WHO Director-General pays tribute to Spain’s sacrifices and leadership to confront COVID-19

World Health Organization Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus today joined the leadership of Spain, paying homage to those who have lost their lives in the country due to COVID-19, saluting the heroic efforts of heath workers and praising the government’s resolute and robust response to reverse the virus’s transmission.

“It is with great respect that I join the King of Spain, the Prime Minister and the entire government of the country to pay tribute to the people who have fallen victim to COVID-19,” said Dr Tedros. “I extend my deepest condolences to the families of all people who have lost their lives due to this virus in Spain, and around the world.”

At one point, Spain was among the countries impacted most by COVID-19. At the outbreak’s peak, close to 10,000 new cases were reported in a single day in Spain. Since then, intensive efforts, led by robust surveillance, testing, contact tracing, treatment and isolation, have managed to suppress transmission.

Dr Tedros said this shift was due to the leadership shown by Spain and the strong resolve shown by the Spanish public to adhere to strict restrictions, including lockdowns, physical distancing and other critical measures to contain transmission. These efforts, combined, have successfully changed the course of the country’s outbreak.

“Spain has shown that with political leadership and action, backed by community support, that COVID-19 can be controlled, no matter at what stage virus transmission is at in a country. From being greatly challenged, Spain has reversed the trajectory of the outbreak,” Dr Tedros added. “While we have witnessed the suppression of the virus across Spain, I support the commitment by Spanish authorities to remain vigilant in the face of the persistent threat that COVID-19 poses.”

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