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International

Virus is not tired, warns WHO chief

November 13, 2020 05:55 AM

courtesy  HT NOV 13

Virus is not tired, warns WHO chief

We may be tired of Covid-19 but it is not tired of us. TEDROS ADHANOM GHEBREYESUS, W.H.O chief
Agencies

letters@hindustantimes.com

PARIS : People are becoming weary of the coronavirus pandemic but should remain vigilant and continue to take precautions while the world awaits a vaccine, World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Thursday.

Eleven months into the pandemic that has killed more than 1.2 million people, derailed economies and turned daily lives upside down around the world, he said relying on promising but as-yet unproven vaccines was a risky bet.

“We may be tired of Covid-19 but it is not tired of us. European countries are struggling but the virus has not changed significantly, nor the measures to stop it,” Tedros told the Paris Peace Forum. His comments came as Italy recorded more than one million cases, becoming one of the top 10 worst-affected nations globally.

UK on Wednesday became the fifth country in the world to record more than 50,000 coronavirus-related deaths. “Every death is a tragedy... we’re not out of the woods yet,” said Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

And in Spain, the death toll surged over 40,000 with infections passing the 1.4 million mark as the rate of new cases continued to grow, health ministry data showed.

The European Union expressed hope Wednesday that it could start vaccinating people against the novel coronavirus as early as next year. The head of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, Andrea Ammon, told AFP that a vaccination programme could be kicked off “optimistically (in the) first quarter next year, but I can’t be more precise,” as trials in both the US and Russia suggested that vaccines currently in the final stages of testing were so far proving very effective.

A vaccine is seen as the best chance to break the cycle of deadly virus surges and severe restrictions across much of the world since Covid-19 first emerged in China late last year and ballooned into a pandemic.

Moderna said its vaccine trial has accumulated enough infections to allow for a preliminary analysis of the shot’s effectiveness to begin. It didn’t predict how long it could take an independent monitoring committee to analyse the data, but said the company could get the data to the committee within days.

Meanwhile, the global death toll jumped by more than 12,000, a daily record, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

New York sees new curbs

In the US, too, the caseload is soaring - reported new Covid-19 infections of 142,279 were at an all-time daily high for a second day in a row and above 100,000 for an eighth consecutive day, according to a Reuters tally.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo was the latest state official to impose a new round of social distancing restrictions on Wednesday, in an attempt to protect a state that was the epicentre of the US outbreak in its early stages. New York will order bars, restaurants and gyms closed at 10pm and limit indoor gatherings to 10 people, Cuomo said.

Ukraine prez hospitalised

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy was hospitalised after he contracted coronavirus earlier this week, a presidential official said on Thursday.

“He first went home, but decided to move to Feofania (hospital). To accurately isolate and not expose anyone,” a presidential spokeswoman told Reuters. “There are better conditions for patients. Nothing serious,” she said referring to the president’s health.

 

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