19 Oct

Anxious WHO implores world to ‘do it all’ in long war on COVID-19

first_img“The message to people and governments is clear: ‘Do it all’,” Tedros told a virtual news briefing from the U.N. body’s headquarters in Geneva. He said face masks should become a symbol of solidarity round the world.”A number of vaccines are now in phase three clinical trials and we all hope to have a number of effective vaccines that can help prevent people from infection. However, there’s no silver bullet at the moment – and there might never be.”The WHO head said that, while the coronavirus was the biggest health emergency since the early 20th century, the international scramble for a vaccine was also “unprecedented”.But he underscored uncertainties. “There are concerns that we may not have a vaccine that may work, or its protection could be for just a few months, not more. But until we finish the clinical trials, we will not know.” The World Health Organization warned on Monday that there might never be a “silver bullet” for COVID-19 in the form of a perfect vaccine and that the road to normality would be long, with some countries requiring a reset of strategy.More than 18.14 million people around the world are reported to have been infected with the disease and 688,080​ have died, according to a Reuters tally, with some nations that thought they were over the worst experiencing a resurgence.WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and WHO emergencies head Mike Ryan exhorted nations to rigorously enforce health measures such as mask-wearing, social distancing, hand-washing and testing. “The way out is long”Ryan said countries with high transmission rates, including Brazil and India, needed to brace for a big battle: “The way out is long and requires a sustained commitment,” he said, calling for a “reset” of approach in some places.”Some countries are really going to have to take a step back now and really take a look at how they are addressing the pandemic within their national borders,” he added.Asked about the US outbreak, which White House coronavirus experts say is entering a “new phase”, he said officials seemed to have set out the “right path” and it was not the WHO’s job to do so.The WHO officials said an advance investigation team had concluded its China mission and laid out the groundwork for further efforts to identify the origins of the virus.The study is one of the demands made by top donor the United States which plans to leave the body next year, accusing it of being too acquiescent to China.A larger, WHO-led team of Chinese and international experts is planned next, including in the city of Wuhan, although the timing and composition of that was unclear. Ryan said China had already given some information but knowledge gaps remained.center_img Topics :last_img read more

31 Aug

US Urge Haitians to End Political and Economic Crisis

first_imgPORT AU PRINCE, Haiti, CMC – The United States is urging all political stakeholders to put aside their differences and work towards “a peaceful and democratic solution” to the protests in Haiti where opposition parties are demanding the resignation of President Jovenel Moise.“The United States continues to urge all of Haiti’s political, economic, and civil society stakeholders to enter without delay or preconditions, an inclusive dialogue to identify and pursue a path to form a functioning government that will serve the Haitian people and address the country’s pressing economic and social concerns,” Washington said in a statement posted on the US Embassy website here.The political and economic crisis in Haiti was triggered by the publication in January 2019 of a report on the Venezuela-funded PetroCaribe Oil initiative, under which Caracas provided oil and other petroleum products to Haiti under a preferential agreement.Moise, who came to power in 2017, has denied any wrongdoing and has named former prime minister Evans Paul to head a team that would hold discussions with all stakeholders to discuss a way forward.Speaking on a radio programme here earlier this week, Moise reiterated the call for a national dialogue insisting “I am not attached to a mandate.“I am hooked on reforms. I want to talk about constitutional reform, for example. I want to talk about the reform of the energy sector, the digitization of the public administration. Today, we are in an acute crisis, but we can take advantage of this crisis to make this crisis an opportunity. We need stability in the country and to find that stability, we have to attack the system,” Moise told radio listeners.In its statement, Washington said that Haiti’s leaders need to work together “toward a peaceful and democratic solution now, with an increased sense of urgency.“The Haitian people are suffering; we stand with those Haitians who value peace while courageously calling for accountability. The United States deplores the current gridlock in Haiti which directly contributes to violence, a spike in humanitarian needs, and interruption of daily life for the Haitian people,” the statement added.Meanwhile, the Protestant Federation of Haiti, has announced plans to stage peaceful activities in the country “to implore God for Haiti”.It said that the first activity which will coincide with the 502nd anniversary of the Protestant Reformation here, ends on Saturday, while the second activity is planned for October 31 to November 2.Earlier this week, the Haitian Conference of Religious (CHR) staged a “national silent march” saying it had taken note of the “unprecedented humanitarian crisis in which the country is in the process of tipping over”It said also that the situation “is the result of a much deeper crisis affecting the very foundations of our coexistence in its political, economic, social and religious dimensions”.last_img read more