Jul 13, 2020 - Health

WHO head: There will be no return to the "old normal" in near future

World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

World Health Organization director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

World Health Organization director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned Monday that "there will be no return to the 'old normal' for the foreseeable future," but that there is a "roadmap" for struggling countries to get the virus under control.

Why it matters: A record 230,000 new cases of COVID-19 were reported to the WHO on Sunday, as total infections approach 13 million worldwide.

  • About 80% of the new cases were reported from 10 countries, while 50% came from the U.S. and Brazil — the two worst-hit countries in the world.

What he's saying: “Let me be blunt: Too many countries are headed in the wrong direction," Tedros said. "The virus remains public enemy No. 1, but the actions of many governments and people do not reflect this. ... If the basics aren’t followed, there is only one way this pandemic is going to go. It’s going to get worse and worse and worse."

The big picture: Countries must make the following goals a priority in order to mitigate the disease, Tedros said:

  • Focus on reducing mortality and suppressing transmission.
  • Foster an engaged community that takes individual behavior measures in the interest of each other.
  • Establish strong government leadership and coordination of comprehensive strategies that are communicated clearly and consistently.
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