From Our Bureau               

8TH JULY 2020

The Corona Virus (COVID-19) pandemic situation remained grim globally, with the confirmed cases across the world soaring to 1,16,69,259 and the death toll reaching 5,39,906 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 60,04,685 confirmed cases and 2,68,828 deaths. Europe came next with 28,27,789 confirmed cases and 2,01,255 deaths. Eastern Mediterranean region reported 12,04,698 confirmed cases and 28,664 deaths.

South-East Asia region’s tally stood at 10,01,655 confirmed cases and 26,224 deaths. Western Pacific region recorded 2,31,749 confirmed cases and 7,507 deaths and African region registered 3,97,942 confirmed cases and 7,415 deaths. WHO Risk Assessment at global level remained very high.

WHO experts will travel to China to work together with their Chinese counterparts to prepare scientific plans for identifying the zoonotic source of the SARS-COV-2 virus. The experts will develop the scope and terms of reference for a WHO-led international mission.

WHO has delivered $1.6 million worth of essential COVID-19 medical supplies and equipment to Afghanistan, a country with a health system facing severe challenges. The shipment, amounting to a total of 9.5 tons, includes personal protective equipment, PCR machines, oxygen concentrator machines, and stretchers, as well as other equipment. It will bolster efforts to keep frontline medical staff safe and improve testing capacity in the country.

Burkina Faso has resumed polio vaccination campaigns under strict COVID-19 prevention measures. “We cannot wait for the COVID-19 pandemic to be contained to resume immunization activities.” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa.

As the region of the Americas reports 100,000 cases of COVID-19 a day, the Director of the WHO Regional Office of the Americas, Dr Carissa F. Etienne, has called for strong coordination across countries, evidence to guide leaders’ actions and for people to protect themselves and others. (eom)

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