Coronavirus infections has doubled in last six weeks globally says WHO

COVID-19 pandemic- the most severe health emergency declared by WHO

The Director General of the World Health Organisation Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus commented on the situation regarding the Covid-19 pandemic. Addressing a press conference, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that July 30 would mark 6 months since the international health body declared Covid to be a global health emergency. He reminded everyone that although this was the sixth time that a global emergency had been declared by WHO, Covid was ‘easily the most severe’. The number of infections has doubled across the world in just 6 weeks, reported Ghebreyesus while stating that wherever the basic tenets of prevention aren’t followed, cases are bound to rise. The official Covid tally is nearing the 16 million across the world, while over 0.64 million (6, 40,000) people have died due to the disease so far.
 Scientists across the globe are still racing to create a vaccine with a few candidates, like the one being developed by Oxford University and pharma company AstraZeneca, inspiring hope. Ghebreyesus also said that he would be reconvening the Emergency Committee this week, as required by the International Health Regulations. The Committee will re-evaluate the pandemic and ‘advise’ the WHO chief accordingly.

The DG WHO told reporters last week that although all countries have been affected, we continue to see intense transmission in a relatively small group of countries. Almost 10 million cases or two thirds of all cases globally are from 10 countries, and almost half of all cases reported so far are from just three countries. As we have said previously, political leadership and community engagement are the two vital pillars of the response. One of the tools governments can use is the law not to coerce, but to protect health while protecting human rights.

Yesterday, WHO, the United Nations Development Program, UNDP, and Georgetown University launched the COVID-19 Law Lab, a database of laws that countries have implemented in response to the pandemic.

 It includes state of emergency declarations, quarantine measures, disease surveillance, legal measures relating to mask wearing, physical distancing and access to medication and vaccines. Well designed laws can help to build strong health systems, evaluate and approve safe and effective drugs and vaccines, and enforce actions to create healthier and safer public spaces and workplaces.However, laws that are poorly designed, implemented, or enforced can harm marginalized populations, entrench stigma and discrimination, and hinder efforts to end the pandemic. The database will continue to grow as more countries and themes are added. But even more powerful than the law, is giving people the information they need to protect themselves and others. The best way to suppress transmission and save lives is by engaging individuals and communities to manage their own risk and take evidence based decisions to protect their own health and that of those around them.

The pandemic has disrupted the lives of billions of people. 
Many have been at home for months. It’s completely understandable that people want to get on with their lives, but we will not be going back to the old normal. The pandemic has already changed the way we live our lives. Part of adjusting the new normal is finding ways to live our lives safely. It can be done, but how to do it will depend on where you live and your circumstances.
 It’s all about making good choices. We’re asking everyone to treat the decisions about where they go, what they do and who they meet with as life and death decisions, because they are. It may not be your life, but your choices could be the difference between life and death for someone you love, or for a complete stranger.
In recent weeks, we have seen outbreaks associated with nightclubs and other social gatherings, even in places where transmission had been suppressed. We must remember that most people are still susceptible to this virus. As long as it’s circulating, everyone is at risk. Just because cases might be at a low level where you live, that doesn’t make it safe to let down your guard. Don’t expect someone else to keep you safe. We all have a part to play in protecting ourselves and one another.
                                                                   Rukhsana Manzoor Deputy Editor

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