Latest actualisation 12/03/2020 at 16:30
“In the past two weeks, the number of cases of COVID-19 outside China has increased 13-fold, and the number of affected countries has tripled.
There are now more than 118,000 cases in 114 countries, and 4,291 people have lost their lives.
Thousands more are fighting for their lives in hospitals.
We have therefore made the assessment that COVID-19 can be characterized as a pandemic. ” This said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (Director General of the World Health Organization)
At 12:30 on 12th March 2020, almost 125,000 cases have now been reported to WHO, from 118 countries and territories. In the past two weeks, the number of cases reported outside China has increased almost 13-fold, and the number of affected countries has almost tripled.
A pandemic that can be controlled
WHO Director General continued: “As I said on Monday, just looking at the number of cases and the number of countries affected does not tell the full story.
Of the 118,000 cases reported globally in 114 countries, more than 90 percent of cases are in just four countries, and two of those – China and the Republic of Korea – have significantly declining epidemics.
81 countries have not reported any 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.
Describing the situation as a pandemic does not change WHO’s assessment of the threat posed by this virus. It doesn’t change what WHO is doing, and it doesn’t change what countries should do.”
“…We have never before seen a pandemic sparked by a coronavirus. This is the first pandemic caused by a coronavirus.
And we have never before seen a pandemic that can be controlled, at the same time.”
Dr. Tedros informed on 12th March in the morning that here are still 77 countries and territories with no reported cases, and 55 countries and territories that have reported 10 cases or less.
And all countries with cases have unaffected areas. Governments and citizens have an opportunity to keep it that way. Prepare people and health facilities. This is the davise from WHO for Governments
Dr. Tedros nags Governments
“Despite our frequent warnings, we are deeply concerned that some countries are not approaching this threat with the level of political commitment needed to control it. This is a controllable pandemic,” WHO Director General underscored on 12th March in the morning.
“Countries that decide to give up on fundamental public health measures may end up with a larger problem, and a heavier burden on the health system that requires more severe measures to control.
“All countries must strike a fine balance between protecting health, preventing economic and social disruption, and respecting human rights.”
Dr. Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on 11th March in the evening: “The challenge for many countries who are now dealing with large clusters or community transmission is not whether they can do the same, it’s whether they will.
This is not just a public health crisis, it is a crisis that will touch every sector – so every sector and every individual must be involved in the fight.
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 minimize impact.
Some countries are struggling with a lack of capacity. Some countries are struggling with a lack of resources. Some countries are struggling with a lack of resolve.
I remind all countries that we are calling on you to activate and scale up your emergency response mechanisms.!”
All funds welcomed, but more effective if not earmarked
WHO’s Director-General will launch a new COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, the first-of-its-kind fund for companies, foundations and individuals to donate to World Health Organisation global response to the ongoing outbreak.
WHO has anticipated a need of $675 million through April alone for preparedness and response efforts. As this outbreak evolves, funding needs are likely to increase. Contributions to the fund will play a critical role in country-level support, including:
a) Tracking and understanding the spread of the virus,
b) Ensuring patients get the care they need, and frontline workers get supplies and information.
Dr. Tedros informed on 12th March in the morning: “More than $440 million have now been pledged to WHO’s Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan”
And he further asked for flexible funding: “We thank those countries that have contributed, especially those that have contributed fully flexible funds. Because this is a dynamic situation, we need the greatest flexibility possible to provide the best support possible. In the spirit of solidarity, we ask countries not to earmark funds for this response.”
Image over the headline.- Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (Director General of the World Health Organization). © WHO.