GENEVA – COVID-19 will stalk the planet for a long time to come, the World Health Organization said Wednesday, warning that most countries were still in the early stages of tackling the pandemic.
WHO boss Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said some countries that thought they had the new coronavirus under control were witnessing a resurgence in cases, while there were troubling upward trends in Africa and the Americas.
In the face of criticism, he also insisted that the UN health agency had declared a global emergency in good time for countries to prepare and plan their response.
The WHO has been blasted by the United States for its handling of the pandemic but Tedros brushed off calls for him to resign.
“Most countries are still in the early stages of their epidemics. And some that were affected early in the pandemic are now starting to see a resurgence in cases,” he told a virtual press conference in Geneva.
“Make no mistake: we have a long way to go. This virus will be with us for a long time.”
He said most of the epidemics in western Europe appeared to be stable or declining.
However, “although numbers are low, we see worrying upward trends in Africa, Central and South America, and eastern Europe,” he said.