Coronavirus: WHO head urges ‘extreme caution’ over festive gatherings

Spending time with friends and family during coronavirus pandemic at Christmas is “not worth putting them or yourself at risk”, said head of the World Health Organization.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the body’s director general, said people should consider whether travelling during the festive period is necessary. Urging “extreme caution”, he said that “gains can easily be lost”.

He said: “We all need to consider whose life we might be gambling with in the decisions we make. [The] Covid-19 pandemic will change the way we celebrate, but it doesn’t mean that we can’t celebrate. We still can celebrate.”

He warned that “this is no time for complacency,” despite last week seeing the first decline in newly reported cases globally since September.

The coronavirus has infected more than 62.6 million people globally and killed over 1.4 million according to the Johns Hopkins University. Over 4 crore people have recovered from the infection.