WHO says pandemic to linger; cases pass 13 million

Bloomberg July 14 | Updated on July 14, 2020 Published on July 14, 2020

The World Health Organization said Covid-19 probably won’t disappear in the coming months, and it is unrealistic to expect that a perfect vaccine will become available to everyone immediately. Things won’t return to normal for the foreseeable future, a WHO official said. Confirmed cases worldwide exceeded 13 million.

“It would be unrealistic to expect that a perfect vaccine will become available to everyone immediately, and it’s not realistic to expect Covid-19 to disappear in the coming months,” said Mike Ryan, head of the World Health Organization’s emergencies program, speaking at a briefing in Geneva.

“There will be no return to the old normal for the foreseeable future,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, head of the organization, an agency of the United Nations.

“The best way to reopen schools is to do so once countries succeed in combating the spread of the disease,” Ryan said. “Not enough is known about the role of children in transmission, though several recent studies suggest that children over 10 are more susceptible to infection than those under 10,” said Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO’s technical lead officer on Covid-19.

Second wave

California closed indoor dining and bars, and its two biggest school districts said they would offer only remote learning despite calls by the Trump administration for classrooms to fully reopen. The state reported a record number of people hospitalised with coronavirus.

Hong Kong tightened restrictions in a fresh bid to prevent the resurgent coronavirus from spiralling out of control. Singapore’s economy plunged into recession last quarter as an extended lockdown shuttered businesses and decimated retail spending.

At least three hospitals in the Philippine capital region said they could no longer accept coronavirus patients as they’ve reached the bed capacity of their Covid-19 wards.

State-run National Kidney and Transplant Institute said it has reached the danger zone in the utilisation of designated bed capacity for coronavirus patients, citing significant increase in the infection rate among its health care workers.

Cases mount in Australia

Areas of Sydney have been declared coronavirus outbreak hotspots by a state government, as health authorities fear the second wave of infections in Melbourne has now spread to Australia’s largest city.

The declaration by the Queensland state government means that anyone who has been to the areas of Liverpool and Campbell town in Sydney’s south-west will need to quarantine in a hotel should they enter Queensland.

Vietnam to resume China flights

Meanwhile, Vietnam Premier Nguyen Xuan Phuc agreed to resume flights between Vietnam and China, according to a post on the Vietnam government’s website, which cited information from a cabinet meeting on the pandemic.

The frequency and conditions for passenger transport have to be decided by the two nations’ aviation authorities.

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Published on July 14, 2020
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