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Six months into the COVID-19 pandemic, the director-general of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, shared some of his thoughts about where the world is at with the virus. According to his comments today, we have a long way to go.
NPR reported on Monday, 8/3:
"Despite progress made on a vaccine against COVID-19, "there's no silver bullet at the moment and there might never be," the World Health Organization's director-general warned on Monday.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus' words marked six months since the organization declared COVID-19 a public health emergency of international concern. Tedros said that at that point, on Jan. 30, "there were fewer than 100 cases and no deaths outside of China." Three months later, the world had 3 million reported cases of COVID-19 and more than 200,000 deaths.
Six months on, the figures have only worsened: now 18.1 million global cases and more than 690,000 deaths, according to the tracker at Johns Hopkins University.
Tedros noted multiple vaccine candidates are in the third phase of clinical trials and expressed hope that a number of them will be effective to prevent infection by the coronavirus.
But until then, the world is reliant on "the basics" of disease control, he said:
"Testing, isolating and treating patients, and tracing and quarantining their contacts. Do it all.
"Inform, empower and listen to communities. Do it all.
"For individuals, it's about keeping physical distance, wearing a mask, cleaning hands regularly and coughing safely away from others. Do it all.
"The message to people and governments is clear: Do it all."
And when the disease is under control, he urged, "Keep going!"
While this news is certainly troubling, it's important to remember that we do have the power to help slow the spread. Please continue to wear a mask, socially distance, and pay close attention to the directives of public health officials. Also, sharing kindness and love is always a good idea.
Click here to read the full article on NPR.