New Delhi: As the number deaths across the world surpassed 15,000, the World Health Organization (WHO) asserted that the new coronavirus pandemic is clearly ‘accelerating’. However, it noted that it was still possible to ‘change the trajectory’ of the outbreak. Also Read - Coronavirus: 30 States, UTs in Complete Lockdown; Confirmed Cases Now 471, Total 9 Dead | Top Developments

Addressing journalists in a virtual news briefing, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said,”The pandemic is accelerating. It took 67 days from the beginning of the outbreak in China in late December for the virus to infect the first 100,000 people worldwide. In comparison, it took 11 days for the second 100,000 cases and just four days for the third 100,000 cases. The number of cases is believed to represent only a fraction of the true number of infections, with many countries only testing the most severe cases in need of hospitalisation.” Also Read - Coronavirus: Angela Merkel Tests Negative, To Undergo Further Checks

“We are not helpless bystanders. We can change the trajectory of this pandemic”, the WHO chief added. Also Read - Coronavirus: To Ease Congestion in Jail, Tihar to Release 3,000 Inmates

On the other hand, WHO Executive Director Dr Michael J Ryan asked India to continue taking aggressive action at public health level. “India like China is hugely populated and future of COVID-19 to greater extent will be determined by what happens in densely populated large countries. It is really important that India continue to take aggressive action at public health level”, Ryan told reporters.

He also lauded India for its role in eliminating two ‘silent killers’ — small pox and polio and said that the country has tremendous capacities. “India led the world in eradicating two silent killers — small pox… India, through targeted public health interaction, ended that disease and gave a great gift to the world… India also eliminated polio, another silent killer and did a tremendous job”, Ryan stated.

His remarks come after India’s death toll due to COVID-19 mounted to 9 and the number of confirmed cases has reached near 500.

Meanwhile, to combat the spread, the Narendra Modi-led government yesterday enforced lockdown in 30 states and Union Territories. “Thirty states/UTs announce complete lockdown in the entire state/union territory covering 548 districts to prevent the spread of coronavirus pandemic. Three states (Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha) announce closure of certain areas. Lakshadweep announces lockdown on certain activities,” the government said in a statement last night.