WHO chief says global Covid-19 cases double over past 6 weeks

<p>World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus <em>(Xinhua photo)</em></p>

World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (Xinhua photo)

GENEVA – World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Monday that he will reconvene the Emergency Committee on Thursday to re-evaluate the Covid-19 pandemic, as global cases had doubled over the past six weeks.

Saying that this Thursday (July 30) marks six months since Jan. 30 when WHO declared the coronavirus outbreak a public health emergency of international concern, Tedros told a virtual press conference that almost 16 million cases have now been reported to WHO, with more than 640,000 deaths worldwide.

"This is the sixth time a global health emergency has been declared under the International Health Regulations, but it is easily the most severe," he said, adding that the pandemic continues to accelerate.

In the past six weeks, the global total number of cases has roughly doubled, Tedros said.

He said that although the world has changed, the basic measures needed to suppress transmission and save lives have not -- find, isolate, test and care for cases, and trace and quarantine their contacts.

"Countries and communities that have followed this advice carefully and consistently have done well, either in preventing large-scale outbreaks -- like Cambodia, New Zealand, Rwanda, Thailand, Vietnam, and islands in the Pacific and Caribbean -- or in bringing large outbreaks under control, like Canada, China, Germany and the Republic of Korea," he said. (Xinhua)