Story at a glance
- “This is the sixth time a global health emergency has been declared under the International Health Regulations, but is easily the most severe,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Monday.
- The WHO official said the pandemic is continuing to accelerate.
- The total number of cases has doubled in the past six weeks.
Nearly six months since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the coronavirus a public health emergency of international concern, the organization on Monday said it was “easily the most severe” emergency ever declared by the global health agency.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned during a virtual news briefing Monday that the COVID-19 pandemic continues to accelerate as the total number of cases has doubled in the past six weeks.
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“This is the sixth time a global health emergency has been declared under the International Health Regulations, but it is easily the most severe,” Tedros said.
More than 16 million coronavirus cases have been confirmed with nearly 650,000 total deaths since the outbreak began late last year.
The WHO official said strict adherence to health measures such as social distancing and wearing masks can help mitigate the spread of the virus, praising countries such as Canada, China, Germany and South Korea for controlling outbreaks. He also emphasized the need for testing, contact tracing and isolating those who test positive.
“Keep your distance from others, clean your hands, avoid crowded and enclosed areas, and wear a mask where recommended. Where these measures are followed, cases go down. Where they’re not, cases go up,” Tedros said.
The WHO on Friday reported 284,196 coronavirus infections in a 24-hour period, a record daily increase in the number of cases worldwide.
The U.S. continues to lead the world in the number of infections and deaths. More than 4.2 million cases have been confirmed with almost 147,000 deaths.
The U.S. reported 59,737 new coronavirus infections Sunday and has recorded more than 1,000 daily deaths for four straight days.
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