The Covid-19 pandemic could be over “in less than two years”, the WHO hopes

The World Health Organization hopes to end the Covid-19 pandemic “in less than two years”, as many countries around the world are facing an outbreak of new cases, such as Lebanon reconfiguring itself.

The Covid-19 pandemic has killed at least 793,847 people worldwide since the World Health Organization’s office in China reported the onset of the disease in late December. The virus is still common, but the WHO hopes to end it “in less than two years”.

“We hope to end this pandemic in less than two years. Especially if we can join our efforts (…) and make the most of the tools available and hope that we can have additional tools like vaccines, I think we can get rid of it in less time than the (Spanish) flu of 1918, “said WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus at a press conference on Friday 21 August.

The famous “Spanish flu” had decimated 50 million people from 1918 to 1920, when malnutrition and tuberculosis made the population all the more vulnerable. “In our current situation, the virus is (…) more likely to spread,” said the WHO chief. “But we have the advantage of having better technology (…). And we know how to stop it.”

>> To read also: “Spanish flu and coronavirus: ‘We have changed the scale and world'”

The WHO has also recommended “that the mask be worn on children over the age of 12 under the same conditions as adults”.

The head of the organization stood up against corruption cases concerning the protective equipment (PPE) used in the fight against the pandemic. “To me, corruption related to the PPE is murder,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, when asked about a case of this kind that affects circles of power in South Africa. “If healthcare workers work without PPE, their lives are in danger. And it also endangers the lives of those they care about. So it’s criminal and it’s murder.”

Lebanon is reconfiguring itself

In Lebanon, which is facing record highs of pollution and sees its hospitals overwhelmed by Covid-19 patients and those injured by the giant explosion on August 4 in the port of Beirut, a readmission decided by the authorities took effect on Friday until the 7th: e., September. It comes with a daily curfew from 6 to 18

With at least 9,758 cases including 107 deaths, the country, whose economy has collapsed and some residents are hungry, is “on the brink”, warned Health Minister Hamad Hassan.

>> To see: Covid-19: Lebanon configures itself to alleviate overwhelmed hospitals

A recovery in the pandemic in Europe

In Europe, the figures for new cases of pollution in 24 hours published on Friday in France, Italy, Germany or Spain are worrying and show a recovery in the pandemic, often in favor of holidays, parties and travel. Spain, despite some of the strictest inclusions in the world, widespread wearing of masks and millions of tests, is once again among the most affected. It is also the country in Western Europe with the most diagnosed cases – almost 378,000 – and an infection rate (143 new cases per 100,000 inhabitants) that exceeds its neighbors.

Similar concerns in France, which have registered even more deaths than Spain (more than 30,500 in total) and 4,586 new cases in the last 24 hours. As the start of the school year approaches, the government has decided to wear a mask that is mandatory in schools for those over 11, even if the rules for physical distance can be respected.

In Switzerland, 300 new daily cases were recorded on Friday for the second time this week, a level not reached since mid-April, which raised fears of a second wave.

In the UK, the containment will be tightened in several areas in the north-west of England, while Birmingham, the second most populous city in the country, has been placed under surveillance due to an increase in the virus.

In Italy, Venice is hosting the Mostra from 2 to 12 September, the first major film festival since the pandemic began, and the oldest in the world, with many thermal scanners, disinfectant gels and forced masks everywhere.

Germany on Friday classified Brussels as a risk zone due to the large number of pollutants, as it has already done for almost all of Spain and part of the Croatian coast, very popular with German tourists.

Seems stabilization in Brazil

The United States is still the most deprived country, with 175,245 deaths and 5,618,313 cases of coronavirus registered on Friday, or 1,067 deaths and 47,031 additional cases in 24 hours, according to Johns Hopkins University which is a benchmark in the field.

The WHO estimated on Friday that the pandemic in Brazil, the second most affected country in terms of deaths (more than 111,100) and cases (more than 3.45 million euros), seemed to be stabilizing. Michael Ryan, the organization’s head of emergencies, noted “a clear downward trend in many parts of the country”, while being cautious in the medium term.

Covid-19 health crisis and its procession of devastated jobs and livelihoods could lead to extreme poverty 100 million extra people around the world, World Bank President David Malpass warned on Thursday. This situation makes it “necessary” for creditors to reduce the debt of poor countries, he also explained.

In Latin America and the Caribbean, the pandemic is expected to push 45 million people back into poverty, bringing the total to 231 million, or 37.3 percent of the region’s population, according to the Economic Commission for Latin America and the United Nations. Caribbean (Cepalc).

With AFP