Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the planet Health Organization (WHO), warned that "the worst is yet ahead of us" in the coronavirus pandemic that has infected millions and killed thousands across the world.
Addressing the media in Geneva on Monday, the WHO chief said: ""Trust us. The worst is yet ahead of us... Let's prevent this tragedy. It's a virus that many people still don't understand," the Evening Standard newspaper reported.
"There is no secret in WHO because keeping things confidential or secret is dangerous. It's a health issue.
"This virus is dangerous. It exploits cracks between us when we have differences," he added.
Ghebreyesus said that the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) staff are seconded to figure together with his agency, suggesting that was a symbol of the WHO's transparency.
"Having CDC staff means there is nothing hidden from the US from day one" the WHO chief said, adding: "Our CDC colleagues also know that we give information immediately to anyone."
In one among his starkest comparisons yet, the UN health agency chief also alluded to the Spanish Flu quite a century ago, reports the Evening Standard newspaper.
He said the coronavirus features a "very dangerous combination... just like the 1918 flu that killed up to 100 million people".
Ghebreyesus called the illness "Public Enemy Number One" and said: "We have been warning from day one: this is a devil that everybody should fight."
As of Tuesday morning, a total of 170,324 people have so far died of the disease, while the worldwide number of coronavirus cases stood at 2,477,426, consistent with the Johns Hopkins University.