Coronavirus: alert level ‘at its highest’ – WHO

Employees work on a medical supply production line at a factory in Huaian, Jiangsu province, China February 28, 2020. China Daily via REUTERS

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

The World Health Organisation has increased the coronavirus assessment to ‘very high’. BBC reported that WHO’s director of health emergencies Dr Mike Ryan explained that the global risk level of “very high” is the highest alert the organisation can declare.

Dr Ryan was quoted saying that it would be “unhelpful” to declare a pandemic when the world was still trying to contain the virus. He added that by declaring a pandemic it would mean that one gave up on trying to contain it and moved on to mitigation.

“If we say there’s a pandemic of coronavirus we’re essentially accepting that every human on the planet will be exposed to that virus. The data does not support that as yet,” he was quoted saying.

The Financial Times quoted Dr Ryan saying that it did not make a legal difference when asked about the significance of raising the global risk assessment to very high. He added that it shows that the risks are rising. “It is not done to alarm or scare people.”

Dr Ryan explained that raising the global risk assessment to very high serves as a reality check to every government. “Be ready – we can avoid the worst” he was quoted saying. Further the health emergency doctor explained why the Covid-19 is not a pandemic even though the risk of spread and impact was at the maximum level.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus pointed out that only 23 countries pointed out more than one case of Covid-19. He added that several countries have shown that local outbreaks can be contained.

“We need aggressive containment while preparing for any eventuality,” Dr Ghrebreyesus has reportedly said.