The World Health Organisation Calls On Countries To Prepare For A Coronavirus Pandemic
Countries have been advised to stay alert and prepare for a coronavirus pandemic
With new deaths and coronavirus infections reported in the Middle East and Europe, according to Al Jazeera, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has called on countries to prepare for a pandemic. The health organisation maintains that the coronavirus hasn't reached the level of a pandemic, but warns that it could happen.
Coronavirus: the World Health Organisation tells countries to prepare for a pandemic
WHO is concerned about the spread of the disease within countries such as South Korea, Iran and Italy. However, the chief of WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters on Monday in Geneva that the disease looks like it can be contained. China, the country where the coronavirus originated, has witnessed a decline since February.
"For the moment, we are not witnessing the uncontained global spread of this coronavirus, And we are not witnessing large-scale severe disease or death," Tedros said.
However, he added that countries should be "doing everything we can to prepare for a potential pandemic. What we see are epidemics in different parts of the world affecting countries in different ways requiring a tailored response".
Europe and the Middle East
The chief of WHO's remarks came as a result of the spread of the virus into the Middle East and Europe. The two places have moved with urgency to contain the virus before it spreads further. However, the stock market took a serious hit due to the spread of the virus.
There have been more than 200 infections and seven deaths in Italy. Now causing the authorities to set up roadblocks, seal off infected towns, ban public gatherings, and cancel football matches. According to Al Jazeera's Mohammed Jamjoom, who was reporting from central Milan in northern Italy, there appears to be a sense of alarm but not panic.
"People are taking precautions … but they are still out and about," he said. "...people are concerned because there were just a handful of cases last week. And in the past few days they have spiked."
Meanwhile, according to the Iranian government, 12 people have died across the country so far, while five neighbouring countries have reported their first case of the COVID-19, all connected to the infection in Iran. Those countries include Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman and Afghanistan.
While South Korea's total shot to 833 after a reportedly 231 new cases. Daegu, South Korea's fourth-largest city, houses many of those new cases, prompting Asiana Airlines and Korean Air to suspend flights there until next month. Also, Mongolia announced that it would not allow the landing of any planes from South Korea.