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World


Declaring COVID-19 as 'pandemic' has no tangible benefits: WHO chief

Geneva, Feb 26 (UNI) Stating that China has prompted some media and politicians to push for a pandemic to be declared in wake of Coronavirus, World Health Organization Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom said that we should not be too eager to declare a pandemic without a careful and clear-minded analysis of the facts.
"WHO has already declared a public health emergency of international concern – our highest level of alarm. Using the word pandemic carelessly has no tangible benefit, but it does have significant risk in terms of amplifying unnecessary and unjustified fear and stigma, and paralyzing systems", Dr Adhanon said at a mission briefing on COVID-19, here.
The official noted that the organization would not hesitate to use the word "pandemic" when accurate. "At the same time, all countries, whether they have cases or not, must prepare for a potential pandemic," Tedros stressed.
Dr Adhanom commended the WHO team that visited China for fighting the epidemic saying that the WHO team has made a range of findings regarding the transmissibility of the virus, the severity of disease and the impact of the measures taken and noted that the measures taken by the WHO team has averted a significant number of cases.
He also said that "too many" countries affected by the outbreak of the novel coronavirus disease, COVID-19, are still not sharing data with the UN public health agency.
"One of the biggest challenges we face is that too many affected countries are still not sharing data with WHO. WHO cannot provide appropriate public health guidance without disaggregated data and detailed line lists," the WHO chief said.
The epidemic peaked and plateaued between the 23rd of January and the 2nd of February, and its spread has been declining steadily since then. He said that there has been no significant change in the DNA of the virus.
UNI XC RKM JAL 1829
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