Amid the Coronavirus pandemic, World Health Organization (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Monday warned that the virus is 'accelerating'. However, he added that it is still possible to "change the trajectory" of the outbreak. Speaking to the media, he said, "We are not helpless bystanders."
Speaking about the preventive measures against the virus, Tedros stated that asking people to stay at home and other physical distancing measures are an important way of slowing down the spread of the virus and buying time. However, he added that they are defensive measures that will not help to win. According to him, there is a need to attack the virus with aggressive and targeted tactics. He further reiterated a call for testing every suspected case, isolating and caring for every confirmed case and tracing and quarantining every close contact.
As per the WHO chief, it took at least 67 days from the beginning of the outbreak in China in late December for the virus to infect the first 100,000 people across the globe. Further, since there is no treatment that has been proven to be effective against the virus, he warned that using untested medicines without the right evidence could raise false hope as well as it can cause a shortage of essential medicines that are needed to treat other diseases.
Presently, there are around 378,741 confirmed cases of COVID-19 which has led to the death of around 16,499 people. Meanwhile, around 101,608 have reportedly been recovered. The hardest-hit region, after China, is Italy, Iran and South Korea, where the number of cases is rising by the hour.
In India, over 490 confirmed cases of the virus have been reported. Along with it, nine deaths have been reported till now. The maximum number of cases have been reported in Maharashtra with a total of around 97 positive cases. Numerous states have announced lockdowns till at least March 31, suspending all public transport services and non-essential services. The state governments were advised to issue appropriate orders to allow only essential services to operate in the 75 districts which have reported confirmed cases or casualties relating to COVID 19.