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Globe Commemorates World Health Day Amidst Pandemic

FILE - A mural paying tribute to the sacrifice of doctors, nurses and paramedics in the fight against the coronavirus is seen in Warsaw, Poland, April 2, 2020.

Tuesday is World Health Day, which is being commemorated as the world faces one of the biggest international health threats of the past century.

The head of the World Health Organization, director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, told a virtual news conference Monday in Geneva that the organization is paying tribute to the contribution of health care workers who have been at the forefront of treating patients with the coronavirus.

He said Worth Health Day, which is celebrated each year on the World Health Organization’s founding day, is usually one of the group’s biggest days of the year, but this year the day is being overshadowed by the coronavirus pandemic.

The 2020 Worth Health Day was “supposed to be the main event in our assembly in May. Unfortunately, we are in this situation,” Tedros said.

He said the organization would still release a planned report on Tuesday focusing on the state of nursing around the world, saying the document “highlights gaps and makes recommendations for all countries.”

“One of the lessons I hope the world learns from COVID-19 is that we must invest in health workers – not only to protect lives, but also to protect livelihoods,” Tedros said.

The WHO director said that while the focus of the report is on nurses, “we will celebrate all health workers – midwives, pharmacists, doctors, you name it,” on World Health Day.”

“The world is now seeing … the central role that health workers play,” he said.

In previous years, groups around the world have held health and fitness events to commemorate World Heath Day. This year, much of the world’s population is under recommendations or orders to stay inside to try to limit the spread of the coronavirus.