The United Nations health agency has expressed concern that the inappropriate use of antibiotics during the coronavirus crisis would further fuel the trend.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has led to an increased use of antibiotics, which will ultimately lead to higher rates of bacterial resistance that will impact the burden of disease and death during the pandemic and beyond “Said Tedros at a virtual press conference in Geneva’s WHO headquarters.
The WHO has said that only a small proportion of Covid-19 patients need antibiotics to treat subsequent bacterial infections.
The organization has issued recommendations to doctors not to provide antibiotic therapy or prophylaxis to patients with mild Covid-19 or to patients with moderate disease without clinical suspicion of bacterial infection.
Tedros said the guidelines should help fight antimicrobial resistance while saving lives.
He called the threat of antimicrobial resistance “one of the most pressing challenges of our time.”
“It is clear that the world is losing its ability to use critically important antimicrobial drugs,” he said.
Highlighting inappropriate use, he said there was “overuse” of antibiotics in some countries, while in low-income states, these vital drugs were not available “causing unnecessary suffering and death”.
Meanwhile, WHO has said that the prevention and treatment of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) has been seriously disrupted since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in December, following an investigation in 155 countries. .
“This is of great concern as people living with NCDs are at higher risk for serious illness and death related to Covid-19,” said the report.
The three-week survey in May found that low-income countries were the most affected.
Some 53% of countries reported a partial or total interruption of hypertension treatment services.
The figure was 49% for the treatment of diabetes and related complications, 42% for the treatment of cancer and 31% for cardiovascular emergencies.
The most common reasons for stopping or reducing services were planned treatment cancellations, fewer available public transportation, and a shortage of staff because health workers had been reassigned to Covid-19 treatment.
The WHO has warned of the dangers of mass rallies as protests in the United States and elsewhere rage against the murder of the unarmed black man George Floyd, and that sporting events begin a temporary recovery.
“Mass rallies have the potential to act as mass events,” warned Tedros, highlighting WHO advice designed to help organizers determine how such events can be safely organized.
WHO has been asked about street protests in the United States and the fear that they may increase the spread of the virus.
“With the increase in social mix and gatherings, especially in areas where the virus is not under control, this close contact between people can pose a risk,” replied Maria Van Kerkhove, technical manager of the organization, Covid-19, pointing out that she was talking about mass rallies in general.
Those planning mass events should undertake a “very serious and rigorous risk assessment,” she said.
“Physical distance remains a very important aspect to control and suppress the transmission of Covid-19. It’s not over yet, “said Van Kerkhove.
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