Head of the World Health Organisation Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Monday that "giving up on control" of the coronavirus pandemic was "dangerous", in response to comments from US President Donald Trump's chief of staff Mark Meadows.
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"We must not give up," Tedros told a virtual briefing.
He acknowledged that after months of battling Covid-19, which has claimed more than 1.1 million lives globally, a certain level of "pandemic fatigue" had set in.
"It's tough and the fatigue is real," Tedros said.
But we cannot give up," he added, urging leaders to "balance the disruption to lives and livelihoods".
"When leaders act quickly, the virus can be suppressed," he insisted.
"We're not going to control the pandemic. We are going to control the fact that we get vaccines, therapeutics and other mitigations," Meadows said, comparing the more deadly Covid-19 to the seasonal flu.
Tedros said that giving up on virus controls was "dangerous".
When asked about the comments, WHO emergencies chief Michael Ryan insisted that while mitigation of the effects of the pandemic were vital, efforts to beat the virus could not be abandoned.
"We should not give up on trying to suppress transmission," said Ryan.
(FRANCE 24 with AFP)