Over 750,000 COVID-19 cases, more than 36,000 deaths confirmed worldwide — WHO

GENEVA, March 31. /TASS/: A total of 750,890 confirmed cases of novel coronavirus and 36,405 coronavirus-related death were registered worldwide as of 10 am Geneva time (noon Moscow time) on March 30, the World Health Organization (WHO) said in its daily bulletin on Tuesday.

The number of confirmed cases grew by more than 57,000 in the past 24 hours and the number of fatalities increased by 3,301.

IOC athletes commission says new Olympic dates give "much-needed certainty"

Lausanne, Mar 31 (PTI) The International Olympic Committee's athletes commission on Tuesday welcomed the announcement of new dates for the Olympics, saying the declaration has given those bound for Tokyo "much-needed certainty" after the mega-event's postponement to 2021.

In a statement, the IOC athletes commission, which also features India's lone individual Olympic gold-medallist Abhinav Bindra, lauded the announcement of new dates -- July 23 to August 8, 2021 -- within days of the event's postponement due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.

WHO urges countries to use "a second window of opportunity" to stop COVID-19 transmission

GENEVA, March 25 (Xinhua) -- Calling it "a second window of opportunity", the chief of the World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday urged countries to use this critical window now to suppress and stop transmission of COVID-19.

This window of opportunity was created by those countries and regions which introduced unprecedented "lockdown" measures to contain COVID-19 pandemic, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus noted at a daily briefing, reminding that these measures will not extinguish epidemics on their own.

COVID-19 pandemic puts WHO back in hot seat

25 March 2020; AFP: The UN's health agency has faced criticism in the past for overreacting and for moving too slowly in fighting epidemics, but it has rarely faced as much scrutiny as with the coronavirus pandemic.

The World Health Organization was deemed too alarmist when it faced the H1N1 epidemic in 2009 but five years later it was accused of dragging its feet in declaring an emergency over the Ebola outbreak in west Africa, which would go on to kill more than 11,000 people.

US has potential of becoming coronavirus epicentre, says WHO

GENEVA, March 25 (NNN-AGENCIES) — The World Health Organization said that the United States could become the global epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic.

WHO spokeswoman Margaret Harris told reporters there had been a “very large acceleration” in infections in the United States.

Over the previous 24 hours, 85 per cent of new cases were in Europe and the United States, and of those, 40 per cent were in the United States.

IOC looking at postponing Tokyo Olympics; Canada pulls out

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — The IOC will take up to four weeks to consider postponing the Tokyo Olympics amid mounting criticism of its handling of the coronavirus crisis that now includes Canada saying it won’t send a team to the games this year and the leader of track and field, the biggest sport at the games, also calling for a delay.

About 20 novel coronavirus vaccines in development worldwide — WHO

GENEVA, March 21. /TASS/: About 20 vaccines against the novel coronavirus are currently being developed worldwide, said Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, the technical lead for WHO’s emergencies program.

"At least 20 vaccines are in development for COVID-19. Their first clinic trials are already starting," she said.

China’s experience gives hope for defeating coronavirus pandemic — WHO

GENEVA, March 20. /TASS/: Chinese Wuhan’s experience of pushing back the novel coronavirus gives hope that the pandemic can be stopped, Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a briefing on Friday.

"Yesterday, Wuhan, China, reported no new cases for the first time since the COVID19 outbreak started. Wuhan provides hope for the rest of the world, that even the most severe situation can be turned around," he said.

Switzerland: Pharma chiefs expect coronavirus vaccine in 12-18 months

20 March 2020; AFP: The pharmaceutical industry expects it will take 12 to 18 months to roll out a coronavirus vaccine, executives said Thursday, as they jointly pledged to make it available worldwide based on need.

Bureaucracy could be slashed to speed up the process -- but the time needed for safety testing could not be compromised, industry chiefs and the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations told a virtual press conference hosted in Geneva.

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