Expect ‘Lengthy’ Coronavirus Pandemic –WHO

World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus speaks during a daily press briefing on COVID-19 virus at the WHO headquaters in Geneva on March 9, 2020. - The World Health Organization said on March 9, 2020 that more than 70 percent of those infected with the new coronavirus in China have recovered, adding that the country was "bringing its epidemic under control". (Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP)

The World Health Organization (WHO) Chief, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has said the coronavirus pandemic’s effects would be long-lasting.

“It’s sobering to think that six months ago, when you recommended I declare a PHEIC, there were less than 100 cases and no deaths outside China,” he said Friday.

“The pandemic is a once-in-a-century health crisis, the effects of which will be felt for decades to come.”

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The WHO has been sharply criticised for the length of time it took to declare an international emergency.

The United States, which accused the organisation of being too close to China, officially began its withdrawal from the organisation in July.

The agency has also been criticised for recommendations deemed late or contradictory, in particular on wearing masks, or the modes of transmission of the virus.

“Many scientific questions have been resolved; many remain to be answered,” Tedros said Friday.

“Most of the world’s people remain susceptible to this virus, even in areas that have experienced severe outbreaks.”

The novel coronavirus otherwise known as COVID-19 has killed at least 680,000 people and infected at least 17.6m globally since the outbreak emerged in the city of Wuhan, China last December.

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