Geneva, April 21 (RHC)-- The World Health Organization chief warned Monday that “the worst is yet ahead of us” in the coronavirus outbreak, reviving the alarm just as many countries ease restrictive measures aimed at reducing its spread.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus didn’t specify why he believes the outbreak that has infected some 2.5 million people and killed over 166,000 could get worse. He and others, however, have previously pointed to the likely future spread of the illness through Africa, where health systems are far less developed.
“Trust us. The worst is yet ahead of us,” Tedros told reporters from WHO headquarters in Geneva. “Let’s prevent this tragedy. It’s a virus that many people still don’t understand.”
In one of his starkest comparisons yet, the U.N. health agency chief also alluded to the so-called Spanish flu more than a century ago, saying the coronavirus has a “very dangerous combination ... like the 1918 flu that killed up to 100 million people.”
Tedros called the illness “Public Enemy No. 1,” and said: “We have been warning from Day One: This is a devil that everybody should fight.”