WHO chief warns you cannot fight pandemic if you’re blinding yourself to the facts
The head of the World Health Organization on Monday urged countries across the world to test every suspected coronavirus, noting that more cases and deaths have now been reported in the rest of the world than China.
“You cannot fight a fire while blindfolded,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told journalists in Geneva. “Test, test, test. Test every suspected case.” The virus is spreading rapidly, and many governments have been forced to close borders, order home quarantines and scrap public events including major sporting fixtures.
“This is the defining global health crisis of our time,” said Ghebreyesus. “Crises like this tend to bring out the best and worst of humanity,” he added.
Globally, the number of deaths has crossed 6,500 with more than 168,000 infections in 148 countries.
The E.U. is set to hold a summit on Tuesday to discuss the 27-nation bloc’s response to the virus, including a proposal to close all borders to non-essential travel. Countries across Europe are on full lockdown, while major U.S. cities have shut bars and restaurants and schools are closing nationwide.
Special Assistant to the P.M. on Health Dr. Zafar Mirza has differed with the WHO chief’s guidelines, claiming to journalists that only people who have traveled abroad—or have close contacts to those who have traveled abroad—should be tested.