This is the one word the WHO head wants you to remember during the coronavirus crisis

James Morris
Senior news reporter, Yahoo News UK

If there is one positive to have emerged from the coronavirus pandemic, it has been the reminder that communities come together at times of crisis.

It was a point Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO), was keen to raise on Monday.

As of 6pm, there had been more than 755,000 worldwide cases of coronavirus, with more than 36,000 deaths.

As the grim figures continue to spike, Dr Tedros explained why he tweeted a single word – “Humility” – on Sunday with no further explanation.

Dr Tedros claimed scientific tools can only take us so far in the battle against COVID-19 as he said: “We continue to be encouraged by the signs of global solidarity to confront and overcome this common threat.

“The commitment of G20 countries to work together to improve production and supply of essential products shows that the world is coming together.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Monday. (Sky News)

“Coming together is the only option we have. Unity is the only option we have to defeat this virus. Yesterday, I sent a tweet with a single word: ‘Humility.’ Some people asked me: ‘Why?’

"COVID-19 is reminding us how vulnerable we are, how connected we are and how dependent we are on each other.”

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He went on: “In the eye of a storm like COVID, scientific and public health tools are essential – but so are humility and kindness.

“Solidarity, humility and assuming the best of each other... we can and we will overcome this together.”

Dr Tedros’s words came as climate activist Greta Thunberg said the coronavirus showed how vulnerable societies are in the face of a crisis – but also that the world is able to act fast.

Speaking in the New Scientist’s "Big Interview” podcast from her home in Sweden, the 16-year-old said the COVID-19 outbreak showed that when in an emergency, “we can act and change our behaviour quickly”.

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