WHO wants world leaders to unite, six months since pandemic call
GENEVA, Sept 11: Six months on since declaring a pandemic, the WHO chief said on Thursday the lack of solidarity and leadership among world powers was "what worries me most" in the fight against Covid-19.
World Health Organization director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the new coronavirus was still spreading around the planet precisely due to the gaps between the major players in combatting the disease.
Though the UN health agency declared a public health emergency of international concern -- its highest level of alarm -- on January 30, Tedros first described the outbreak as a pandemic on March 11, capturing public attention.
Reflecting on this point in the crisis during a virtual news conference, Tedros said: "What worries me most is... a lack of solidarity.
"Because when solidarity lacks, and when we're divided, that's a very good opportunity for the virus -- and that's why it's still spreading. "That's what worries me and that's what I ask the world to do.
"We will need solidarity and we will need global leadership, especially of the major powers in the world. That's how we can defeat this virus."
The virus has killed more than 900,000 people and infected at least 27.9 million since the outbreak emerged in China last December.
The United States is pulling out of the WHO, with President Donald Trump accusing it of being too slow to declare a pandemic and too close to China. -AFP