World Health Organization chief: Worst of coronavirus pandemic yet to come

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In what could be seen as a warning to countries now easing their lockdowns, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned that the "worst is yet ahead of us" in the coronavirus outbreak - asking for cooperation and global solidarity.

Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus did not specify why he believes the outbreak that has infected some 2.5 million people and killed more than 166,000 could get worse. Trump announced the decision last week at a daily briefing from the White House's Coronavirus Task Force. "Let's prevent this tragedy".

He also said that the COVID-19 outbreak is not unlike the 1918 Spanish Flu.

'The Chinese government lied to the world about the danger and contagious nature of COVID-19, silenced whistleblowers, and did little to stop the spread of the disease, ' Republican Attorney General Eric Schmitt said in a written statement. "It is a virus that many people still don't understand".

Tedros also defended the World Health Organization against US President Donald Trump's accusations that the agency failed to share information about Covid-19 sufficiently and transparently in the early days of the outbreak.

Ghebreyesus didn't explain exactly how he expects the virus' toll to intensify, but he argued that partisanship and political divisions are exacerbating the crisis.

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Mr Trump said the World Health Organization failed to adequately share "in a timely and transparent" way information about the outbreak after it erupted in China late past year, which Dr Tedros disputed.

'We can not let the Covid-19 response put their lives at risk by compromising these services, ' Kasai said.

Tedros said the presence of embedded U.S. government officials working at the organisation's headquarters in Geneva was testament to the WHO's transparency, and the fact that it had not concealed any facts from Washington. Nevertheless, Tredros said: "There is no secret in World Health Organization because keeping things confidential or secret is unsafe".

The WHO chief has warned against politicising the health crisis, suggesting that divisions between people and political parties were "fueling" the pandemic.

"Our CDC colleagues also know that we give information immediately to anyone", Ghebreyesus added.

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