WHO

WHO urges Pacific to remain vigilant amid pandemic

The Pacific Island Times reports Takeshi Kasai also advised Pacific island countries that have remained Covid-free to work hard to maintain their health status.

In a virtual press conference, Dr Kasai asked Pacific countries to immediately address the high incidence of non-communicable diseases in the region as people with these conditions have a very high risk of contracting the coronavirus.

He also said many small island countries in the region are vulnerable because of already difficult living conditions and limited healthcare capacity.

Covid-19: Poorer countries to get 120 million $5 coronavirus tests, WHO says

WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the manufacturers Abbott and SD Biosensor had agreed with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to "make 120 million of these new, highly portable and easy-to-use rapid Covid-19 diagnostic tests available over a period of six months".

He told a news conference in Geneva the tests were currently priced at a maximum of $5 each but were expected to become cheaper.

WHO chief calls for tenfold increase in funding for COVID-19 treatments

"The coming three months present a crucial window of opportunity to scale out the impact of the ACT [Access to COVID-19 Tools] accelerator for global impact," Dr Tedros said on Monday.

"However to exploit this window, we have to fundamentally scale up the way we are funding the ACT Accelerator and prioritise the use of new tools.

"There is a vast global gap between our ambition for the ACT accelerator, and the amount of funds that have been committed."

WHO reports record single-day global increase in coronavirus cases

According to WHO, this is the first time the number of new daily infections has surpassed a quarter of a million.

The biggest increases were in the US, Brazil, India and South Africa.

The global death toll from coronavirus also rose by 7,360 - the largest daily increase since 10 May.

The previous record rise in new confirmed cases was recorded by WHO just one day earlier.

The total number of confirmed cases of coronavirus passed 14 million on Saturday, with over 600,000 recorded deaths, according to the tally kept by US-based Johns Hopkins University.

Nations heading in wrong direction with COVID-19, says WHO

Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, "too many countries [were] headed in the wrong direction".

Cases were rising where proven measures were not adopted or followed, he added.

The Americas are the current epicentre of the pandemic. The US has seen a rise in cases amid tensions between health experts and President Donald Trump.

The US, the worst affected country, has over 3.3 million confirmed cases and more than 135,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.

What has the WHO said?

Hundreds of scientists say coronavirus is airborne - New York Times

The WHO has said the coronavirus disease spreads primarily from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth, which are expelled when a person with Covid-19 coughs, sneezes or speaks.

In an open letter to the agency, which the researchers plan to publish in a scientific journal next week, 239 scientists in 32 countries outlined the evidence showing smaller particles can infect people, the newspaper reported.

Pacific Covid-19 cases rise: WHO

There are new confirmed cases in Papua New Guinea, its tenth, and Guam, where a spike in cases has taken its total to 231.

The total number of cases listed by the WHO for the region is 352 - an increase of 38 cases since last week.

The WHO says although infection rates are slowing in the Pacific, the crisis is far from over.

While most Pacific Island nations have no recorded cases, the WHO says in many parts of the region, the pandemic is only starting to make its presence felt.

Australia supports Tonga’s COVID-19 testing

The equipment arrived in the country yesterday (Thursday).

Tonga is one of twelve Pacific island countries receiving GeneXpert testing equipment provided by the World Health Organization, which over the coming months will allow samples to be tested in-country – in some for the first time. The GeneXpert testing system provides reliable results within 45 minutes.

WHO urges caution over lifting Covid-19 restrictions

The WHO's Western Pacific division held a media briefing this week to discuss the coronavirus.

Asked when regional countries might lift some restrictions imposed under their states of emergency, the WHO Regional Director Takeshi Kasai urged caution.

"When we consider lifting, we need a careful analysis of the situation And we should not lift everything all at once."

Dr Kasai said this applied to all countries, including those in the Pacific islands who had no reported cases of Covid-19.

President Donald Trump says US to halt World Health Organisation funding

He says had the WHO done its job to get medical experts into China, the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak could have been contained.

"I am directing my administration to halt funding while a review is conducted to access the World Health Organisation's role in severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of the coronavirus," Trump said.

"The WHO failed in its basic duty and it must be held accountable...

"Many countries said they were going to listen to the WHO and they have problems now the likes of which they cannot believe," Trump said.