Written by Williams ABAH

WHO says coronavirus outbreak not pandemic

The World Health Organisation, WHO, has said the coronavirus outbreak was not yet pandemic, but a global public health emergency

According to WHO, Coronavirus has claimed 425 lives, with more than 20,000 reported cases in China and 158 cases outside China.

WHO, which stated this at a news conference in Geneva, Switzerland, said the agency was hopeful that the virus would be contained.

The United Nation, UN, agency acknowledged that it was challenging to contain the virus because of global mass movement.

It explained that the virus was currently considered to be an epidemic with multiple locations.

“We are not in a pandemic,” Dr Sylvie Briand, Director of the World Health Organisation’s Infectious Hazards Management Department, said.

“We will try to extinguish the transmission in each of these,” she said.

She added that the agency believes this can be done with containment measures currently in place.

"Current control measures in place include early case detection, early isolation and treatment of cases, contact tracing and social detention measures in places where there is risk of transmission.

She noted that these are the core elements of any outbreak response and might be enough to stop an infection from spreading.

According to WHO, there is a window of opportunity to stop the deadly new coronavirus becoming a broader global crisis.

WHO Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said the steps China took to fight the virus at its epicentre were a good way of stopping its spread.

The praise comes as Chinese officials have been widely criticised for their initial handling of the outbreak.



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