Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said in a press conference late Monday that the number of coronavirus (COVID-19) infections is accelerating rapidly and has surpassed 300,000 from almost every country in the world.
The total number of infected people globally has reached more than 392,331 cases at the time of writing. While, the death toll reached 17,156, while more than 102,972 people have recovered.
He added that it took 67 days from the first reported case to reach the first 100,000 cases, but only 11 days for the second 100,000, and just 4 days for the third 100,000 cases.
“But we’re not prisoners to statistics. We’re not helpless bystanders. We can change the trajectory of the COVID-19 pandemic. Numbers matter, because they’re not just numbers. They’re people, whose lives and families have been turned upside down,” he said.
Regarding the funds allocated for combating the pandemic, Ghebreyesus said that to date, the fund has raised more than $70m from more than 187,000 individuals and organisations. These funds are allocated to help health workers on the front lines to do their life-saving work, treat patients and advance research for treatments and vaccines.
The WHO director noted that calling upon people to stay home and follow physical distancing measures are essential to slow down the spread of the coronavirus and buy time, “but these measures are defensive.”
“To win, we need to attack the coronavirus with aggressive and targeted tactics, testing every suspected COVID-19 case, isolating and caring for every confirmed case, and tracing and quarantining every close contact,” he said.
Ghebreyesus noted that several countries have sent emergency medical teams to care for patients and train health workers in countries that need support, adding that health workers can only do their jobs effectively when they can do their jobs safely.
The organisation has previously expressed concern about health workers access to the safety equipment they need to do their jobs, owing to the collapse of the market for personal protective equipment.
“Even if we do everything else right, if we don’t prioritise protecting health workers, many people will die because the health worker who could have saved their life is sick,” he said.
Ghebreyesus stressed that securing these life-saving tools requires international collaboration among all nations.