21 January 2022,   12:31
Don’t hug anybody over the holiday season, the WHO says

The World Health Organization has an unwelcome but potentially life-saving message for the holiday season: Don’t hug.

To stop the spread of the coronavirus, WHO’s emergencies chief said that the “shocking” rate of COVID-19 cases and deaths, particularly in the U.S., means that people shouldn’t get too close to their loved ones this year.

“The epidemic in the U.S. is punishing. It’s widespread. It’s quite frankly, shocking, to see one to two persons a minute die in the U.S. — a country with a wonderful, strong health system (and) amazing technological capacities. At the moment, the U.S. accounts for a third of all COVID-19 cases in the world. According to Johns Hopkins University, the country has recorded more than 280,000 coronavirus deaths to date.

It’s a horrible thing to think that we would be here as the World Health Organization saying to people, “Don’t hug each other”. It’s terrible. That is the brutal reality in places like the United States right now”, - said Dr. Michael Ryan.