Published: 2020-10-14 20:28
Last Updated: 2020-10-14 20:33
The COVID-19 pandemic is currently threatening to eradicate any progress made in combating Tuberculosis (TB) in recent years, which is one of the main causes of death from infectious diseases worldwide, warned the World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday.
The WHO's annual report revealed that countries most affected by Tuberculosis have given up their TB diagnosis and are busy fighting coronavirus.
TB could possibly be accountable for 200,00 to 400,000 more deaths this year than it did in 2019. The lung disease was responsible for 1.4 million deaths last year, despite there being a treatment for it, stated the report.
Although TB control was slow prior to COVID-19, an extra 200,000 TB deaths would reverse control progress to bring the world back to where it was in 2015 and if there are 400,000 deaths, then the efforts would go back to where they were in 2012.
The Director-General of WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, summarized the situation in the report by saying that "the COVID-19 epidemic threatens to weaken the progress made in recent years".
He stressed that "the impact of the epidemic on tuberculosis diagnosis services is severe."
Ghebreyesus added that the data collected by the WHO in countries worst-affected by COVID-19 show a “sharp decrease in reporting of TB cases in 2020”.