World Health Organization - updates

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WHO urges aggressive virus measures as flare-ups spark new closures

Jul 11, 2020 - 9:43 AM

The World Health Organization urges countries grappling with coronavirus to step up control measures, saying it is still possible to rein it in, as some countries clamped fresh restrictions on citizens

AGGRESSIVE MEASURES. World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attends a press conference organised by the Geneva Association of United Nations Correspondents (ACANU) amid the COVID-19 outbreak on July 3, 2020. Photo by Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

WHO launches pandemic response probe

Jul 09, 2020 - 9:12 PM

The Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response will be headed by former New Zealand prime minister Helen Clark and former Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

PROBE. The building hosting the World Health Organization headquarters is pictured on April 28, 2009 in Geneva. File photo by Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

WHO declares Sri Lanka, Maldives measles-free

Jul 08, 2020 - 9:11 PM

The declarations come amid measles outbreaks in developed countries, including the United States

WHO. In this file photo taken on March 9, 2020, the logo of the World Health Organization is seen at its headquarters in Geneva. File photo by Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

WHO reviewing new evidence on airborne coronavirus range

Jul 08, 2020 - 10:33 AM

The virus has 'taken the world hostage,' says WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

The St. Peter Parish in Quezon City prepare for the resumption of church services to the public on June 2, 2020. At present, only 10 persons are allowed to participate in masses inside the churches. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Ignoring outrage, Trump makes good on WHO pullout

Jul 08, 2020 - 9:19 AM

'This won't protect American lives or interests – it leaves Americans sick and America alone,' says Senator Robert Menendez

WHO monitoring China bubonic plague situation

Jul 07, 2020 - 8:59 PM

'At the moment, we are not considering it high-risk but we're watching it, monitoring it carefully,' says WHO spokeswoman Margaret Harris

DOH to stop giving patients lopinavir, ritonavir following experts' advice

Jul 05, 2020 - 3:09 PM

The decision follows the World Health Organization's announcement it was stopping solidarity trials for the antiretroviral drugs after it failed to reduce mortality in COVID-19 patients

Image of pills from Shutterstock

WHO urges countries to 'wake up' and halt virus

Jul 04, 2020 - 10:14 AM

'People need to wake up. The data is not lying. The situation on the ground is not lying,' WHO emergencies director Michael Ryan says at a briefing hosted by the UN correspondents' association in Geneva

WAKE UP, HALT VIRUS. WHO Health Emergencies Program head Michael Ryan attends a press conference organized by Geneva Association of United Nations Correspondents (ACANU) amid the COVID-19 outbreak, caused by the novel coronavirus, on July 3, 2020 at the WHO headquarters in Geneva. Photo by Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

Over 160,000 coronavirus cases reported every day in past week – WHO

Jul 02, 2020 - 12:22 AM

(UPDATED) 'These countries face a long, hard road ahead,' says WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, stressing though that 'no matter what situation a country is in, it can be turned around'

PLASTIC. A man waits for a train in a subway station during the coronavirus outbreak on April 13, 2020 in New York City. File photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

WHO says pandemic 'not even close' to over as toll passes 500,000

Jun 30, 2020 - 8:01 AM

In another grim milestone, the number of infections recorded worldwide rises to more than 10 million

Rows of beds inside the male section at a COVID-19 coronavirus isolation centre at the Sani Abacha stadium in Kano, Nigeria, on April 7, 2020. - The centre is being built with donations from Kano-born Aliko Dangote, a Nigerian businessman and philanthropist and Africa's richest man. (Photo by AMINU ABUBAKAR / AFP)

Philippines leads in rise of virus cases in entire Western Pacific

Jun 28, 2020 - 1:37 PM

(UPDATED) The Philippines surpasses Singapore and China by a big gap in the number of new coronavirus cases

PRECAUTIONS. The Philippine National Railways (PNR) and the Office of the President's Hatid Tulong program assist 115 locally stranded individuals board a train bound for the Bicol Region at the PNR Tutuban station on Saturday midnight, June 20, 2020. Photo by Ben Nabong/Rappler

Over $30 billion needed to develop COVID-19 tests, treatments, vaccines – WHO

Jun 26, 2020 - 11:31 PM

So far, $3.4 billion has been pledged, while an additional $27.9 billion is needed over the next 12 months

WHO. The logo of the World Health Organization is pictured on the facade of the WHO headquarters on October 24, 2017 in Geneva. File photo by Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

Economic carnage forecast as virus cases surge in Americas

Jun 25, 2020 - 1:07 AM

(UPDATED) The International Monetary Funds says that many countries will face a recession more than double that which they suffered during the global financial crisis in 2008-2009

FACES. In this file photo, commuters wearing face masks ride a metro train in Tokyo on February 8, 2020. File photo by Charly Triballeau/AFP

WHO urges ramped-up COVID-19 dexamethasone production

Jun 23, 2020 - 1:55 AM

The WHO emphasizes that dexamethasone should only be used for patients with severe or critical disease, under close clinical supervision

'MAJOR BREAKTHROUGH.' A pharmacist holds a box of dexamethasone tablets at a chemists shop in London on June 16, 2020. File photo by Justin Tallis/AFP

World in 'new and dangerous phase' of pandemic – WHO

Jun 20, 2020 - 12:30 AM

'The pandemic is accelerating. More than 150,000 new cases of COVID-19 were reported to WHO yesterday – the most in a single day so far,' says WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

COVID-19 IN PH. A health worker waits for patients to be tested for COVID-19 at a swabbing center in Manila on May 28, 2020. File photo by Inoue Jaena/Rappler

WHO eyes hundreds of millions of COVID-19 vaccine doses before 2021

Jun 19, 2020 - 11:37 AM

WHO chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan says researchers are working on more than 200 vaccine candidates around the world

Hydroxychloroquine COVID-19 prevention trials incomplete – WHO

Jun 18, 2020 - 9:14 PM

'As far as the use of hydroxychloroquine for prophylaxis or prevention of COVID-19 – either before or after exposure – the last word is not yet out,' says WHO chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan

INCOMPLETE. In this file photo taken on May 20, 2020 pills of Hydroxychloroquine sit on a tray at Rock Canyon Pharmacy in Provo, Utah. File photo by George Frey/AFP

WHO halts hydroxychloroquine trials on coronavirus patients

Jun 18, 2020 - 7:30 AM

The drug has been included in several randomized clinical trials, but the WHO says the evidence has led the UN health agency to call time on its own trials

HALT. This file photograph taken on May 20, 2020, shows a bottle and pills of Hydroxychloroquine as they sit on a counter at Rock Canyon Pharmacy in Provo, Utah. File photo by George Frey/AFP

Coronavirus impact could kill over 50,000 children in MENA – U.N.

Jun 15, 2020 - 9:09 PM

Overstretched health facilities, economic hardships, and parents' fears of contracting COVID-19 may cause a huge rise of coronavirus child deaths in the Middle East and North Africa, according to the WHO and Unicef

WHO warns pandemic accelerating in Africa

Jun 12, 2020 - 11:38 AM

'It took 98 days to reach the first 100,000 cases, and only 18 days to move to 200,000 cases,' says Doctor Matshidiso Moeti, the WHO's regional director for Africa

Rows of beds inside the male section at a COVID-19 coronavirus isolation centre at the Sani Abacha stadium in Kano, Nigeria, on April 7, 2020. - The centre is being built with donations from Kano-born Aliko Dangote, a Nigerian businessman and philanthropist and Africa's richest man. (Photo by AMINU ABUBAKAR / AFP)

After backlash, WHO clarifies COVID-19 'very rare' transmission remarks

Jun 10, 2020 - 2:45 PM

Maria Van Kerkhove, the World Health Organization's COVID-19 technical lead, says: 'I was not stating a policy of WHO'

World Health Organization (WHO) Technical Lead Maria Van Kerkhove talks during a daily press briefing on COVID-19 virus at the WHO headquarters in Geneva on March 11, 2020. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus announced on March 11, 2020 that the new coronavirus outbreak can now be characterised as a pandemic. Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP

Brazil resumes publishing virus toll, criticizes WHO

Jun 10, 2020 - 10:46 AM

Brazil's president threatens to quit the World Health Organization over 'ideological bias'

Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro gestures during a press conference on the coronavirus pandemic COVID-19 at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia, Brazil on March 20, 2020. - Brazil's government on Friday drastically downgraded its growth projections for 2020 by 2.1 percent to practically zero (0.02 percent) due to the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Sergio LIMA / AFP)

New York starts reopening as WHO says virus 'worsening' worldwide

Jun 09, 2020 - 8:16 AM

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says 136,000 cases have been reported in the past 24 hours, 'the most in a single day so far,' with the majority of them in the Americas and South Asia

WALL STREET. The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on May 26, 2020 at Wall Street in New York City. Photo by Johannes Eisele/AFP

Brazil threatens to quit WHO, Trump says U.S. beating pandemic

Jun 06, 2020 - 1:12 PM

Bolsonaro criticizes the World Health Organization for suspending clinical trials of the drug hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19 – a decision it reversed this week – and threatens to follow in Trump's footsteps by quitting

BOLSONARO'S THREAT. Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro wears a face mask during a press conference on the coronavirus pandemic COVID-19 at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia, Brazil on March 20, 2020. File photo by  Sergio Lima/AFP

WHO encourages masks where virus widespread, distancing tough

Jun 05, 2020 - 11:53 PM

(UPDATED) As the coronavirus continues to spread, the World Health Organization changes its stance on who should wear a mask, when it should be worn, and what it should be made of

FACE MASKS. People wait to enter a supermarket wearing face masks amid concern over the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, in Panama City, on June 1, 2020. File photo by Luis Acosta/AFP

WHO to resume hydroxychloroquine coronavirus trials

Jun 04, 2020 - 12:22 AM

More than 3,500 patients have been recruited across 35 countries to take part in the trials

TRIALS TO RESUME. In this file photo taken on May 20, 2020 pills of Hydroxychloroquine sit on a tray at Rock Canyon Pharmacy in Provo, Utah. File photo by George Frey/AFP

Pandemic antibiotics surge will cause more deaths – WHO

Jun 02, 2020 - 9:23 AM

WHO's Director-General calls the threat of antimicrobial resistance 'one of the most urgent challenges of our time'

WHO says it wants to keep working with U.S.

Jun 01, 2020 - 11:55 PM

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says US involvement with the organization has made a 'great difference' over the decades and 'it is WHO's wish for this collaboration to continue'

WORK WITH US. This handout image provided by the World Health Organization on May 16, 2020, shows WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attending a virtual press conference on May 16, 2020 at the WHO headquarters in Geneva. AFP PHOTO/World Health Organization/Christopher Black

Trump cuts ties with WHO mid-pandemic, as Europe speeds reopening

May 30, 2020 - 10:46 AM

The US is the WHO's biggest financial contributor, having given $400 million to the UN agency in 2019

US President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference on the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC on April 27, 2020. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP)

Do not cut health spending during downturn, WHO warns

May 28, 2020 - 10:42 PM

'We are concerned that countries will respond to this crisis in the same way they did to the recession 10 years ago...by cutting public spending on health,' says Hans Kluge, WHO regional director for Europe

WHO launches new foundation for private donations

May 28, 2020 - 10:25 AM

The UN health agency launches the independently-run WHO Foundation, which the organization hopes will give it greater control to direct philanthropic and public donations

KITS. Officials check medical equipment and coronavirus testing kits provided by the World Health Organization at the al-Maktum International airport in Dubai on March 2, 2020. Photo by Karim Sahib/AFP

Dutch mink workers may be 1st known humans infected by animals – WHO

May 26, 2020 - 10:43 PM

'But we are still collecting and reviewing more data to understand if animals and pets can spread [COVID-19],' the World Health Organization says

MINK FARM. This general view shows barrier tape cordoning off buildings of a mink farm at Beek en Donk, eastern Netherlands on April 26, 2020, after tests showed that animals within had been infected with the new coronavirus. File photo by Rob Engelaar/ANP/AFP

Brazil stands by hydroxychloroquine despite WHO suspension

May 26, 2020 - 10:07 AM

Studies, however, question the drug's safety and efficacy, including a recent study that finds the drugs actually increase the risk of death

PILLS. An employee of a pharmaceutical factory shows pills of the hydroxychloroquine drug. Photo by Louai Beshara/AFP

WHO stops hydroxychloroquine trials over safety concerns

May 26, 2020 - 12:43 AM

(UPDATED) WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says the decision comes after the publication of a study in the Lancet indicating that using the drug on COVID-19 patients could increase their likelihood of dying

TRIALS SUSPENDED. Packets of a Nivaquine, tablets containing chloroquine, and Plaqueril, tablets containing hydroxychloroquine. File photo by Gerard Julien/AFP

Africa coronavirus cases top 100,000

May 23, 2020 - 10:19 AM

The virus spreads to every country in the continent, with the highest death tolls occurring in countries in northern Africa

Health workers fill out documents before performing tests for COVID-19 coronavirus on other health workers at the screening and testing tents set up at the Charlotte Maxeke Hospital in Johannesburg, on April 15, 2020. (Photo by Michele Spatari / AFP)

WHO records highest daily number of coronavirus cases

May 21, 2020 - 8:42 AM

The world is quickly nearing the 'tragic milestone' of 5 million total infections

SAY AHH. A medical staff member takes a swab sample from a child to test for the novel coronavirus in Jian in China's central Jiangxi province on May 13, 2020. Photo by STR/AFP

5 takeaways from the WHO assembly

May 20, 2020 - 10:31 AM

Many countries and outside experts stress the need to reform the WHO, born in the ashes of World War II, so that it can better respond to the health challenges of the 21st century

TEDROS. World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus reacts at the closing session of the World Health Assembly virtual meeting from the WHO headquarters in Geneva. Photo by Christopher Black/WHO/AFP

WHO faces coronavirus probe after Trump threat

May 20, 2020 - 9:16 AM

Trump threatens to make permanent a temporary freeze on US funding to the body

WHO AND CHINA. In this file photo taken on March 09, 2020 a picture shows the sign of the World Health Organization (WHO), with its Chinese name under at the WHO headquarters in Geneva. Photo by Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

WHO states agree to independent probe of coronavirus response

May 19, 2020 - 8:18 PM

The resolution, adopted by countries taking part in the annual assembly, says the investigation should include a probe of 'the actions of WHO and their timelines pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic'

WORLD HEALTH ASSEMBLY. This combination created of 9 video grabs taken on May 18, 2020, from the website of the World Health Organization shows (top to bottom, LtoR) WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Swiss President Simonetta Sommaruga, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Chinese President Xi Jinping, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron, South Korean President Moon Jae-in, Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa delivering their speech via video link at the opening of the World Health Assembly virtual meeting. AFP PHOTO/WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION

Trump threatens to pull out of WHO over virus response, China

May 19, 2020 - 12:43 PM

(UPDATED) Donald Trump is locked in a bitter spat with Beijing, alleging it covered up the initial outbreak in central China late last year before the disease unleashed death and economic devastation across the planet

TRUMP. US President Donald Trump speaks during the daily briefing on the novel coronavirus, which causes COVID-19, in the Brady Briefing Room of the White House on April 23, 2020, in Washington, DC. File photo by Mandel Ngan/AFP

WHO to review coronavirus response as Trump renews attack

May 19, 2020 - 11:24 AM

'They're a puppet of China, they're China-centric to put it nicer,' Trump says about the WHO

UNDER FIRE. World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attends a daily press briefing on COVID-19. Photo by Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

WHO members delay decision on Taiwan at key meeting

May 19, 2020 - 12:29 AM

At the WHO's first-ever virtual World Health Assembly, countries unanimously agree to postpone the discussion until later in the year

DELAY. This handout photo provided by the World Health Organization (WHO) on May 18, 2020, shows a general view of the World Health Organization assembly room with WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus delivering a speech in front of a blue backdrop at the opening of the World Health Assembly virtual meeting from the WHO headquarters in Geneva, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, caused by the novel coronavirus. Photo by Christopher Black/World Health Organization/AFP

World Health Organization committee to discuss Taiwan exclusion

May 18, 2020 - 12:35 PM

Some 15 countries write to the director general of WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, asking that the question of Taiwan's participation be added to the agenda at the World Health Assembly

WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION. This handout image provided by the World Health Organization (WHO) on May 16, 2020, shows WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attending a virtual press conference on May 16, 2020. Photo by Christopher Black/World Health Organization/AFP

WHO kicks off virtual assembly as U.S.-China tensions simmer

May 18, 2020 - 10:13 AM

(UPDATED) UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres opens the event, lamenting that a number of countries had ignored the recommendations of the World Health Organization

FOR ALL. This picture taken on April 15, 2020 shows a sign of the World Health Organization (WHO) at the entrance of their headquarters in Geneva amid the COVID-19 outbreak. Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

Why is Taiwan excluded from the WHO?

May 16, 2020 - 3:38 PM

'No one should be treated as an orphan in the health network that the World Health Assembly should look after,' says Taiwan Vice President Chen Chien-jen, a US-trained epidemiologist

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WHO probes possible coronavirus link to rare disease in children

May 16, 2020 - 12:31 AM

The WHO has developed a preliminary case definition for the disease, which it has dubbed 'Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children'

PROBE. In this file photo, World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus gives a press conference on the situation regarding the COVID-19 at Geneva's WHO headquarters on February 24, 2020. File photo by Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

Virus could infect more than 200 million in Africa – WHO modeling

May 15, 2020 - 11:42 AM

According to the study, some 231 million people, or 22% of the one billion people in the region are expected to be infected in the 12 month period – most of them showing few or no symptoms

SPACING. Vendors take physical distance from one another at the Nakasero market in Kampala, Uganda, on April 7, 2020. Photo by Badru Katumba/AFP

Burundi expels top WHO team in coronavirus crisis

May 14, 2020 - 9:36 PM

The foreign ministry, in a letter to WHO Africa headquarters, says the UN agency's representative in Burundi and his 3 colleagues 'are declared persona non grata and as such, must leave the territory of Burundi' by May 15

PROTECTION. Burundians wash their hands, as a preventive measure against the coronavirus, on their arrival of their repatriation in Gatumba, on the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo, in Burundi, on March 18, 2020. File photo by Onesphore Nibigira/AFP

Coronavirus may never go away – WHO

May 14, 2020 - 10:35 AM

'HIV has not gone away – but we have come to terms with the virus,' says Michael Ryan, the WHO's emergencies director

GOING DOWN. People wearing face masks ride an escalator at Savyolovskaya metro station on the first day of mandatory use of masks and gloves on Moscow public transport, in Moscow on May 12, 2020, amid the coronavirus pandemic. Photo by Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP

WHO 'surprised' by states' lack of pandemic preparation

May 14, 2020 - 10:04 AM

'You can see that Asian countries are much more prepared, because they had SARS in 2003 and it left significant scars,' says Sylvie Briand, the World Health Organization's infectious hazards management chief

TIRED. Medics assist a sick crew member (L) from one of two boats which requested assistance, as they arrive at the US Coast Guard Base in Miami, on March 26, 2020. Photo by Chandan Khanna/AFP