The World Health Organization (WHO) has urged countries hit by serious COVID-19 outbreaks to ‘wake up’ to the realities on the ground instead of bickering, and to ‘take control’ as global coronavirus cases exceeded 11 million.
“People need to wake up. The data is not lying. The situation on the ground is not lying,” WHO emergencies director Michael Ryan was quoted in reports as saying to journalists at a briefing on Friday hosted by the UN correspondents’ association in Geneva.
Many hard-hit countries are easing lockdowns put in place to slow the spread of the coronavirus while making extensive alterations to work and social life that could last for a year or more until a vaccine is available.
Some countries are experiencing a resurgence in infections, leading authorities to partially reinstate lockdowns, in what experts say could be a recurring pattern into 2021.
Touching almost every country on earth since it emerged in China late last year, the coronavirus has hit more than 11 million people and killed nearly 530,000 people worldwide.
The number of cases is more than double the figure for severe influenza illnesses recorded annually, according to the World Health Organization.