The World Health Organization warned Monday that too many countries were bungling their response to the coronavirus pandemic, meaning there could be no return to normality any time soon.
After a daily record of 230,000 new COVID-19 cases reported on Sunday, the UN health agency said the pandemic was only going to get worse unless people stuck to the basics of physical distancing, handwashing, wearing masks and staying home if sick.
WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned that some countries easing their way out of lockdowns were now witnessing a resurgence of the virus because they were not following proven methods to reduce risks.
“I want to be straight with you: there will be no return to the ‘old normal’ for the foreseeable future,” Tedros told a virtual news briefing.
“Let me blunt: too many countries are headed in the wrong direction.
“The virus remains public enemy number one, but the actions of many governments and people do not reflect this.”
He said mixed messages from leaders were undermining trust.
If governments do not roll out a comprehensive strategy to suppress transmission of the virus, and if the public do not follow the basics, “there is only one way this pandemic is going to go,” Tedros said.
“It’s going to get worse and worse and worse.”