Global report: WHO says Covid-19 'may never go away' and warns of mental health crisis

The global health body on Wednesday cautioned against trying to predict how long coronavirus would keep circulating, and called for a “massive effort” to overcome it. She said the world could expect to see an upsurge in the severity of mental illness, including amongst children, youngpeople and healthcare workers. In the US, president Donald Trump said warnings from his top infectious diseases expert on the dangers of lifting restrictions too soon were “not acceptable”. The apparently widening gap between the two men came on a day of more sobering economic warnings, with the head of the Federal Reserve, Jerome Powell, predicting of a “significantly worse” US recession than any downturn since the second world war, with record job losses and worse ahead. “The path ahead is both highly uncertain and subject to significant downside risks,” Powell said in a webcast speech. Meanwhile, the US Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, cautioned that waiting too long to reopen the economy risked severe economic damage “and the health impact that that creates”. Japan was expected to lift the state of emergency for 39 of its 47 prefectures on Thursday, local media reported, while the capital Tokyo is set to keep restrictions in place until it sees a convincing containment of the coronavirus. Brazil has registered a record number of new cases of the novel coronavirus on Wednesday, surpassing France’s tally to become the sixth-worst hit country, as the disease sends the economy toward its worst year since at least 1900. Only 5% of Spain’s population has been infected by the novel coronavirus, though that figure climbs to more than 10% in Madrid and areas in the centre of the country, according to a study released by the government on Wednesday. South Africa will further loosen a nationwide coronavirus lockdown later this month as the number of confirmed cases crept over 12,000, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Wednesday.