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WHO worries about spread of coronavirus

At Singapore Airport on February 21, 2020.
At Singapore Airport on February 21, 2020. Danial Hakim / AP

China is losing its bet. She hoped to show the world that the draconian and unprecedented measures to contain her population had made it possible to protect the rest of the planet from the coronavirus. In fact, this one seems to be speeding up the global health authorities. The epidemic now affects more than 77,700 people worldwide, including more than 1,500 outside of China. More than thirty countries, not counting China, are concerned. The epidemic has already been fatal in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, the Philippines, but also outside Asia, Iran, France and Italy where it has made, since Friday, two firsts European victims.

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The United States, which closed its borders to anyone from China on February 2, is concerned after the repatriation of 300 Americans who were on board the cruise ship Diamond Princess. “The day may come when we may need to put in place the same measures as in Asia”, warned, Friday, February 21, Nancy Messonnier, one of the directors of the Center for disease control and prevention, a US federal agency, with reference to the various types of containment implemented in particular in China and South Korea.

The World Health Organization (WHO) no longer hides its concern. “This virus is very dangerous. He is the number one public enemy and he is not treated as such, alarmed Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the managing director, on Friday. As we speak, we are still in a phase where it is possible to contain the epidemic. “ But the “Shooting window shrinks”, he warned.

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WHO is particularly concerned about the emergence of cases outside China “No clear epidemiological link, such as travel history and contact with a confirmed case”. “We see that the situation is changing”, said Sylvie Briand, director of the Global Preparedness for Infectious Risks department at WHO: “Not only is the number of cases increasing, but we are also seeing different patterns of transmission in different places. “ WHO does not speak of a pandemic, however. The international organization considers that there is “Different epidemics, showing different phases”.

If the focus is now on the global development of the coronavirus, the situation in China remains worrying

While the WHO calls for additional means to fight the coronavirus, President Xi Jinping himself thanked Friday, February 21, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation which had committed in early February to invest $ 100 million to help organizations health, governments and the private sector in their efforts to stem the epidemic of viral pneumonia. One way to try to calm the Sino-American rivalry on the subject.

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