Nearly 20 million cases of COVID-19 have now been recorded. WHO Director-General Dr Tedros stressed that behind these statistics there is a great deal of pain and suffering. He emphasized that ‘There are two essential elements to addressing the pandemic effectively. Leaders must step up to take action and citizens need to embrace new measures...My message is crystal- clear: suppress, suppress, suppress the virus’.
Dr Tedros sent a message of solidarity to the people of Beirut in the aftermath of the massive explosion which killed over 150 people, injured more than 6000 and made over 300 000 people homeless. ‘To the people of Beirut, the health workers and emergency workers on the ground, our thoughts are with you and we will continue to support you’, he said. WHO has sent surgical and major trauma supplies and personal protective equipment worth US$1.7 million, as well as providing support to mitigate the impact of COVID-19, address psychosocial needs and facilitate the rapid restoration of damaged health facilities. WHO has issued an appeal for US$76 million in support of this work.
A large shipment of medical respirators, medical masks, goggles and gowns –worth €1.1 million – was recently delivered to the Republic of Moldova. The shipment was funded by the European Union and procured by WHO to help health care workers respond effectively and safely to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Young people have an important role to play in the COVID-19 pandemic, both in terms of reducing transmission and in engaging in the response. Tomorrow we celebrate International Youth Day. This is explored in the ‘Subject in Focus’ below.