Coronavirus Pandemic Is Accelerating, WHO’s Tedros Says

(Bloomberg) -- It took two months to reach 100,000 coronavirus cases and just two weeks to get to 200,000. It only took four days for the tally to reach 300,000, a clear sign the pandemic is accelerating, the World Health Organization said.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said it’s “heartbreaking” that the disease is present in almost every country in the world now.

Making people stay at home and distance themselves from each other are defensive moves and need to be paired with more aggressive measures such as testing every suspected case, isolating infected people and quarantining close contacts of patients with Covid-19, he said.

“You can’t win a football game only by defending,” he said. “To win, we need to attack.”

Countries are justifiably concerned about the economic effects of lockdowns, which are very difficult to sustain, said Mike Ryan, head of the WHO’s health emergencies program. While governments buy time through such measures, they should try to be more aggressive in testing suspected cases and isolating patients, he said.

Japan and the International Olympics Committee will probably make a decision on the Tokyo games very soon, Ryan said. “We have every confidence they will not proceed with the games should it be a danger to athletes or spectators.”

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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