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COVID-19: WHO warns no return to normality soon

With the 230,000 reported new cases of COVID-19, the World Health Organization, WHO warned on Monday that there could be no return to normality any time soon.

According to the health organisation, the pandemic was only going to get worse unless people stuck to the basics of physical distancing, hand washing and the wearing of masks.

WHO chief Tedros Ghebreyesus warned that countries that were easing their way out of lockdowns were now witnessing a resurgence of the virus because they were not following proven methods to reduce risk. 

“Let me blunt: too many countries are headed in the wrong direction. The virus remains public enemy number one, but the actions of many governments and people do not reflect this,” Tedros told a virtual news briefing.

Chief Ghebreyesus said mixed messages from leaders were undermining trust.

If governments do not roll out a comprehensive strategy to suppress transmission of the virus, and if populations do not follow basic public health principles, “there is only one way this pandemic is going to go,” he said.

The novel coronavirus has killed nearly 570,000 people and infected more than 12.9 million since the outbreak emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP.

He said there were four scenarios playing out around the world.

They were: countries that were alert and avoided large outbreaks, those that got a major outbreak under control, those that eased restrictions but are now backsliding, and those that are in an intense transmission phase.

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