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WHO: World Must Learn from COVID, Prepare for Next Pandemic


The corpses of two people who died of COVID-19 lie inside the morgue of the National Hospital Nacional, before their relatives come for them, in Itagua, Paraguay, Sept. 7, 2020.

Countries which bolstered their health care systems in recent years have fared better amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Health Organization said Monday.

In his daily briefing, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus urged countries to learn from the current pandemic to prepare for the next one. He praised Thailand, Mongolia, Senegal, and other countries for their response to the virus.

"Many of these countries have done well because they learned lessons from previous outbreaks of SARS, MERS, measles, polio, Ebola, flu and other diseases," he said. "That's why it's vital that we all learn the lessons this pandemic is teaching us."

Global numbers

Meanwhile on Monday, India passed Brazil as the country with the second-highest number of confirmed coronavirus cases.

The health ministry reported a record 90,802 new cases Monday, giving India a total of more than 4.2 million since the outbreak began. India also added 1,016 deaths Monday, pushing its overall toll to 71,642.

Brazil reported 14,521 new cases on Sunday, and while it now trails India in terms of overall cases, the country still trails only the United States in terms of deaths with 126,650.

The United States leads the world with about 6.3 million confirmed cases and 189,000 deaths.

In Australia, officials in the state of Victoria said Monday there were 41 new cases, the lowest single-day increase since late June.

Victoria has been battling to contain what has been the biggest outbreak in Australia. Authorities instituted lockdown restrictions in early August, and with the progress seen since then, announced Sunday some relaxation of the rules.

Vaccines

Prime Minister Scott Morrison also said Monday that Australia has an agreement in place with CSL to manufacture two coronavirus vaccines, should they prove to be safe and effective in trials.

One potential vaccine is being developed by CSL and is set to move into stage two clinical trials later this year.

The other vaccine is a joint project between AstraZeneca and Oxford University currently in late-stage trials. Morrison said Monday that CSL will manufacture that vaccine as well for distribution in Australia, and that he expects 3.8 million doses to be available in January or February 2021.

Israel is beginning partial nighttime lockdowns in 40 cities and towns with the country's highest infection rates. Schools in those areas will also be closed, and gatherings will be limited to 10 people inside and 20 outdoors.

"I know that these restrictions are not easy but in the current situation there is no avoiding them," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement.

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