Many countries need to improve their COVID-19 responses. On Monday, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned that the situation will put the world in danger. If they still fail to follow strict safety measures, the pandemic will grow stronger. And the virus will infect more people. Many more will die.
A Warning from the WHO
In a virtual briefing, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned that too many countries refuse to follow precautions. Tedros issued a warning to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. He is also the Director-General of the WHO. Around the world, the coronavirus has infected 13 million people, according to MSNBC.
Tedros also shared current data about global infection trends. As of Sunday, “80 percent” of COVID-19 infections came from “10 nations.” He also added that “50 percent” of these came from “just two countries.” Brazil and the United States bear the brunt of these cases.
“The virus remains public enemy number one,” Tedros said. He also said that people should not expect the “old normal” to return. Even if people manage to counter the spread of the virus, it has already affected ordinary life so gravely.
Trump Leaves the WHO
US President Donald Trump had pulled his country out of the WHO earlier in July. When asked for his reason, he said that the WHO “pandered to China.” The United States will be formally out of the WHO on July 6, 2021.
Both Republican and Democratic lawmakers hit Trump for the move. They said pulling out of the WHO would put other countries in danger. The US will no longer be able to use its technology to help poorer countries. Likewise, the US would not be able to stop viruses from reaching its shores.
Trump’s political opponents have also accused him of not taking the pandemic seriously.
In response, Tedros said the WHO had not yet received the official withdrawal document.
WHO Goes to Wuhan
To study the coronavirus, the WHO sent a team of experts to Wuhan, China. The first cases of COVID-19 came from the Chinese province. At a briefing in Geneva, Dr. Margaret Harris said the team plans to “look at whether or not it jumped from species to human.” They would also study “what species it jumped from.” Dr. Harris is a WHO spokesperson.
Scientists currently believe the virus came from bats. From bats, it went to another mammal, either a cat or a pangolin. Afterward, the infection passed on to humans.
Initially, the scientists focused on the fresh food market in Wuhan. They had believed that the first animal-to-human infection happened there. However, reports of prior cases forced them to look elsewhere.
Trump has blamed the WHO for mishandling the outbreak, and for favoring China.
The WHO’s data should be useful for scientists who are trying to create vaccines or treatment drugs. A vaccine would jumpstart the world’s return to normal. It would also push the global economy back on its feet.