WHO chief praises Boris Johnson, says there are 'green shoots of hope' in the fight against COVID-19 1 month ago

WHO chief praises Boris Johnson, says there are 'green shoots of hope' in the fight against COVID-19

As the global number of cases of COVID-19 hits 20 million, the Director-General of the World Health Organisation says he can see "green shoots of hope"

Speaking during the WHO's daily media briefing on Monday, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said: "I know many of you are grieving and that this is a difficult moment for the world.

"But I want to be clear, there are green shoots of hope and no matter where a country, a region, a city or a town is, it's never too late to turn the COVID-19 outbreak around."

Tedros praised leaders and countries around the world for the way they have been dealing with the coronavirus crisis, highlighting New Zealand as a "global example" of suppressing the virus early and acknowledging the country's 100 days with no community transmissions.

The streak was broken today, however, after a retirement village was put into lockdown after residents started to display symptoms.

Tedros also highlighted countries that had seen significant outbreaks, but got them under control, praising prime minister Boris Johnson for the United Kingdom's localised lockdowns.

"Many countries are globally are using all the tools are their disposal to tackle any new spikes," Tedros said.

"Over the last few days UK prime minister Boris Johnson put areas of northern England under stay at home notifications as clusters of cases were identified.

"In France, President Macron introduced compulsory masking in busy outdoor spaces in Paris in response to an increase in cases.

"Strong and precise measures like this, in combination with utilising every tool at our disposal, are key to preventing any resurgence in disease and allowing societies to reopen safely."

Much of society in Britain has reopened now, with new 'coronavirus safe' measures put in places in pubs, restaurants and shops.

The government is pushing for schools to fully reopen in September, with the prime minister saying there is a "moral duty" to get all children back into schools in England next month.