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WHO Urges World Leaders to Take Stronger Actions Against Covid-19

The World Health Organization (WHO) is calling on governments worldwide to use time wisely and take aggressive measures to contain as much a possible the further spread of the coronavirus.

“By asking people to stay home and by banning travel, we are buying time and reducing the pressure on health systems. These measures alone will not eliminate the pandemic. We call on all countries to use this time to attack the virus,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a press briefing in Geneva, on Wednesday.

Confirming that cases had now approached half a million, he added that the final death toll will depend on how world governments and citizens respond to the pandemic.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (archive photo).

Referring to the far-reaching impact of the virus, which he described as “Public Enemy No 1”, Ghebreyesus said countries should increase the number of health care employees, train new staff, and find effective means to detect suspected cases earlier.

Covid-19 is a dangerous virus, he said, adding that the death count had now exceeded 16,000. “We had been saying to the world the window of opportunity is narrowing and the time to act was actually more than a month ago, two months ago,” he said.

Syntagma Square, Athens

Syntagma Square, Athens. Photo © GNTO/Y Skoulas

Greece is currently in lockdown after Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said it was the next step in putting a halt on the spread of the deadly virus, which has so far infected 892 people and left 26 fatalities

“We have overcome many pandemics and crises before. We will overcome this one, too. The question is how large a price we will pay. Already we have lost more than 16,000 lives. We know we will lose more. How many more will be determined by the decisions we make and the actions we take now,” he said.

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