Care for others, greatest gift of all: the gift of life ― WHO chief

World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus looks on during a press conference following an emergency talks over the new SARS-like virus spreading in China and other nations in Geneva on January 22, 2020. - The coronavirus has sparked alarm because of its similarity to the outbreak of SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) that killed nearly 650 people across mainland China and Hong Kong in 2002-03. (Photo by PIERRE ALBOUY / AFP) (Photo by PIERRE ALBOUY/AFP via Getty Images)



By caring for others, through acts of solidarity and safety, we share the greatest gift of all: the gift of life.


The World Health Organization’s Chief, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said in a video clip posted to Twitter late Thursday.


Tedros said: “We must continue taking comfort in the fact that by caring for others, through acts of solidarity and safety, we can share the greatest gift of all: the gift of life.”

He advised that the sacrifices made to protect people during the coronavirus pandemic must not be squandered over the festive period, in a Christmas message. 


Millions were making “heart-wrenching sacrifices” by staying away from loved ones on Christmas Day, while others will have a missing face at the family table. 


According to him, vaccines now beginning to be deployed in countries around the world, were starting to offer a way out of the crisis that has engulfed the planet this year. 


“As 2020 draws to an end, a pandemic of historic proportions is preventing many of us from celebrating in the ways we would like,” Tedros said. 


“Instead, hundreds of millions of people are today making great, heart-wrenching sacrifices by staying apart to stay safe.


“But in doing so, they are giving the most precious gifts: the gifts of life and health.” 


“All around the world, throughout this most trying of years, we have seen over and over again the sacrifices of so many people to protect and preserve life,” said Tedros. 


“We must not squander their sacrifices, nor those made by so many families who, this holiday season, will sit at family tables missing a familiar face. 


“Despite so much loss, we have built so much hope. Vaccines are offering the world a way out of this tragedy. But it will take time for the whole world to be vaccinated.” 


According to the WHO’s overview of different candidate vaccines, 61 have entered human trials, 16 of which have reached final-stage mass testing. 


A further 172 candidate vaccines are being developed in laboratories with a view to eventual human testing. 


The novel coronavirus has killed at least 1.7 million people since the outbreak emerged in China last December, while almost 78.7 million cases have been registered, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP.

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