WHO Advises People to Wear Mask in Public Areas to Avoid COVID-19 Infection, US Unemployment Rate Falls Drastically and Wall Street Recoups 2020 Losses

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) has changed its earlier stance on face masks and has now advised people across the world to cover their faces with face-masks especially when they are going in public. The new advisory is especially important as most countries in the world have started to ease public movement restrictions and open their economies after months of lockdown.  The WHO's technical lead expert on COVID-19, Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, said that the world health agency recommends people to wear a non-medical mask called “fabric mask” in areas where the risks of COVID-19’s transmission is high. WHO made it clear that all the people who are sick and those taking care of them should wear masks. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that masks are only one of the tools of reducing coronavirus transmission. He also said “masks on their own will not protect you from COVID-19” novel coronavirus. With the economies opening up and social distancing not possible in public transports, shops, refugee camps, and many other public places, WHO recommended covering of faces with homemade masks for avoiding the spread of COVID-19 infection. COVID-19 infection is spreading across the world. Sweden has recorded more than 1,000 new cases for 3rd consecutive day, leading to the collapse of their “Sweden model” of tackling coronavirus. It has become one of the worst affected developed countries with more than 41,800 COVID-19 infections. Sweden’s chief epidemiologist and architect of COVID-19 strategy, Anders Tegnell, defended the Sweden model of no lockdown but acknowledged that it failed to protect its elderly. While its Nordic neighbors such as Denmark and Norway have just 580 and 287 COVID-19 deaths, Sweden has 4,562 deaths. The UK has become the second country in the world with more than 40,000 (40,261) official coronavirus deaths. WHO's chief scientist, Soumya Swaminathan, has said that more than 2,00,000 reported COVID-19 infection cases in India may look big but for a country with a population of 1.3 billion, the coronavirus cases are still modest. The US President Donald Trump has said that the US scientists of 5 pharmaceutical companies have already produced 2 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine, which are ready for transportation and logistics but are currently being tested for safety. To combat coronavirus pandemic and adequately support global health funding, the G-20 countries have pledged more than $21 billion. The COVID-19 pandemic has till now infected more than 6.8 million and led to deaths of over 398,000 patients. The US employment data of May 2020 surprised everyone as it recorded a gain of 2.5 million jobs and a consequent fall of unemployment rate from 14.7% in April 2020 to 13.3% in May 2020. With the more than expected fall in unemployment, major US stock indices witnessed significant rally. The S&P 500 index jumped by more than 2%, thereby coming closer to recouping all of its losses made till now in 2020.