHO, with more than one million fatalities.

“The real number is certainly higher. Numbers can blind us to the reality that every single life lost is someone who loved and was loved by others-someone’s mother, father, sister, brother, daughter or son,” says Ghebreyesus.

Only a few countries account for the highest infections

Ten countries account for 70% of all reported cases and deaths, and just 3 countries account for half. The United States has the highest number of Covid-19 infections, at more than 7,4 million, followed by India with 6,6 million, and Brazil with nearly five million cases. With more than 682,000 infections, South Africa has the tenth highest number of recorded infections in the world.

“What we have learned in every region of the world is that with strong leadership, clear and comprehensive strategies, consistent communication, and an engaged, empowered and enabled population, it’s never too late,” says the WHO director-general. “Every situation can be turned around. And hard-won gains can be easily lost.”

WHO has already distributed millions of Covid-19 tests to more than 150 countries. The pandemic is a reminder to the world world of the importance of investing in public and private healthcare, says Ghebreyesus.

“The pandemic is a wake-up call for all of us. We must all look in the mirror and ask what we can do better?” added Ghebreyesus. – Health-e News


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