The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that the coronavirus disease pandemic is “accelerating,” with more than 300,000 cases now confirmed worldwide.
It took 67 days from the first reported instance of Covid-19 to reach 100,000 cases, 11 days for the second 100,000, and just four days to reach the third 100,000.
But WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said it was still possible to “change the trajectory.” of the virus’ spread.
He urged countries to adopt rigorous testing and contact-tracing strategies.
Ghebreyesus said asking people to stay at home and other physical-distancing measures were an important way of slowing down the spread of the virus, but went to to describe them as “defensive measures that will not help us to win”.
“To win, we need to attack the virus with aggressive and targeted tactics – testing every suspected case, isolating and caring for every confirmed case, and chasing and quarantining every close contact,” he explained.
The WHO leader expressed alarm at reports from around the world of large numbers of infections among health workers, which appeared to be the result of a shortage of adequate personal protective equipment.
“Health workers can only do their jobs effectively when they can do their jobs safely,” he warned. “Even if we do everything else right, if we don’t prioritize protecting health workers many people will die because the health worker who could have saved their life is sick.”