From Our Bureau               

11TH JULY 2020    

The Corona Virus (COVID-19) pandemic situation remained grim globally, with the confirmed cases across the world soaring to 1,23,22,395 and the death toll reaching 5,56,335 in the 216 affected countries and territories, according to the latest update from the World Health Organization (WHO).

Globally, American region continued to be the worst-hit with 63,97,230 confirmed cases and 2,79,857 deaths. Europe came next with 28,88,850 confirmed cases and 2,02,837 deaths. Eastern Mediterranean region reported 12,55,977 confirmed cases and 30,145 deaths.

South-East Asia region’s tally stood at 10,97,074 confirmed cases and 27,990 deaths. African region registered 4,43,412 confirmed cases and 7,930 deaths. Western Pacific region recorded 2,39,111 confirmed cases and 7,563 deaths. WHO Risk Assessment at global level remained very high.

WHO launched the Access Initiative for Quitting Tobacco, which aims to help the world’s 1.3 billion tobacco users quit during the pandemic. Smoking kills eight million people a year and smokers are more vulnerable to developing a severe case of COVID-19.

WHO received its first-ever donation of nicotine replacement therapies for the project from Johnson & Johnson Consumer Health. The Initiative also enlists the help of WHO’s- and the world’s – first ever virtual health worker, Florence. You can speak with Florence, to dispel myths around COVID-19 and smoking, and to help develop a personalized plan to quit tobacco. WHO is in the final stages of adding more partners and encourages pharmaceutical and technology companies to join this initiative.

WHO has published guidance on maintaining a safe and adequate blood supply during the coronavirus disease pandemic.

Last Thursday, WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus announced the establishment of the Independent panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response (IPPR)to evaluate the world’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This is a time for self-reflection, to look at the world we live in and to find ways to strengthen our collaboration as we work together to save lives and bring this pandemic under control” said Dr Tedros. (eom)

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