Coronavirus (COVID-19): Latest news from Monday’s World Health Organization briefing

coronavirus cdc_

(CDC, Unsplash)

This article is brought to you thanks to the collaboration of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.


  • World Health Organization holds regular media briefing to update public on the COVID-19 outbreak. Streamed live at 17.00 CET on Monday 9 March.
  • Global number of coronavirus infections has surpassed 100,000 but the spread can still be controlled.
  • Countries with community transmission could consider closing schools, cancelling mass gatherings.

Today’s World Health Organization briefing updated journalists on the progress being made and the work still to be done to fight coronavirus. Here’s what was covered – and what you need to know.

Reasons for hope
WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus opened today’s briefing with an update on the Ebola epidemic in DRC. It’s now three weeks since last case was reported and week since last survivor left treatment centre. “We’re now in the countdown to end the outbreak.”

Regarding the spread of COVID-19, “the threat of pandemic has become very real,” he said. “But this would be the first pandemic that could be controlled.

“We’re not at the mercy of the virus.”

No “pandemic” yet
The WHO has been reluctant to use the word “pandemic” and the briefing added additional clarification regarding why the term isn’t yet appropriate. A “pandemic,” said Dr Michael Ryan, WHO Executive Director, means the “disease has reached a point where it spreads uncontrolled from country to country.” Said Ryan, the WHO is now seeing real success in some countries at turning the disease around.

Epidemic curve of COVID-19 cases reported outside China, through to 8 March.
Image: World Health Organisation
Dr Tedros concluded that only a handful of countries had shown signs of sustained community transmission, meaning “most countries still have sporadic #COVID19 cases or defined clusters. We must all take heart from that,” he said.

“The rule of the game is: never give up.”

Work still to do

To end transmission and prevent the spread of the virus, countries’ fundamental elements should be the same, Tedros warned. “It’s not about either containment or mitigation, it’s about both,” he said, pointing to newly consolidated WHO guidance for countries in four categories available on the WHO website.

“Depending on their context, countries with #COVID19 community transmission could consider closing schools, cancelling mass gatherings and other measures to reduce exposure,” he said.

Managing shortages
As to what concrete actions the WHO has taken to mitigate the effects of the outbreak globally. “We’ve shipped supplies of personal protective equipment to 57 countries, we’re preparing to ship to a further 28, and we’ve shipped lab supplies to 120 countries.” In addition, almost 300 million US dollars have been pledged to the WHO’s Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan.

Next steps? Protection and cooperation
In the view of Dr Ryan, the fate of the virus is more in the hands of society than the virus itself. It’s down to how societies and individuals take responsibility to protect themselves and others.

Though as the seasons change, so too could the incidence of the disease, he warned. “We’re still very much in the ‘up’ cycle of the epidemic, with a number of miles to go.”

“But the way in which China, Singapore, Korea and Japan are at various points of turning a corner – gives us hope. It’s clear there’s an element of controlability. We need to seize that.”

Speakers
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General
Dr Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO Technical Lead
Dr Michael Ryan, WHO Executive Director

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Tokyo 2020 Olympics: from cardboard beds to recycled medals, how the Games are going green

Greece to stay in the euro area but the cost to its people remains elusive

The Monetary Union drives Europe into dangerous paths, CoR demands an EMU of regional content

Meet Alice, the battery-powered plane that could herald the age of electric air travel

Commission’s action against imports from China questioned

Fisheries: Commission proposes measures to conserve stocks of deep-sea species in the North-East Atlantic

Russia must urgently step up fight against foreign bribery

Threat from petty criminals who turn to terrorism, a growing concern, Security Council hears

Assembly President launches new initiative to purge plastics and purify oceans

Learning from our past mistakes: the mental health burden of two pandemics

Mobile technology saving lives: changing healthcare systems with simple technological solutions

Top officials say UN will support Bahamas’ rescue, relief efforts as Hurricane Dorian churns in Atlantic

Robots and chatbots can help alleviate the mental health epidemic

The dangers of data: why the numbers never tell the full story

The global economy is woefully unprepared for biological threats. This is what we need to do

Here are three ways blockchain can change refugees’ lives

Sherpa climbers carried out the highest-ever spring clean. This is what they found

Coronavirus Global Response: EIB and Commission pledge additional €4.9 billion

French Prime Minister passes Stability Program and takes his ‘café’ in Brussels this June

Paris, Washington, IMF against Berlin and ECB on money and interest

My twin from Guangzhou

This country came up with 5 novel ideas to tackle the pandemic

Antitrust: Commission fines Sanrio €6.2 million for restricting cross-border sales of merchandising products featuring Hello Kitty characters

It’s Time to Disrupt Europe, Digital First

EU Civil Protection Mechanism must be sufficiently funded to save lives

World Health Day: Statement by Commissioner Stella Kyriakides

This is what Belgium’s traffic-choked capital is doing about emissions

Warmer months ahead for many parts of the planet: UN weather agency

‘Stay at home’ UK tells people as global confirmed cases pass 380,000 – Today’s coronavirus updates

As India’s lockdown ends, a mental health crisis is just beginning

100 years on, UN labour agency mission focussed on growing inequality, says Director-General

Europe’s dirty air kills 400,000 people every year

GSMA Mobile 360 Series – MENA in Dubai, in Association with The European Sting

UK: Customs Union with EU or a longer delay of Brexit

Brexit: Six more months of political paralysis or a May-Corbyn compromise?

In the United States, there aren’t enough hours in the week to make rent

UN experts decry torture of Rakhine men and boys held incommunicado by Myanmar’s military

Rich economies not a promise of education equality, new report finds

Working together to end the AIDS-HIV pandemic

3 reasons why data is not the new oil – and why this matters to India

Superbugs: MEPs advocate further measures to curb use of antimicrobials

These are the best MBAs if you want to be an entrepreneur

Austerity lovers to put a break on Renzi’s growth vision for Europe? the Sting reports live from World Economic Forum 2015 in Davos

Brunei’s new penal code would enshrine ‘cruel and inhuman punishments’ UN rights chief warns

UN chief urges emergency fund support as one of the ‘most effective investments’ in humanitarian action

‘Power is not given, power is taken’, UN chief tells women activists, urging push-back against status quo

Digital Finance Package: Commission sets out new, ambitious approach to encourage responsible innovation to benefit consumers and businesses

COVID-19 and German constitutional court decision top meeting with ECB’s Lagarde

Berlin wants to break South’s politico-economic standing

Businesses are thriving, societies are not. Time for urgent change

A Glimpse into the Future of the Health with Mobile Technology

A new roadmap for corporate climate governance

Hatred ‘a threat to everyone’, urges Guterres calling for global effort to end xenophobia and ‘loathsome rhetoric’

UN working to prevent attacks on civilians in eastern DR Congo

Western Balkans: European Parliament takes stock of 2018 progress

Brexit update: Will the EU grant extention to Britain preventing economic chaos?

Misinformation and growing distrust on vaccines, ‘dangerous as a disease’ says UNICEF chief

8 steps towards a sustainable economic recovery

We now know how much ice Antarctica has lost in the last 25 years – three trillion tonnes

Von der Leyen on EU long-term budget: our opportunity to make Europe fit for the future

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s