The World Health Organization reported Friday that the total number of COVID-19 cases worldwide doubled over the past six weeks.
At his regular briefing from WHO headquarters in Geneva, WHO Director General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said only aggressive action combined with national unity and global solidarity can turn the pandemic around.
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From countries where there is exponential growth to places that are loosening restrictions and now starting to see cases rise again, Tedros said what is needed is leadership, community participation and collective solidarity.
The WHO chief said there are many examples from around the world where, even when the virus outbreak was at its most intense, it could still be brought under control. He cited Italy, Spain and South Korea, and Dharavi - a densely packed area in Mumbai - as success stories.
"A strong focus on community engagement and the basics of testing, tracing, isolating and treating all those that are sick is key to breaking the chains of transmission and suppressing the virus," he said.
Tedros noted once again that COVID restrictions have stifled supply chains that have traditionally provided routine immunizations for the world's poorest nations. Those interruptions could mean surges of diseases like measles, polio and malaria.
He said the agency continues to work with partners to ensure that the poorest and most marginalized people of the world are prioritized.