Congo Ebola outbreak not yet stabilized – WHO chief

admin   •   August 30, 2018   •   3258

Congolese officials and the World Health Organization officials wear protective suits as they participate in a training against the Ebola virus near the town of Beni in North Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of Congo, August 11, 2018. REUTERS/Samuel Mambo

The number of Ebola cases in the Democratic Republic of Congo is on the decline, but it is too soon to say that an outbreak is stabilizing due to difficulties identifying new cases near rebel-controlled areas, World Health Organization (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Wednesday (August 29).

Some areas close to the outbreak’s epicenter in the town of Mangina are off-limits to health workers for security reasons, hampering efforts to control the spread of the disease.

“We need to be more aggressive. The virus doesn’t actually differentiate between a rebel and so on, it’s dangerous to everybody,” Tedros told Reuters on the sidelines of a news conference, adding that the next seven to ten days would be critical to controlling the outbreak.

Since the latest outbreak was declared on August 1, 112 confirmed and probable cases have been identified in eastern Congo’s North Kivu and Ituri provinces, including 75 deaths, according to overnight data from Congo’s health ministry.

Congo has experienced 10 outbreaks of Ebola since it was discovered in the country’s forested north in 1976. The disease causes hemorrhagic fever and usually kills about half of the people it infects. — Reuters

Global COVID-19 infections surpass 10.9 million

UNTV News   •   July 6, 2020

The global number of confirmed infections of COVID-19 reached 10,922,324 and the disease claimed 523,011 lives as of 14:31 CEST Saturday, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

The WHO data showed the Americas reported the most confirmed COVID-19 cases in the world with the number reaching 5,575,482, followed by Europe and Eastern Mediterranean which confirmed 2,757,556 and 1,135,604 cases, respectively.

The United States topped all countries with 2,724,433 cases. The numbers of the confirmed cases in Brazil, Russia and India are also prominent, reaching 1.49 million, 674,515 and 648,315, respectively.

In Russia, the COVID-19 death toll surpassed 10,000 to reach 10,027 on Saturday. Moscow, the country’s worst-hit region, reported 680 new cases on the day, taking its tally of infections to 224,210.

Germany has launched fast-track COVID-19 testing in some airports for international travelers as it gradually recovers flights and tourism industry.

The test at an onsite laboratory costs 190 Euros per person. The results will come out in three to four hours.

In the United Kingdom, people welcomed “Super Saturday” as the country reopened barber shops, bars and restaurants.

Early in the morning on Saturday, long queues formed at the door of almost every barber shop as patrons lined up to finally have a haircut after being confined to their homes for more than three months.

Japan confirmed 114 new cases from 00:00 to 15:00 on Sunday, seeing the fourth consecutive day reporting more than 100 new cases in a single day.

The Iranian government has made wearing face mask in public places mandatory from Sunday amid increasing infections and fatalities brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.

It requires all people to wear face masks at public gathering places, indoor public places and in government offices providing public services.

In Turkey, shopping malls are grappling with the slowdown in business as the country faces an economic downturn due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The World Bank recently estimated Turkey’s economic growth to be 0.5 percent this year,0.3 percentage point lower than the bank’s prospect before the COVID-19 outbreak.

Egypt is seeing rising unemployment rate due to the pandemic. The rate has increased from 7.7 percent in this year’s first quarter to 9.2 percent in April, recording 2.6 million jobless people.

The bleak employment situation is also happening in South Africa. The country’s youth unemployment rate was close to 60 percent before the COVID-19 hit. The rate now is likely higher as the pandemic affects the country’s economy and creates fewer job opportunities. (Reuters)

COVID-19 pandemic speeding up globally, more resilience needed: WHO chief

UNTV News   •   June 30, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic is still speeding up, and the world will have to face a new normal of living with the virus in the coming months, World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned on Monday.

According to WHO data, as of 15:15 CEST on Monday, the total confirmed number of COVID-19 cases reported to the WHO worldwide had amounted to 10,021,401, including 499,913 deaths.

At a press conference held on Monday, Tedros said that Tuesday marks six months since the first reports of COVID-19 cases in the world. As the global cases exceed 10 million, people should rethink the lessons they’ve learned, and recommit themselves to doing everything to save lives.

“Six months ago, none of us could have imagined how our world and our lives would be thrown into turmoil by this new virus. The pandemic has brought out the best and the worst of humanity. All over the world, we have seen heartwarming acts of resilience, inventiveness, solidarity, and kindness. But we have also seen concerning signs of stigma, misinformation, and the politicization of the pandemic,” he said.

Tedros said that globally, the pandemic is speeding up. He warned all countries to prepare for a long-term battle.

“The critical question that all countries will face in the coming months is how to live with this virus. That is the new normal. We all want this to be over. We all want to get on with our lives. But the hard reality is, this is not even close to being over. Although many countries have made some progress, globally, the pandemic is actually speeding up,” he said. (Reuters)

Coronavirus pandemic getting worse globally, WHO head Tedros says

UNTV News   •   June 26, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic is subsiding in Europe, but getting worse globally with the number of infections expected to reach 10 million next week and the number of deaths 500,000, the head of the World Health Organisation Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Thursday (June 25).

Speaking via video-conference with members of the European Parliament’s health committee, Tedros said more than 9.2 million COVID-19 cases had been reported to the Geneva-based WHO.

He warned the international community that the virus is still circulating, adding it was ‘time to be on our guard, not to let it down.’

The former Ethiopian health minister said it could take a year before an effective vaccine against the coronavirus that has caused the COVID-19 pandemic were to be invented.

Tedros rejected criticism that China did not warn other countries about the epidemic early enough, saying it was not possible to compare its response time with anyone.

He praised the Chinese authorities for the ‘very strong social measures’ it implemented in Wuhan – where the disease was first identified in late 2019 – and for being able to ‘identify the virus at a record time.’ (Reuters)

(Production Clement Rossignol)

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