WHO Expresses Concern As COVID-19 Cases Escalate Rapidly Worldwide; U.N. Agencies Respond In Various Ways

CNBC: The coronavirus outbreak is a ‘real threat to everyone on the planet,’ WHO official says
“World Health Organization officials are ‘deeply concerned’ about the ‘rapid escalation and global spread’ of the coronavirus outbreak, saying global infections will eclipse 1 million with 50,000 deaths in a few days…” (Higgins-Dunn et al., 4/1).

Los Angeles Times: WHO struggles against coronavirus and a divided world testing its authority
“…The WHO risks becoming a bystander in the unfolding crisis as countries make unilateral decisions about emergency measures, treatment, and distribution of medical resources. … The fractious climate could result in renewed disease outbreaks and inequities, experts say, especially if an eventual vaccine leads to a free-for-all in which nations hoard supplies. It also raises questions about how the WHO, in an increasingly divided world, could handle an even swifter and more deadly virus, such as what scientists term as a Disease X…” (Pierson, 4/2).

POLITICO: U.N. calls for global response to coronavirus pandemic
“The United Nations on Tuesday called for the launch of a ‘large-scale, coordinated, and comprehensive multilateral response’ to the coronavirus pandemic, an ambitious proposal that would amount to at least 10 percent of global gross domestic product…” (Forgey, 4/1).

Reuters: U.N. nuclear agency sending coronavirus testing gear to 40 countries
“The U.N. atomic agency is sending an initial batch of equipment to about 40 countries with which they will be able to perform a standard test for the coronavirus involving a technique derived from nuclear science, it said on Wednesday…” (Murphy, 4/1).

U.N. News: WHO concerned over rapid escalation in COVID-19 spread as caseload approaches one million
“…Although Africa, Central America, and South America have reported relatively lower numbers of cases, [WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus] warned that the disease could have ‘serious social, economic, and political consequences’ in these regions…” (4/1).