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Image / Editorial

‘The worst is yet to come’: WHO issue stark warning as Ireland reopens after lockdown

by Erin Lindsay
30th Jun 2020

The World Health Organisation has warned that the Covid-19 pandemic is “not even close to being over”.

As Ireland began its biggest easing of lockdown restrictions yesterday, the World Health Organisation (WHO) issued a stark warning not to get too comfortable about Covid-19.

As the world hits the six month mark since the first signs of the pandemic, the death toll from the disease has surpassed 500,000, and the director of the WHO has warned people that “the worst is yet to come”.

At a virtual briefing yesterday, Director-General of the WHO Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said: “Although many countries have made some progress, globally the pandemic is actually speeding up.”

“We’re all in this together, and we’re all in this for the long haul.”

During the briefing, Dr. Tedros praised the “heartwarming acts of resilience, inventiveness, solidarity and kindness” seen around the world since the pandemic began, but also raised concern about “stigma, misinformation and the politicization” of the pandemic from various sources.

Dr. Tedros also laid out five priorities for every country to focus on in their fight against Covid-19. They were:

  1. Empower communities to understand how to personally protect against coronavirus, by social distancing and wearing PPE when appropriate, etc.
  2. Suppress transmission through improved surveillance and ensuring healthcare workers have access to PPE
  3. Save lives by paying particular attention to those most at risk from the disease
  4. Accelerate research & development
  5. Political leadership and global solidarity

Dr. Tedros finished his speech by encouraging hope and solidarity as we face the next six months of the pandemic. “We have already lost so much – but we cannot lose hope,” he said.

“This is a time for renewing our commitment to empowering communities, suppressing transmission, saving lives, accelerating research and political leadership.”

Read more: Opinion: ‘Why aren’t we taking face masks seriously in Ireland?’

Read more: ‘As a GP, this is what I will — and won’t — be doing during Phase 3’

Read more: Opinion: ‘This pandemic has left an entire generation stuck in limbo’