WHO Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned COVID-19 “is not under control” in most of the world, and “it is getting worse”. He added the pandemic is “still accelerating”, with the number of cases doubling over the past six weeks. Speaking at the member state briefing on the coronavirus pandemic evaluation, Dr Ghebreyesus: “The virus has upended health systems in some of the world’s wealthiest nations, while some countries that have mounted a successful response have been of modest means.
“We know that when countries take a comprehensive approach based on fundamental public health measures – such as find, isolate, test and treat cases, and trace and quarantine contacts – the outbreak can be brought under control.
“But in most of the world the virus is not under control. It is getting worse.
“More than 11.8 million cases of Covid-19 have now been reported to WHO. More than 544,000 lives have been lost.
“And the pandemic is still accelerating. The total number of cases has doubled in the last six weeks.”
The huge warning from the WHO Director General comes as UK relaxed quarantine rules for people returning to or visiting the country from several countries.
The Government has published a list of 76 countries and territories from which people visiting England will no longer have to enter a self-quarantine period of two weeks.
But the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has advised people to avoid travelling on cruise ships.
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7.30am update: UK to opt out EU coronavirus vaccine fearing Brussels will push Britain to back of queue
Britain is today expected to decline an offer to join an EU coronavirus vaccine scheme over fears Brussels will sell Britain short and limit the amounts available because of Brexit.
The European Commission invited the UK to join the new ‘EU vaccine strategy’, which aims to secure advance agreements with manufacturers to provide millions of doses to member states and some ministers warmed to the plan believing it offered huge economies of scale.
But mandarins in Brussels said the UK would be barred from attending the scheme’s steering committee because of Brexit – and ministers have interpreted this as meaning Britain would have no say in either EU-wide coronavirus strategy or distrubtion amounts and who gets it first.
The European Commission is set to be informed of the outcome today the report added.