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GENEVA: With more than 150 thousand new cases of COVID-19 were reported to WHO on Thursday, the most in a single day so far, the world is in a new and dangerous phase, said WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.
Almost half of those cases were reported from the Americas, with large numbers also being reported from South Asia and the Middle East, Dr Tedors pointed lout addressing his global media conference on Friday.
Many people, he said, are understandably fed up with being at home. Countries are understandably eager to open up their societies and economies.
“But the virus is still spreading fast, it’s still deadly, and most people are still susceptible. We call on all countries and all people to exercise extreme vigilance,” Dr Tedros said..
“Continue maintaining your distance from others. Stay home if you feel sick. Keep covering your nose and mouth when you cough. Wear a mask when appropriate. Keep cleaning your hands,” he said.
As the pandemic gathers pace, it’s the most vulnerable who will suffer the most. All countries rich and poor have populations who are vulnerable to a higher risk of severe disease and death.
Pointing out that Saturday is World Refugee Day, he said is an important moment to highlight the risks of COVID-19 for some of the world’s most vulnerable people. Refugees are particularly at risk of COVID-19 because they often have limited access to adequate shelter, water, nutrition, sanitation, and health services.
Over 80 per cent of the world’s refugees and nearly all the world’s internally displaced people are hosted in low- and middle-income countries. WHO is deeply concerned about the very real and present danger of widespread transmission of COVID-19 in refugee camps, he said.