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WHO Warns 'Majority' Of The World At Risk

WHO Head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus addressing 73rd World Health Assembly in Geneva
WHO Head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus addressing 73rd World Health Assembly in Geneva

Massive and combined efforts are needed from all countries to tackle the COVID-19 situation, said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on 18th May, as the WHO head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus insisted that the majority of the world population is still at risk. Addressing World Health Organization (WHO) Member States attending the foreshortened and virtual World Health Assembly in Geneva via videoconference, the UN chief pointed out that despite “some solidarity”, there has been negligible unity when it comes to the global togetherness to respond to the pandemic. Because of this, “a microscopic virus has brought us to our knees,” he said, before reiterating his support for the “irreplaceable” WHO.

Countries Ignored WHO's Advice

Antonio Guterres
Antonio Guterres

UN Chief said that most nations ignored the recommendations made by the WHO, which resulted in the massive spread of the virus. The governments are risking the lives of their citizens and the devastation might reach a point from where the economies will never recover. Support was needed that will keep households afloat and businesses solvent”, the UN Secretary-General insisted, repeating the need for G20 nations to consider launching a relief package equivalent to a double-digit percentage of global GDP. He also called for greater support through the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank Group, and other international financial institutions.

Target Most Vulnerable

Developed countries can support themselves, and there is a need for more resources in developing countries. Older people, children, low-wage earners, are among the most vulnerable. There is a need for the countries to come together and help out each other.

Stop The Blame-Game

While many countries have put forward the request to set up an inquiry into how the virus spread so rapidly, the UN Chief insisted that it was too early to do so. The chief added that what the nations learned from this pandemic will be used to effectively tackle similar challenges in the future. But right now, the world has to focus on showing solidarity in fighting the virus. Not just locally, but international unity is a must if we want to stop the virus.

"Either we stand together, or we fall apart."

Mr Guterres also reemphasized his support for WHO and the fact that developing countries at-risk need more support. The UN chief reiterated that all of us will go through this pandemic together. Either everyone stands together, or everyone falls apart.

300,000+ deaths

The WHO has reported more than 4.5 million cases of COVID-19 infection and more than 300,000 lives lost, Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told member states on Monday. He compared the virus to bushfires, spreading rapidly. He added that the regions which are severely affected have a percentage of the population with the number of anti-bodies less than 20%, and some even have as low as 10%. Hence a large population of the world is highly vulnerable to the virus.

Source and Image Courtesy: UN

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