WHO and coronavirus

The World Health Organisation, WHO, has declared coronavirus disease a pandemic.

Making the announcement at a briefing, on Wednesday, WHO’s Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said: “Pandemic is not a word to use lightly or carelessly.

“It is a word that, if misused, can cause unreasonable fear, or unjustified acceptance that the fight is over, leading to unnecessary suffering and death.

“Describing the situation as a pandemic does not change WHO’s assessment of the threat posed by this coronavirus.

“It doesn’t change what WHO is doing, and it doesn’t change what countries should do.”

The word pandemic means a disease has spread across a large area such as a country, continent of the whole world.

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Continuing, WHO said: “We have never before seen a pandemic sparked by a coronavirus. And we have never before seen a pandemic that can be controlled at the same time.

“WHO has been in full response mode since we were notified of the first cases.

“We have called every day for countries to take urgent and aggressive action. We have rung the alarm bell loud and clear.

“As I said on Monday, just looking at the number of COVID-19 cases and the number of countries affected does not tell the full story.

“Of the 118,000 COVID-19 cases reported globally in 114 countries, more than 90 percent of cases are in just four countries.

“81 countries have not reported any Coronavirus cases, and 57 countries have reported 10 cases or less.

“We cannot say this loudly enough, or clearly enough, or often enough: all countries can still change the course of this pandemic”

“If countries detect, test, treat, isolate, trace, and mobilise their people in the response, those with a handful of COVID-19 cases can prevent those cases becoming clusters, and those clusters becoming community transmission.”

WHO also tweeted the announcement in a lengthy post:

Preaches control

“I have said from the beginning that countries must take a whole-of-government, whole-of-society approach, built around a comprehensive strategy to prevent infections, save lives and minimise impact.

“Let me summarise it in key areas: prepare and be ready; detect, protect and treat; reduce transmission; innovate and learn.

“I remind all countries that we are calling on you to activate and scale up your emergency response mechanisms, communicate with your people about the risks and how they can protect themselves, find, isolate, test and treat every Coronavirus case and trace every contact.

“There’s been so much attention on one word. But let me give you some other words that matter much more, and that are much more actionable:

“Prevention, preparedness, public health, political leadership and, most of all, people.”

Vanguard

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