Coronavirus outbreak: WHO marks 40th anniversary of smallpox eradication while fighting COVID-19

Coronavirus outbreak: WHO marks 40th anniversary of smallpox eradication while fighting COVID-19

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World Health Organization (WHO) director-general Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Friday that the 40th anniversary of eradicating smallpox is a reminder of what’s possible when nations come together to fight a common health threat, stressing the importance of global solidarity in fighting COVID-19.

Exactly forty years ago, on May 8,1980 the World Health Assembly officially declared the eradication of smallpox after the disease plagued humanity for at least 3,000 years, killing an estimated 300 million people in the 20th century.

Related to efforts fighting COVID-19, Dr. Tedros thanked donors and countries responded to WHO's initial strategic preparedness and response plan and outlined the updated strategic plan., which takes into account the lessons learned by far in fighting COVID-19.

The plan is built on five strategic objectives: mobilize all sectors and communities, control sporadic cases and clusters, suppress community transmission with physical distancing measures, reduce mortality rates through appropriate care, and develop effective therapeutics, and ultimately a vaccine.

Dr. Tedros added that the United Nations postal administration and WHO are releasing a commemorative postage stamp to recognize global solidarity in fighting smallpox.

As of Friday, nearly 4 million cases of COVID-19 were reported worldwide, with over 270,000 deaths.

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