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WHO’s Dr. Tedros Informs Coronavirus Requires Comprehensive Approach, Not ‘One Size Fits All’

March 4, 2020 (EIRNS)—In a press conference this morning in Geneva, World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus emphasized that the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, “is not SARS, it is not MERS, and it is not influenza. The nature of this virus means we have an opportunity to break the chains of transmission and contain its spread. At the very least, we can slow it down and buy time. That must remain our singular focus.” (Both SARS and MERS are coronaviruses.)

According to the WHO COVID-19 Situation Report 44 for March 4, 2020: The number of cases globally now stands at 93,090; outside China, 12,668, in a total of 76 countries, with 2,103 new cases reported. On key hotspots, from WHO’s report today:

• Italy has 2,502 confirmed cases and 80 deaths, 28 new. As of Thursday, all schools, universities and daycare centers will be closed nationwide until at least March 15, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced today. School closures affect 8.7 million students; attendance at sporting events is also banned.

• South Korea is the world’s second most-infected country after China, with 5,328 confirmed cases and 32 deaths. Most cases are concentrated in the city of Daegu, whose 4,000 cases have overwhelmed the city’s healthcare system. Many companies and towns are deserted, as employees are now working from home.

• Iran’s confirmed cases rose by 25% today, with 835 new cases, to a total 2,336, with 77 total deaths. President Hassan Rouhani announced that the virus had now spread to all the country’s provinces. Iran’s neighbors are taking stringent measures, to close borders to travel, and limiting pilgrimages to Iran, for example.

In a press release issued yesterday, the WHO warned that “severe and mounting disruption to the global supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) caused by rising demand, panic buying, hoarding and misuse is putting lives at risk from the new coronavirus and other infectious diseases.” Dr. Tedros urged industry and governments to “act quickly to boost supply, ease export restrictions and put measures in place to stop speculation and hoarding. We can’t stop COVID-19 without protecting health workers first.”

He emphasized today: “Our view continues to be that containment of COVID-19 must be the top priority for all countries, but at the same time, countries should be preparing for sustained community transmission. The approach must be a comprehensive one. There is no one-size fits all approach.”

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