As the new coronavirus (Covid-19) has caused the death of over a million people worldwide and infects approximately two million every week, but "it is never too late to fight back," according to the head of the World Health Organisation (WHO).
"The most important lesson is always the same: whatever the stage of the epidemic in a country, it is never too late to make a difference," wrote Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who is leading the fight against the pandemic, in an op-ed published by the British daily The Independent.
The editorial was published on the same day the WHO recorded the one-millionth death in an epidemic that started in late December in China, and then spread around the world in just a few months, infecting at least 33 million people in the process.
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"One million people have now been lost to Covid-19 and many more are suffering because of the pandemic. This milestone is a difficult moment for the world, but there are glimmers of hope that encourage us now and in the near future," said Tedros.
The pandemic, which once seemed to be under control in much of the world, now seems to be back, as many countries have restarted their economies. The WHO has recorded a record 4 million confirmed infections in the last two weeks.
The director-general outlined "the four essential steps on which all countries, all communities, all individuals must focus to control the epidemic": avoid making things worse, reduce mortality by protecting the most vulnerable, each individual must make an effort.
Lastly, governments must do everything possible to detect and isolate infections as early as possible to avoid costly large-scale containment measures, he said.
The Brussels Times