The World Health Organization (WHO) said the COVID-19 pandemic may be over in two years, and that hoarding or any forms of corruption with personal protection equipment (PPE) is criminal. This was revealed by Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, head of WHO, in Geneva.
Ghebreyesus said the Spanish flu which killed an estimated 50 million people worldwide in 1918 was over in two years. And that given the advanced technology of the present day, the coronavirus may be overcome in less than two years. He noted that with the global solidarity shown against the pandemic, the world is better equipped to see the end of the disease.
“Of course with more connectedness, the virus has a better chance of spreading,” Ghebreyesus said. “But at the same time, we have also the technology to stop it and the knowledge to stop it.”
Considering that almost 23 million people are infected with the disease and nearly 800,000 deaths recorded, the head of WHO said it is criminal for anyone to hoard PPE since this could endanger the lives of health workers at the frontlines as well as those of ordinary citizens. He noted that corruption is a bad thing everywhere and that PPE must be made available by those in charge to people who need it most.
“However, corruption related to PPE…for me it’s actually murder,” he said. “Because if health workers work without PPE, we’re risking their lives. And that also risks the lives of the people they serve.”
Many countries such as South Africa, Kenya, Mexico, and even the United States have been accused of making PPE scarce for frontline health workers, while workers have also accused the government of unpaid wages and compensations. Also, some groups groan that about three per 100,000 people are being tested for coronavirus in Mexico as against about 150 per 100,000 in the United States.
Joe Biden in the US even accused President Donald Trump of not doing enough to protect the people given his lax attitude to wearing face masks. He said that he will enforce the use of masks if elected to the presidency, because “our current president’s failed in his most basic duty to the nation. He’s failed to protect us. He’s failed to protect America.”