The fatality rate of COVID-19 is estimated to be 10 times higher than influenza, World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said here on Thursday.
Speaking at a Mission briefing on COVID-19 from Geneva, the WHO chief said that so far, more than 1.3 million people have been infected, and almost 80,000 people have lost their lives.
"This pandemic is much more than a health crisis. It requires a whole-of-government and whole-of-society response," he said.
He added that the world is yet to see the devastation it could wreak in poorer and more vulnerable countries. Without help and action now, poor countries and vulnerable communities could suffer massive devastation.
"The window for containing the virus at the sub-national and national level is closing in many countries. The infection numbers in Africa are relatively small now, but they are growing fast," he warned.
"As I said in the press conference yesterday, we must quarantine politicizing this virus at national and global levels. We have to work together, and we have no time to waste," he added.