The regional director of the World Health Organization (WHO) for Europe, Hans Kluge, said on Wednesday, 8, that the progress made by European countries in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, he is still extremely “fragile” and defended the institution of attacks by the President of the United States, Donald Trump, who threatened to cut American funding to WHO.
"It is dangerous to think that we are coming to an end (of the pandemic)," he said. "The virus leaves no room for error or complacency," he said. Kluge also reiterated that, despite the death toll starting to drop in countries like Spain and Italy, efforts to stem the spread of the virus could not relax. "We still have a long way to go in the marathon," he added.
Europe is the continent most affected by the new coronavirus. Of the ten countries with the highest number of infections and deaths, seven are European, totaling 687,236 cases, according to the real-time survey by Johns Hopkins University.
Asked about the threat from the United States government to stop funding to the organization, Kluge said that because the world is still in the most acute phase of the pandemic, it is not the time to reduce countries' contributions to WHO. According to Trump, the organization made mistakes in conducting the pandemic in China, where the coronavirus outbreak began in late December 2019, and that the organization is focused on measures in favor of the Chinese, not the rest of the world.
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Bruce Aylward, senior advisor to WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom, also defended the organization's relationship with China, saying that work with Beijing officials was important in understanding the pandemic.
"It was absolutely essential at the beginning of this outbreak to have full access to everything possible, to enter the field and work with the Chinese to understand this," he said. "This is what we did with all the other affected countries, like Spain, and it had nothing to do with China specifically."
Aylward also argued that China has worked hard to identify and detect early cases and their contacts, and to ensure that these people do not travel to prevent the further spread of the pandemic.