Despite some claiming that the coronavirus pandemic is starting to ease, the World Health Organization (WHO) has confirmed that in fact, the virus is continuing to spread throughout many countries.
Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has warned global leaders that unless the way they are dealing with the virus changes, the numbers of cases and deaths will continue to rise.
Speaking at a virtual health forum Dr Tedros said, “Globally, the pandemic is still accelerating. The greatest threat we face now is not the virus itself, it’s the lack of global solidarity and global leadership.”
Dr Tedros warned, “We cannot defeat this pandemic with a divided world.”
At the time of writing there has been over 9.5 million confirmed cases around the world – 2.4 million just in America – and more than 485,000 deaths – 124,282 of those fatalities were in America. However it is widely believed that the number of cases actually far exceed official figures due to a combination of limited resources for testing as well as asymptomatic cases.
In fact, the number of new cases is increasing so fast that it took only eight days to reach one million cases, however it took nearly three months for the first million cases to be recorded.
There has also been several occasions where over 150,000 new cases had been confirmed in a day with WHO reporting 183,000 confirmed cases within a 24-hour time frame.
As well as the high casualty count the damage the pandemic is having on our world is also spiralling out of control with Dr Tedros commenting that, “we know that the pandemic is much more than a health crisis. It is an economic crisis, a social crisis, and in many countries a political crisis. Its effects will be felt for decades to come.”
However with many countries seemingly turning the pandemic into a political competition Dr Tedros spoke out, saying it was wrong that countries were being forced to make a decision between “lives and livelihoods”. This has never been truer than here in America as President Donald Trump has continued to force governors to reopen their states and restart their economies, even though at least 29 states have seen a significant rise in covid-19 cases.
However at a recent re-election rally Trump appeared to encourage health officials to ‘slow the testing’ after US authorities had reported a further 30,000 cases. Speaking in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Trump – referring to the high numbers of tests being carried out – told the crowds, “When you do testing to that extent, you are going to find more people, you will find more cases. So I said to my people ‘slow the testing down’. They test and they test.”
However Trump’s leading expert Dr Anthony Fauci has denied ever receiving the request.
Following the comments, Trump was forced to deny claims that he was joking and confirmed his stance via a post on Twitter saying, “Our Coronavirus testing is so much greater (25 million tests) and so much more advanced, that it makes us look like we have more cases, especially proportionally, than other countries. My message on that is very clear!”
Responding to Trump, Democrat Politician Kathy Castor has claimed his words could confuse the public, especially when it comes to subjects including treatments that are yet to be approved, the use of facemasks and his continued stance on ignoring advice from several public health experts saying, “It costs lives.” Castor continued that there was a need for public health experts to be “more outspoken”.
It is not just our president that seems to have little regard for coronavirus details with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro continuing to compare covid-19 with a “little flu” and that the impact of the economy closing down would be far greater than the health implications.
With the second highest number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in the world – they currently have nearly 1.2 million cases and almost 54,000 fatalities – Brazil has been suffering yet Bolsonaro continues to refuse to implement any social distancing measures which he say would be “job killing”.
Although there are many countries that are still riding the first wave of the virus others that were believed to have ‘flattened the curve’ have seen new outbreaks, including Australia that saw it’s first coronavirus death for nearly a month in Melbourne, who have seen figures of confirmed cases start to increase again. The deceased man saw the number of fatalities in the region reach 20 while nationwide there has been only 103 deaths, something that has been hailed as a success story.
New cases have also been reported in Japan, China, South Korea and Germany with some areas being forced to reinstate lockdown controls.
In South Korea rules were largely reduced at the beginning of May however the last few weeks has seen numbers of positive cases increasing to between 35 to 50 cases each day. Jung Eun-kyeong is director of Korea’s Centres for Disease Control and Prevention and believes, “the second wave has been running since it was triggered by the May holiday.”