Covid-19: WHO sees dangerous moment with China’s latest outbreak

Bloomberg October 26 | Updated on October 26, 2020 Published on October 26, 2020

Representational image   -  REUTERS

The World Health Organization’s director general said some countries in the northern hemisphere are facing a dangerous moment as US coronavirus infections hit a record for the second day and France’s cases rose by more than 50,000.

China tackled another outbreak after a 17-year-old girl in the Kashgar region was found to have Covid-19. The Reserve Bank of India’s governor tested positive, as did US Vice-President Mike Pence’s chief of staff.

Spain announced a nationwide curfew and Italy introduced the strongest restrictions since May. Johnson & Johnson said the first batches of its vaccine could be available for emergency use as soon as January, as it set to resume US trials that had been paused due to safety concerns.

China has tested nearly three million people in Xinjiang province to tackle a cluster of coronavirus cases, in the latest example of the country’s aggressive approach to bring new outbreaks under control.

A 17-year-old teenager in Kashgar prefecture was found through routine testing to have contracted the virus. Subsequent testing found 137 cases, all related to a factory where the teenagers parents worked. Each of the cases were asymptomatic, according to Xinjiang’s health authorities.

Free testing is being rolled out for nearly 4.75 million people in Kashgar, in the far west of China. As of 2 p.m. Sunday, 2.83 million people had undergone testing, while results for 334,800 people have already come out negative.

Tedros sees dangerous moment

Countries must strike a delicate balance between protecting their people and minimizing social and economic damage as cases surge, World Health Organization Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.

This is a dangerous moment for many countries in the northern hemisphere as cases spike, Tedros said in an online meeting of the Berlin-based World Health Summit. “We still have a long haul ahead of us. He urged that vaccines, once available, be spread among some people in all countries rather than all people in some countries.”

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Published on October 26, 2020
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