May 1, 2020 / 4:46 PM / in a month

WHO says has grave concerns about COVID-19 impact on weak systems

GENEVA/LONDON (Reuters) - The pandemic of COVID-19 is clearly still a global health emergency and is of particular concern as it spreads more widely in countries with weak health systems, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday.

Three months after the WHO’s emergency committee first advised the WHO’s director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus to declare a public health emergency over the new coronavirus, Tedros said: “The pandemic remains a public health emergency of international concern”.

Tedros said he had “grave concerns about the potential impact” of the disease “as it starts to accelerate in countries with weaker health systems”.

“As we have done clearly from the beginning, we will continue to call on countries to implement a comprehensive package of measures to find, isolate, test and treat every case, and trace every contact,” Tedros told a briefing at the WHO’s Geneva headquarters.

He said the WHO would “continue working with countries and partners to enable essential travel needed for pandemic response, humanitarian relief and cargo operations, and for countries to gradually resume normal passenger travel.”

Reporting by Kate Kelland and Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Toby Chopra

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