- The World Health Organization held a press conference on June 8 to inform the public about the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
- Authorities said the global situation was “getting worse,” with 136,000 cases reported yesterday, a record for just one day.
- Central and South America remain a source of “great concern”.
- Asymptomatic spread of COVID-19 “very rare”.
The COVID-19 crisis reached its last tragic milestone yesterday with 136,000 confirmed cases reported in one day, the most in one day so far, said Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, during a World Health Organization (WHO) briefing.
Almost 75% of yesterday’s cases come from 10 countries, mainly in the Americas and South Asia. Cases have exceeded 100,000 cases in nine of the last 10 days.
Infections have decreased in some parts of the world, such as Europe, and many countries are seeing positive signs. Overall, however, the situation in the world is “getting worse,” said the Director-General.
Nearly 7 million confirmed cases of coronavirus have now been reported worldwide, as well as 400,000 deaths.
“Complex” situation in Central and South America
The Americas, the current epicenter of the virus, are still a source of “great concern,” said WHO officials. Rapid increases, such as a doubling of the number of deaths in Guatemala, have been observed throughout the region. “What we see from Mexico to Chile is a growing trend in the Americas, in Latin America, with a few notable exceptions,” said Michael J. Ryan, director general of the WHO health emergency management program.
These skills will help hard-hit countries cope. “What we hope to see are the governments of Central and South America working together to fight this disease and demonstrating once again to the world the capacity of these countries, both in science, in health public, disaster risk management and their ability to work both individually and together in a consistent manner to stop infectious disease, “said Ryan.
Public health tips for protesters
Demonstrations against racism have spread around the world in recent weeks, raising concerns about the spread of the virus and questions about measures such as self-quarantine for protesters in some cities. WHO officials have clarified, however, that simply attending a mass rally does not necessarily require such stringent measures. Contact, said Ryan, is someone who has been in close and prolonged contact with a confirmed carrier of COVID-19. “Someone who has just been to a mass gathering does not necessarily meet the definition of contact in this context. ”
WHO expressed support for the global movement and reminded protesters to keep in mind the basic principles of COVID-19, such as hand washing and physical distance.
Regarding the risk of exposure and security, officials explained that protesters should refer to local guidelines.
In addition, local authorities could, on the basis of a scientific review of transmission in a particular community, make recommendations on quarantines or other measures to contain the potential spread of the virus. “There may be situations for mass gatherings where a local public health official, on the basis of great caution, could advise people to quarantine or get tested. “
Countries continue to investigate asymptomatic cases, said WHO technical officer Dr Maria Van Kerkhove. She said these patients, who have very few or no symptoms, rarely help fuel the spread of COVID-19, according to country reports monitoring contracts in detail. As WHO continually collects more information to better understand this topic, “it still seems rare that an asymptomatic individual actually transmits. “
More important to contain the virus, said Van Kerkhove, studies and tracks symptomatic cases, given their contribution to the spread of the virus. “If we really followed all the symptomatic cases, isolate those cases, follow the contacts and put these contacts in quarantine. We would drastically reduce transmission, ”she said. “If we could focus on that, I think we would do it very well in terms of removing the transmission. “