From Our Bureau    

12th MAY 2020        

The Corona Virus (CPVID-19) pandemic situation remained grim globally, with the confirmed cases across the world soaring to 40,88,848 and the death toll reaching 2,83,153 in the 215 affected countries and territories, according to the latest update from the World Health Organization (WHO).

Globally, European region continued to be the worst-hit, with 17,55,790 confirmed cases and 1,57,880 deaths. American region came next with 17,43,717 confirmed cases and 1,04,549 deaths. Eastern Mediterranean region reported 2,74,027 confirmed cases and 9,138 deaths.

Western Pacific region’s tally stood at 1,61,872 confirmed cases and 6,527 deaths. South-East Asia region recorded 1,05,901 confirmed cases and 3,597 deaths and African region witnessed 46,829 confirmed cases and 1,449 deaths. WHO Risk Assessment at global level remained very high.

WHO has published a new guidance on Considerations for school-related public health measures in the context of COVID-19 as an annex to earlier guidance on adjusting public health and social measures published on 15 April 2020.

WHO has issued a Statement on Tobacco use and COVID-19. Tobacco smoking is a known risk factor for many respiratory infections and increases the severity of respiratory diseases. A review of studies by public health experts convened by WHO found that smokers are more likely to develop severe disease with COVID-19, compared to non-smokers. WHO urges researchers, scientists and the media to be cautious about amplifying unproven claims that tobacco or nicotine could reduce the risk of COVID-19.

The Director-General Dr. Tedros, in his media briefing, urged a slow, steady, lifting of public health and social measures (so called lockdowns), which is key to stimulating economies, while also keeping a vigilant eye on the virus so that control measures can be quickly implemented if an upswing in cases is identified.

WHO Operations and Support Logistics (OSL), in collaboration with a technical network of universities, architects, biomedical engineers and other health experts, is working to support the establishment of COVID-19 treatment centres, self-quarantine and community facilities at the request of countries seeking technical guidance in setting up such facilities. (eom)

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