Mike Ryan, executive director of the World Health Organization, warned that the world is in the midst of the first wave of the covid-19 coronavirus pandemic, hoping for a rapid economic recovery and the restoration of international travel.
“Right now we are not in the second wave. We are right in the middle of the first wave worldwide, ”said Ryan.
“We are still fully in a phase in which the disease is actually on the rise,” he added, pointing to South America, South Asia and other areas where infections continue to rise.
India recorded a daily record of new cases for the seventh consecutive day. The country reported 6,353 new infections on Tuesday, bringing the total to 145,380 people, including 4,167 deaths.
The virus has spread through some of the country’s poorest and most densely populated areas, underscoring the challenges authorities are facing in combating a virus for which there is no vaccine or cure in sight yet.
The WHO threw a jug of cold water on the hopes of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and others to quickly revive the economy, warning that authorities first need to have material to do sufficient testing and control the spread of the pandemic.
Brazil has 375 thousand cases of coronavirus, just behind the 1.6 million cases in the United States, and has counted more than 23 thousand deaths, although many fear that the real number is much higher.
In Rio de Janeiro, the mayor, Marcelo Crivella, an evangelical bishop, designated religious institutions as “essential services” so that they could continue to be open with measures of social distancing, despite the recommendations that people stay home and almost all businesses remain closed.
In Europe, the Russian government reported today a record daily increase of 174 deaths, bringing confirmed deaths from the virus in the country to 3,807. The total number of infected in Russia exceeded 360,000, the third highest number in the world, with almost 9 thousand new cases.
The relatively low death rate in Russia has been questioned by experts inside and outside of Russia.
Spanish Foreign Minister Arancha González Laya said that members of the European Union should agree to open the borders and jointly determine which countries outside the bloc are designated as safe to travel.
Laya told radio station SER that the resumption of cross-border travel should be decided collectively even though the 27 members of the bloc emerge from confinement at different rates.
Concerned about the risks, the Americans settled yesterday with small courtships and virtual tributes instead of the usual parades on Memorial Day in Wars, celebrated in the shadow of the pandemic.
South Korea began to demand the use of face masks on public transport and taxis. The country, which was a major source of infection, was keeping track of dozens of infections associated with nightclubs and other entertainment venues, while preparing the return of 2.4 million students to classrooms tomorrow.
On the other hand, the American biotechnology firm Novavax has started trials in Australia with the hope of launching a tested vaccine this year. In the first phase of the study, 131 volunteers received injections to test the safety and efficacy of the vaccine, said a company official.
For its part, the WHO indicated that it would temporarily withdraw hydroxychloroquine, the antimalarial drug that the President of the United States, Donald Trump, said he was taking, from his global study on experimental treatments for coronavirus.
The WHO clinical trials arm will take a “temporary pause” in monitoring the drug, said the organization’s director general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. The announcement came after a study published in The Lancet showed that patients taking the drug were at increased risk for death and heart problems.
This note was originally published in Millennium