WHO chief says ‘virus will be with us for a long time’

April 23, 2020 - 9:08 AM
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Director-General of the WHO Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, attends a news conference on the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in Geneva, Switzerland February 11, 2020. (Reuters/Denis Balibouse/File Photo)

GENEVA— The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday that there were “worrying upward trends” in early epidemics in parts of Africa and central and South America, while also warning that opening up global travel needed to be managed carefully.

“Most countries are still in the early stages of their epidemics and some that were affected early in the pandemic are starting to see a resurgence in cases,” WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told Geneva journalists in a virtual briefing.

“Make no mistake we have a long way to go. This virus will be with us for a long time,” he added, while noting progress in Western Europe.

The WHO’s top emergencies expert Dr. Mike Ryan warned against opening up global travel too quickly, saying it would require “careful risk management”. —Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay and Emma Farge