Hope world eradicates COVID-19 faster than Spanish Flu: WHO chief
World Health Organization (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, in a statement on Friday, said that he hopes that the world gets rid of COVID-19 in less than two years, faster than what it took to eradicate the 1918 Spanish Flu. Spanish Flu, one of the deadliest pandemics in human history, had claimed around 50 million lives from February 1918 to April 1920.
The flu had killed more people than World War I
It is estimated that the Spanish influenza took five times more lives than the First World War. It infected the world in three waves, the second wave causing maximum deaths. Then over time, it settled into a much less deadly and seasonal form. "It took three waves for the disease to infect most of the susceptible individuals," said Michael Ryan, WHO emergencies chief.
Meanwhile, till date, the COVID-19 has killed over 800,000 people
On the other hand, coronavirus has killed over 800,000 individuals so far and infected around 22 million globally, throwing life out of gear in most places. The USA continues to top the global list in the number of cases, with more than 5 million cases and a death rate of 53.2% per 100,000 cases. India currently has over 3 million cases.
Technology, knowledge will help us get through this: Tedros
Spanish Flu had inflicted far greater casualties on earth compared to COVID-19. However, the coronavirus has infected more individuals in a much shorter time span compared to the flu. This is because the world is much more closely connected than it was in 1918, said Tedros. However, "we also have the technology to stop it, and the knowledge to stop it," he added.
'PPE corruption risks the lives of the people they serve'
Speaking In Geneva, Tedros also addressed the issue of PPE corruption, which is badly affecting countries like South Africa and Kenya. Yesterday, there were huge protests in Nairobi (Kenya) over doctors being forced to work without protective equipment, and proper payment of wages. Describing corruption in PPEs as "criminal" and "murderous," he said that it "risks the lives of the people they serve."