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WHO Maintains COVID-2019 Remains ‘High Risk Globally’



World Health Organisation (WHO) PNG Country Representative Dr Luo Dapeng says coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-2019) being characterized as a pandemic does not change WHO’s assessment of the threat posed by the virus, which is high risk globally.


In a media brief yesterday, Dr Dapeng said this following the recent announcement made by WHO director general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus of COVID-2019 being characterized as a pandemic.


“It does not change what WHO is doing and it doesn’t change what countries should do,” he said. “PNG needs to take urgent, decisive and aggressive action. “In the next number of days and weeks, we expect to see more number of cases, deaths, and the numbers of affected countries climb even higher.”


According to an update on the latest global numbers as of yesterday, 124 countries have been affected with 126,380 cases, 4634 deaths and 68,307 patients have recovered.


“This pandemic characterization means all countries including Papua New Guinea must take a whole of government, whole of society approach built around a comprehensive blended strategy to prevent infections, save lives and minimize impact,” he said.


He said PNG’s window of opportunity is getting narrower each day and it is not a matter of if the virus will come, it is a question of when.


Dr Dapeng said WHO has been assessing this outbreak around the clock since the news of this virus first emerged on Dec 31, 2019.


The WHO believes that what we are seeing can be characterized as a pandemic. “We have come to this view not only because we see alarming levels of spread but also because we see alarming levels of inaction,” he said.


“Even though we do not have the virus yet, we need to further scale up our emergency response mechanisms.”


He said PNG should be ready to find, isolate, test and treat every case and trace every contact.


“We need to prepare our people and communicate about the risks and how they can protect themselves, prepare the hospitals, protect and train our health workers, mobilise the whole of society response and community spirit.


“A comprehensive or blended approach should continue with containment as the major pillar.


“WHO’s mandate is public health but we are working with many partners across all sectors to mitigate the social and economic consequences of this pandemic.


“This is not just a public health crisis, it is a crisis that will touch every sector so every sector and every individual must be involved in the fight,” Dr Dapeng said. Continue reading at https://postcourier.com.pg/who-maintains-covid-2019-remains-high-risk-globally/ | Post Courier

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