Coronavirus live news: Iran deaths pass 4,000 as US insists isolation measures are working after record daily toll


Boris Johnson still in intensive care; US protective equipment stockpile nearly empty; virus could push 500m people into poverty

The United Nations secretary general, António Guterres, has issued a statement in support of the World Health Organization, after it came under attack from critics, including the US president, who claimed it was in hock to China.

Guterres’s statement comes after WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus gave a spirited defence of the work of the WHO, and himself, in response to questions from journalists during a press briefing yesterday. Donald Trump had said on Twitter that the WHO “really blew it” adding that the organisation was “for some reason, funded largely by the United States, yet very China centric.”

It is my belief that the World Health Organization must be supported, as it is absolutely critical to the world’s efforts to win the war against COVID-19.

This virus is unprecedented in our lifetime and requires an unprecedented response. Obviously, in such conditions, it is possible that the same facts have had different readings by different entities. Once we have finally turned the page on this epidemic, there must be a time to look back fully to understand how such a disease emerged and spread its devastation so quickly across the globe, and how all those involved reacted to the crisis. The lessons learned will be essential to effectively address similar challenges, as they may arise in the future.

The official death toll from the coronavirus outbreak in Iran has passed 4,000, the country’s health ministry reported on Thursday, after 117 more people were confirmed to have died from the disease in the past 24 hours.

Kianoush Jahanpour, the health ministry spokesman, said the total death toll in the Islamic republic was now 4,110, while 32,309 had survived, according to the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA).

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