The bottom line from WHO: Worldwide, the COVID-19 pandemic is far from over. In fact, as of Tuesday morning, 13,095,500 have been infected and 572,700 have died. In July, global cases have increased significantly, though mortality has been stable. Among nations with large populations, the United States, Mexico, India, Indonesia, the Philippines and Japan stand out for significant increases in infections.
On July 13th, the Director-General of the World Health Organization released a series of comments about the pandemic. He warned nations that two things were most necessary to handle the crisis. First is for the public to follow the basic rules of sanitation – social distancing, mask wearing, coughing etiquette and staying at home while sick. And second is for political leaders to express a clear and consistent action plan for COVID-19.
Notably, the Director-General singled out the Americas as the current epicenter of the pandemic with 50 percent of cases. Additionally, he noted that 80 percent of infections were reported from only ten countries.
The Four Situations
Four COVID-19 situations characterize the outbreak around the world.
- “Countries that were alert and aware – they prepared and responded rapidly and effectively to the first cases.” They included several countries in the Mekong region, the Pacific, the Caribbean and Africa.
- “Countries in which there was a major outbreak that was brought under control through a combination of strong leadership and populations adhering to key public health measures.” Included were many countries in Europe and elsewhere.
- “Countries that overcame the first peak of the outbreak, but having eased restrictions, are now struggling with new peaks and accelerating cases.” No countries were mentioned.
- “Countries that are in the intense transmission phase of their outbreak. We’re seeing this across the Americas, South Asia, and several countries in Africa.”