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The Interview

WHO special envoy on Covid-19 'extremely worried' about rise in cases worldwide

THE INTERVIEW
THE INTERVIEW © FRANCE 24

In an interview with FRANCE 24, Dr. David Nabarro, the World Health Organization's special envoy on coronavirus, said he was "extremely worried" about the rising number of Covid-19 cases worldwide. Nabarro urged world leaders to "take this virus seriously" and said it was "hard to understand" why the Trump administration had decided to pull the US out of the WHO in the midst of the pandemic.

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The World Health Organization's special envoy on coronavirus said he was "extremely worried" about the rising number of Covid-19 cases worldwide, pointing to the Americas, South Asia and Africa as areas of major concern. He said that while the numbers were down in Western Europe, a rebound was expected there too.

Nabarro urged world leaders to "take this virus seriously" and ensure it be dealt with head-on. He lamented the fact that world leaders like US President Donald Trump or his Brazilian counterpart Jair Bolsonaro were sending the wrong message by downplaying the seriousness of the pandemic. He hailed the quick reaction of countries such as Singapore or Germany that were able to quickly detect and trace small outbreaks and noted that Australia had also taken much-needed drastic steps by locking down its second-largest city of Melbourne.

The top WHO official said it was "hard to understand" why the Trump administration had decided to pull the US out of the WHO in the midst of the pandemic, adding that the country should instead see the Organization as a platform allowing crucial public health information to be shared.

Finally, he said the claims by scientists that the WHO had neglected the possibility of airborne transmission of the virus were not warranted, arguing that the WHO was in fact looking into this possibility. But he stressed that the virus is by and large mostly transmitted through droplets when people cough or sneeze.  

>> Covid-19 pandemic accelerating and global peak still to come, WHO says

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