WHO DG Warns No Going Back To ‘Old Normal,’ Says Coronavirus Surge Driven By 10 Countries; AP Examines Use Of Face Masks Globally

AP: The global march of face masks: A mirror on humanity
“…Not since humans invented shoes or underwear has a single item of dress caught on so widely and quickly from Melbourne to Mexico City, Beijing to Bordeaux, spanning borders, cultures, generations, and sexes with almost the same Earth-shaking speed as the coronavirus that has killed more than 600,000 and infected more than 15 million. … But rarely, also maybe never, has anything else worn by humans sparked such furious discord and politicking, most notably in the United States. … As such, like other human habits, the mask has become a mirror on humanity…” (Leicester, 7/24).

CIDRAP News: Just a few nations driving much of world’s COVID-19 surge
“The global surge in COVID-19 cases is mainly driven by intense transmission in a relatively few countries, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) said [Thursday], with South Africa now among the five hardest-hit countries. … At a media briefing [Thursday], WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, PhD, said two thirds of the world’s cases have been reported from just 10 countries … He repeated that political leadership and community engagement are the two key response pillars…” (Schnirring, 7/23).

CNBC: WHO warns there’s no going back to ‘old normal’ as coronavirus accelerates in three countries
“The World Health Organization warned Thursday there is no going back to the ‘old normal’ as the coronavirus pandemic accelerates in the United States and poorer, developing countries. Half of all Covid-19 cases reported so far are from the United States, Brazil, and India, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during a news conference from the agency’s Geneva headquarters. ‘It’s completely understandable that people want to get on with their lives, but we will not be going back to the old normal’…” (Lovelace/Feuer, 7/23).

U.N. News: COVID-19: No return to ‘old normal,’ says U.N. health chief, as cases top 15 million
“COVID-19 cases worldwide have surpassed 15 million, and nearly 620,000 deaths. … ‘We must remember that most people are still susceptible to this virus. As long as it’s circulating, everyone is at risk,’ said Tedros, adding, ‘just because cases might be at a low level where you live, that doesn’t make it safe to let down your guard.’ Tedros underlined that anyone, regardless of age or where they live, can help lead efforts to beat the pandemic and build back better…” (7/23).