The World Health Company (WHO) expressed concern about the rising number of brand-new coronavirus cases in poor countries, even as many abundant countries have actually begun emerging from lockdowns.
The worldwide health body said on Wednesday that 106,000 new cases of infections of the novel coronavirus had been recorded in the past 24 hours, the most in a single day given that the outbreak started in December.
” We still have a long method to go in this pandemic,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a press conference. “We are extremely concerned about increasing cases in low- and middle-income countries.”
Dr Mike Ryan, head of WHO’s emergencies programme, said: “We will quickly reach the terrible turning point of 5 million cases”.
The WHO has actually come under fire from United States President Donald Trump, who accuses it of having mishandled the outbreak and of favouring China, where the virus is believed to have emerged late in 2015.
This week Trump threatened to withdraw from the WHO and permanently keep financing.
Tedros acknowledged getting a letter from Trump, but declined to comment even more.
Tedros said he was dedicated to responsibility and would carry out a review into the response to the pandemic.
Such a review was required by member states in a resolution this week that was passed by consensus, although the US expressed appointments about some components of it.
” I stated it time and time once again that WHO calls for responsibility more than anyone. It needs to be done and when it’s done it has to be a comprehensive one,” Tedros stated of the review, while decreasing to say when it would begin.
Ryan stated such evaluations are typically performed after an emergency situation is over.
” I for one would prefer, today, to proceed with getting the job done of an emergency action, of epidemic control, of developing and distributing vaccines, of enhancing our surveillance, of conserving lives and distributing essential PPE [personal protective equipment] to workers and discovering medical oxygen for people in fragile settings, decreasing the effect of this disease on refugees and migrants,” Ryan said.
Tedros said he had long been looking for other sources of financing for the WHO, stating its $2.3 bn budget was “extremely, extremely little” for a worldwide agency, around that of a medium-sized healthcare facility in the developed world.
In comments that could further annoy Trump, Ryan said people ought to avoid using the malaria medicine hydroxychloroquine to treat or prevent coronavirus infection, except as part of a clinical trial to study it.
Trump has actually said he is taking hydroxychloroquine to prevent coronavirus infection.
” At this stage, [neither] hydroxychloroquine nor chloroquine have actually been as yet found to be effective in the treatment of COVID-19 nor in the prophylaxis versus coming down with the disease,” Ryan said.
” In truth, the opposite, in that warnings have been provided by many authorities relating to the potential side effects of the drug.”
Issues as US cut funds
Ryan also warned that any end to large United States funding for WHO, the United Nations health firm, will have a “significant implication for delivering necessary health services to the most vulnerable individuals worldwide”.
Ryan said the US funding that reaches the WHO emergencies programme was “on the order of $100 m a year” and much goes to “humanitarian health operations all over the world, in all sorts of vulnerable and hard settings”.
He revealed “concern” about any such funding cuts.
” Replacing those lifesaving funds for front-line health services to some of the most challenging locations on the planet: we’ll obviously need to deal with other partners to guarantee that those funds can still flow,” he stated.
” This is going to be a significant ramification for providing important health services to some of the most susceptible individuals worldwide.
” And we rely on that other donors will, if necessary, action in to fill that gap.”