The instant spread of COVID-19 confirms WHO fears

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The sharp rise in cases and the global spread of coronavirus outside of China reinforce WHO’s concerns about coping with the epidemic, experts warned Sunday as they called for ever more caution.

“There has been a remarkable change towards COVID-19 (new coronavirus) taken over the past 48 hours,” said Professor Devi Sridhar, Director of the Global Health Governance Program at Edinburgh Medical School University.

“WHO and the governments of its member states now need to think about moving from containment to mitigation, that is, that the negative impacts of continued transmission,” Sridhar said.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the president of the World Health Organization (WHO), had already sounded the alarm on Friday, saying the window to curb the virus was narrowing.

He also warned that the poor health infrastructure in Africa left it vulnerable to the COVID-19 disease, which has spilled into more than 25 countries outside of China.

In recent days in Italy — where some 50,000 people are in lockdown — eight in Iran and six in South Korea have compounded those fears by three fatalities.

The WHO voiced concern over the apparent emergence of cases without a clear epidemiological connection to China, where it emerged.

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