After the Covid-19 epidemic claimed more than 500,000 people, the World Health Organization on Monday called for “anticipation of the worst” in the absence of international solidarity, announcing that it will send a team to China to determine the source of the virus.
“We will be able to better fight the virus when we know everything about the virus, including how it started,” WHO Director-General Tidros Adanum Gebresos told a news conference on the Internet.
“We will send a team next week to China to prepare for that and we hope that this will allow us to understand how the virus started and what we can do in the future to be ready,” he said.
Six months after China officially announced the outbreak of the disease in December in Wuhan, Coronavirus has claimed more than 500,000 lives worldwide.
Over ten million people have been injured, about half of whom have recovered.
The work of researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in Wuhan demonstrated that the sequence of the new Coronavirus genes is 80% similar to the sequence of SARS genes that also caused a pandemic in 2002 and 2003, and 96% of the sequence of the Coronavirus genes found in bats.
Most researchers agree that the emerging Coronavirus, Cov-2 SARS, probably originated in bats, but scientists believe that it passed through another species of animal that is still unknown before it is transmitted to humans.
Scientists around the world and WHO hope to find this missing link in order to better understand what has happened, to be able to avoid a new epidemic.
The debate over the source of the virus also has diplomatic implications, as the United States accuses the Chinese laboratory in Wuhan of being the source of the virus, which Beijing denies.
“Tomorrow, it will be six months since the World Health Organization received the first reports of a group of idiopathic pneumonia cases in China,” said the WHO director-general.
“Six months ago, no one of us could have imagined how our world and our lives would be transformed by this new virus,” he added.
“We all want that to end,” said the director of the organization. But the difficult reality is that the matter is far from over, “repeating that the epidemic is accelerating at the present time.
“We have lost many things before, but we do not want to lose hope”.
He warned that in light of a “divided world” and a “lack of national unity and global solidarity… stay tuned for the worst”.
He pointed out that a vaccine will be an “important tool” to control the virus in the long term, calling on governments and citizens to develop “simple solutions” with the aim of “saving lives now”.
He called on governments to “conduct investigations, track, isolate and quarantine the injured”.
He asked people to respect hygiene measures and to put up masks when necessary and to respect the rules of social separation.
“The virus is spreading ferociously,” Gypressus said.
The United States is the country most affected by the epidemic, followed by Brazil, the United Kingdom, Italy and France.
The director of the organization’s emergency program, Michael Ryan, said that Brazil recorded “one out of every four deaths on the continent,” encouraging this country to join its efforts even more to tackle the Coronavirus.