COVID-19: WHO warns of ‘long’ pandemic as cases rise


The coronavirus pandemic is likely to be “long,” the World Health Organization (WHO) warned on Saturday as countries from France to Mexico reported an increase in cases.The WHO said it “underlined the expected long duration of this COVID-19 pandemic” in a statement after its emergency committee met on Friday to assess the crisis six months after it sounded the global alarm on January 30.

The group also warned of the risk of “response fatigue” given socio-economic pressures on countries.

“The WHO continues to assess the global risk level of COVID-19 as very high,” its latest statement said.

“The committee underscored the anticipated long duration of this COVID-19 pandemic, noting the importance of sustained community, national, regional and global response efforts.

France and Poland were among a number of countries to report an increase in coronavirus cases.

For a third day in a row, Poland reported its highest number of new cases on Saturday, with 658 new infections. Poland has now reported a total of 46,346 coronavirus cases and 1,721 deaths.


France confirmed 1,346 new cases of coronavirus on Friday in the past 24 hours. This is the third day in a row that cases have exceeded 1,300.

Meanwhile, from Saturday, travelers entering France from 16 countries where the coronavirus circulates widely must now undergo viral tests upon arrival at French airports and ports.

French Prime Minister Jean Castex announced last month that testing would be mandatory from August 1 for passengers that France clears from a list of approved countries, unless they present proof of a negative test performed within 72 hours of departure.

Those who test positive in France must be quarantined for 14 days.


Mexico now has the third highest number of coronavirus deaths in the world, after reporting 688 new deaths, surpassing the UK count.

Mexican health officials reported a new national record for COVID-19 infections on Friday, with 8,458 new cases recorded in 24 hours

This brings the total number of infections recorded since the appearance of the virus in the country to 424,637.

Only Brazil (92,475) and the United States (153,314) currently have a higher death toll from the virus, according to a Johns Hopkins University report.

The surge in cases and deaths in Mexico comes amid similar outbreaks in other parts of the world.


India recorded the steepest spike of 57,118 new cases in the past 24 hours, bringing its burden of coronavirus cases to nearly 1.7 million, with July alone accounting for nearly 1.1 million infections.

On Saturday, the health ministry also reported 764 more deaths for a total of 36,511.

India’s Ministry of Civil Aviation has delayed the resumption of international flights for an additional month until August 31. But it will continue to allow several international carriers from the United States, Europe and the Middle East to operate special flights to evacuate stranded nationals.

Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Friday that India had achieved more than a million recoveries with active cases only a third of the total. India currently performs more than 640,000 tests in 24 hours, bringing the cumulative testing across the country to nearly 1.9 million, he said.

The lockdown remains in place in all containment areas, while subways, movie theaters, swimming pools, amusement parks, bars, theaters, auditoriums and other social gathering places will remain closed until the 31st. August.


A state of emergency has been declared for the Japanese tourist region of Okinawa following an “explosive spread” of the coronavirus, according to the authorities, and the population is asked to confine themselves for two weeks.

“We are seeing an explosive spread of the infection. We are declaring a state of emergency ”until August 15, regional governor Denny Tamaki told reporters on Friday, adding that hospitals were overwhelmed by this epidemic of contamination.

The leader urged residents to avoid non-essential outings. The measures taken in Japan are not as restrictive as those taken in Europe, but are nonetheless widely respected by the population.

Most of the coronavirus cases detected in this island in the south of the archipelago have been detected in US military bases.

Okinawa’s move comes as Tokyo has asked restaurants, bars and karaoke bars to close at 10 p.m. on August 3 until the end of the month, after the publication of a record daily number of new infections.

Japan has recorded around 35,200 infections and just over 1,000 deaths since the first case was detected in January. The number of infections has increased since the end of the state of emergency in May.

Elsewhere, the death toll in Colombia surpassed 10,000 on Friday, according to the health ministry. And in the United States, the worst-affected country in the world, there have been 1,442 deaths in the past 24 hours reported on Friday, the fourth day in a row the country has recorded more than 1,200 deaths in one day.


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