In a grim statement on Wednesday, the World Health Organization said that the deadly COVID-19 is here to stay for a long time, adding that most countries were still in the early stages of tackling the pandemic.
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WHO chief Tedros Adhanom said that some countries who were under the impression that the coronavirus situation was under control are witnessing a resurgence in infection cases.
He noted that the UN health agency had declared the novel virus a global emergency in good time on January 30, giving countries time to prepare and work out their response.
Recently, the World Health Organization was criticised by US President Donald Trump for being too "China-centric" and for its (ill) handling of the pandemic but Tedros brushed off calls for him to resign.
In a video conference in Geneva, Tedros said, “Most of the epidemics in western Europe appear to be stable or declining."
“Although numbers are low, we see worrying upward trends in Africa, Central and South America, and eastern Europe.
“Most countries are still in the early stages of their epidemics. And some that were affected early in the pandemic are now starting to see a resurgence in cases.
“Make no mistake: we have a long way to go. This virus will be with us for a long time.”
So far, the highly infectious coronavirus, which first originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan last December, has infected over 2.5 million globally and killed more than 175,000 people.
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“Looking back, I think we declared the emergency at the right time” on January 30, he said, adding that the world “had enough time to respond”.