Coronavirus Outbreak (COVID – 19) : WHO Update (21 February 2020)

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World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, “We’re concerned about the number of cases with no clear epidemiological link such as travel history to China or contact with a confirmed case.”

Speaking today (21 Feb) in Geneva, Tedros told reporters, “Apart from the Diamond Princess cruise ship, the Republic of Korea now has the most cases outside China, and we’re working closely with the government to fully understand the transmission dynamics that led to this increase.”

He added, “We’re also concerned about the increase in cases in the Islamic Republic of Iran, where that are now 18 cases and four deaths in the last, in just the past two days.”

Also speaking to reporters, WHO’s Jaouad Mahjour said, “The case in Lebanon was detected in the airport because they were screening the symptomatic cases coming from Iran, and this is how this case was, is detected. And the Regional Office in Cairo is now in contact with two countries to assess the situation first and to evaluate what is the kind of technical assistance that these two countries may need, and we are ready to provide this technical assistance.”

WHO’s Director for Global Infectious Hazard Preparedness Dr Sylvie Briand said, “What is really important in epidemiology when you observe an epidemic is to remember that surveillance or monitoring of the disease aims at taking the best possible decision. And so it’s really numbers for action and not numbers for numbers. And so as long as we understand how things are counted and what the numbers include, then it helps us to make the best possible decision to protect the health of the people.”

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, “So what I believe is the window of opportunity is still there, but we’re our window of opportunities, is narrowing, I would put it that way. And that’s why we called the international community to act. And that’s why I explained yesterday, although we are asking for, you know, the international community to act quickly, including the financing, that’s not what we see.”

Sylvie Briand added, “Indeed we see that the situation is there is evolving. Not only the number of cases is increasing, but also we see different patterns of transmission in different