World Health Organization warned that the COVID-19 pandemic is a long way from being over amid the largest daily rise in global cases, said the director general yesterday - Photo by WHO Office

JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – World Health Organization (WHO) warned that the COVID-19 pandemic is a long way from being over amid the largest daily rise in global cases, said the director general yesterday. The organization said 106,000 new cases had been reported to them in the last 24 hours.

The warning comes as the total number of cases approach five million. The director-general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus also expressed particular concern about rising infections in low and middle-income countries.

“In the last 24 hours, there have been 106,000 cases reported to WHO, the most in a single day since the outbreak began. Almost two-thirds of these cases were reported in just four countries,” he told reporters on Wednesday (05/20) via virtual conferences.

Based on Johns Hopkins University tracking, more than 326,000 people are known to have died with virus around the world. The United States (US) remains the worst-hit country, with more than 1.5m cases and 92,000 deaths so far.

But, in good news, he continued, it has been particularly impressive to see how countries like the Republic of Korea have built on their experience of MERS to quickly implement a comprehensive strategy to find, isolate, test and care for every case, and trace every contact. This was critical to the country curtailing the first wave and now quickly identifying and containing new outbreaks.

“However, we’re very concerned about the rising numbers of cases in low- and middle-income countries,” said Ghebreyesus by adding, COVID-19 is not the only challenge the world is facing in the region.

The climate crisis is causing increasingly strong storms, abnormal weather patterns and catastrophic shocks. Super cyclone Amphan is one of the biggest in years and is currently bearing down on Bangladesh and India.

In his opening remarked, Ghebreyesus said, the resolution sets out a clear roadmap of the critical activities and actions that must be taken by the countries to sustain and accelerate the response at the national and international levels. If implemented, this would ensure a more coherent, coordinated and fairer response that saves both lives and livelihoods, he adds.

He noted, there is a global priority to ensure the fair distribution of all quality essential health technologies required to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic. Then, the relevant international treaties should be harnessed where needed and the COVID-19 vaccines should be classified as a global public good for health in order to bring the pandemic to an end.

In addition, the collaboration to promote both private sector and government-funded research and development should be encouraged, includes open innovation across all relevant domains and the sharing of all relevant information with WHO.

“An important collaborative response to this resolution will be the COVID-19 technology platform proposed by Costa Rica, which we will launch on the 29th of May, which aims to lift access barriers to effective vaccines, medicines and other health products. We call on all countries to join this initiative,” said the director general.

That roadmap has now given rise to the solidarity trials, which now include 3,000 patients in 320 hospitals across 17 countries and to the Access to COVID-19

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