The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday that it hopes the COVID-19 pandemic will last less than the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918, which in two years killed tens of millions of people.
• Read also: The WHO recommends wearing a mask from 12 years old under the same conditions as adults
“We hope to end this pandemic in less than two years. Especially if we can unite our efforts (…) and by making the most of the available tools and hoping that we can have additional tools like vaccines, I think we can put an end to it in a shorter period than the 1918 flu, ”said WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus at a press conference.
The famous “Spanish flu” decimated 50 million people from 1918 to 1920, when malnutrition and tuberculosis made the population all the more fragile.
And unlike the Sars-Cov-2 virus, at the origin of the Covid-19 pandemic which has killed nearly 795,000 people worldwide since the first cases were reported at the end of 2019 in China, the Spanish flu was particularly hit the younger ones.
“In our current situation (…) the virus is more likely to spread. He can move quickly because we are more connected now, ”the WHO chief stressed.
“So we have a disadvantage linked to globalization (…) But we have the advantage of having better technologies,” he said. “And we know how to stop it.”
He also stressed that it was “essential” for countries to join forces and reiterated his call for “global solidarity and national unity”.
COVID-19: WHO chief calls corruption around protective gear “murder”
GENEVA | The Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO) described as “murder” the cases of corruption surrounding the protective equipment (PPE) that are used in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, particularly in South Africa. South.
• Read also: All developments in the COVID-19 pandemic
“Any level of corruption is unacceptable and any type of corruption is unacceptable. However, corruption related to PPE is, for me, in fact murder, ”said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, after being questioned by a journalist about corruption cases in South Africa.
“If healthcare workers work without PPE, their lives are in danger. And it also puts the lives of those they care for at risk. So it’s criminal, and it’s murder. And it must stop, ”he added.
South Africa has one of the best healthcare systems on the continent, but accusations of corruption in providing protective equipment for caregivers have recently escalated, tarnishing the image of South African President Cyril Ramaphosa.
The phenomenon took a political turn last month when the press revealed the irregularities surrounding the awarding of a contract awarded to the husband of the president’s spokesperson, Khusela Diko, who was forced to take time off for the day. ‘investigation.
Other figures from the ruling African National Congress (ANC) have since been splashed in other cases, including its secretary general Ace Magashule. All have proclaimed their innocence.
Called on to react, the head of state promised to track down “the hyenas that prowl around injured prey”.
For his part, the gendarme of public ethics in South Africa said in early August to investigate several complaints about failures in the state’s management of the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in the awarding of contracts for equipment or quarantine centers.
In South Africa, nearly 600,000 people have been infected with the new coronavirus according to the WHO. This figure places it in 5th position in the global toll of the number of infections by country.