Geneva, 24 October 2020 (dpa/MIA) – Countries with exponential growth in coronavirus infection numbers must take decisive steps now, UN health chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
“We are at a critical juncture in the Covid-19 pandemic, particularly in the northern hemisphere,” the director general of the World Health Organization (WHO) told a press conference in Geneva.
Too many countries were seeing a sharp increase in case numbers, while hospitals were already filling up, even though the northern cold season had just started, he warned.
“We urge leaders to take immediate action, to prevent further unnecessary deaths, essential health services from collapsing and schools shutting again,” Tedros said.
Leaders must not only take steps to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus that causes the potentially fatal Covid-19 respiratory disease, but they must make sure that citizens are able to comply with health safety measures.
Governments must do all they can to help people who are in quarantine and businesses that are told to close temporarily, Tedros urged.
A flurry of Covid-19 measures have been announced across Europe this week.
On Friday, Denmark’s government announced a ban on night-time alcohol sales, while a lockdown was declared for Italy’s southern Campania region, Slovakia began testing most of its population for the novel coronavirus, and Poland announced temporary restaurant closures.
“Making changes when needed shows leadership and strength,” Tedros said.