Don’t politicise pandemic: WHO chief

World Health Organization (WHO) Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Monday said that the world leaders must not politicise the coronavirus pandemic but get united to fight it.


“The pandemic is still accelerating and producing record daily increases in infections,” he said during a videoconference for the Dubai-based World Government Summit.


Tedros has faced criticism from US President Donald Trump as the number of reported infections soared in Brazil, Iraq, India and southern and western US states, straining local hospitals.


It took over three months for the world to see 1 million virus infections, but the last 1 million cases have come in just eight days, Tedros added.


However, the WHO chief did not mention Trump’s name or the fact that he is determined to pull the US out of the UN health agency but warned against “politicising” the pandemic.


“The greatest threat we face now is not the virus itself, it’s the lack of global solidarity and global leadership,” he said. “We cannot defeat this pandemic with a divided world.”


Trump has criticised the WHO for its early response to the outbreak and what he considers its excessive praise of China, where the outbreak began, as his administration’s response in the US has come under scrutiny. In response, Trump has threatened to end all US funding for the WHO.


Nearly 9 million people have been infected by the virus worldwide and more than 468,000 have died, according to figures compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Experts say the actual numbers are much higher, due to limited testing and asymptomatic cases.


United News of Bangladesh