İrem UZUN -TDO- The director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO) said Monday that the coronavirus pandemic is spreading at an increasingly rapid pace as he called for cooperation from the world's wealthiest nations to fight the outbreak. At a press briefing Monday in Geneva, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said more than 350,000 cases had been confirmed around the world. "We need to attack the virus with aggressive and targeted tactics," Tedros said.

“The pandemic is accelerating,” Tedros said. “It took 67 days from the first reported case to reach 100,000 cases, 11 days for second 100,000 cases, and just four days for the third 100,000 cases.” Tedros added that he’ll be asking the G20, the international group of government and central bank leaders, to ramp up production of personal protective equipment for doctors and nurses and to avoid placing export bans on the life-saving gear. WHO had already been asking suppliers of protective gear to prioritize sending the equipment to regions most affected by the virus and discouraged stockpiling of protective gear by the general public. “We need unity among the G20 countries who have more than 80% of the global GDP,” he said. “If we don’t prioritize protecting health workers, many people will die because the health worker who could have saved their lives is sick.”

However, Tedros emphasized that "We are not helpless bystanders. We can change the trajectory of this pandemic." He also stated that social distancing and staying at home are defensive measures against the pandemic. Meanwhile, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for an immediate global cease-fire to protect war-ravaged communities from the coronavirus pandemic. Guterres urged warring parties to "end the sickness of war and fight the disease that is ravaging our world. It starts by stopping the fighting everywhere now." He said this was crucial to help create corridors for life-saving aid and open channels for diplomacy.

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