The World Health Organization (WHO) said the coronavirus pandemic was accelerating as the latest figures showed more than 350,000 were infected by the virus with cases in almost every country in the world.
WHO’s director general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus emphasised that countries needed to use more offensive measures to combat the “heartbreaking” pandemic including testing and contact tracing.
He said countries can not win just by “defending”. They have to “attack” as well.
The WHO said that testing was key, and while commending countries for being able to test so quickly, they insisted that all suspect cases need to be tested.
Some countries, WHO said, did not have to issue confinement and population restrictions because they had effectively tested and traced cases.
Confinement policies “buy time”, WHO’s head of health emergencies, Dr Mike Ryan, said, but contact tracing and isolating cases is key to containing the spread of the virus.
“No one has been quite ready to deal with this disease,” said WHO’s Dr Mike Ryan, when asked about further spread in Africa.
“Countries are in Africa are in no different a situation and some in a more precarious situation.”
He added that African countries did have a history of dealing with epidemics and said the UN was fully activated to support countries. He said the country offices were working hard on integrated national action plans to respond to the crisis.
The organisation also warned against new drug treatments that aren’t proven.
“There is currently no treatment that has been proven to be effective against COVID-19,” Dr Tedros said, while commending the energy put forth into clinical treatments.
“Using untested medicines without the right evidence could raise false hope,” he continued, stating that it could lead to a shortage in medicine needed for other diseases.
Global recoveries pass 100,000 but pandemic ‘is accelerating’
According to figures from Johns Hopkins University, 100,472 people confirmed to have contracted Covid-19 have now recovered from the illness, more than half of them in China.
That figure represents almost a third of the people known to have been infected around the world. However, these figures are partly based on official releases and could, therefore, underestimate the number of confirmed cases. The institution has counted 354,677 confirmed cases and 15,436 confirmed deaths.
The World Heath Organization said it had taken 67 days from the first reported case to reach the first 100,000 cases, 11 days for the second 100,000 cases, and only four for the third 100,000 cases.
UK deaths reach 335 while Britons abroad told to come home
According to the Department of Health and Social Care, 6,650 people have tested positive, 77,295 negative and 335 patients have died. That included 46 more deaths in England, as well as four more in both Scotland and Wales. Two people have died from the disease in Northern Ireland, though it did not record any further deaths on Monday.
The Foreign Office urged as many as a million Britons on holiday or business trips abroad to return to the UK immediately.
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