The increased use of antibiotics to combat the Covid-19 pandemic will strengthen bacterial resistance and ultimately lead to more deaths during the crisis and beyond, the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned.
WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Monday that a “worrying number” of bacterial infections were becoming increasingly resistant to the medicines traditionally used to treat them.
The UN health agency said it was concerned that the inappropriate use of antibiotics during the coronavirus crisis would further fuel the trend.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has led to an increased use of antibiotics, which ultimately will lead to higher bacterial resistance rates that will impact the burden of disease and deaths during the pandemic and beyond,” Tedros told a virtual press conference from the WHO’s Geneva headquarters.
The WHO said only a small proportion of Covid-19 patients needed antibiotics to treat subsequent bacterial infections.
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