NCOV is Nearly a Global Pandemic Even China Cases Slow Down
The coronavirus is slowly becoming a global pandemic as it spreads across the world from Asia to Europe, the Middle East, and parts of the U.S.
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO Director-General, told reporters on a conference call from Geneva on Monday.
The virus is slowing down in China – the origin, but picking pace in other parts of the world.
It’s rapidly spreading to more than 100 countries were more than 111,000 confirmed cases. Outside China, Korea has the most cases with nearly 7,500 infections, followed by Iran and Italy. According to Johns Hopkins University, Iran, and Italy, both had 7,000 cases as of Monday morning.
Johns Hopkins University also says the number of cases in the U.S. erupted last week, with more than 560 infections spread at least in 30 states.
China and Singapore seem to have successfully contained the virus. But WHO officials say they are getting closer to calling it a global pandemic.
“When you reach 100 countries, and when you reach 100,000 cases, it is time to step back and think, two weeks ago, it was 30 countries,” said Dr. Mike Ryan.
Dr. Ryan is the executive director of the WHO’s emergency program.
According to Tedros, only a handful of countries have shown signs of sustained community transmission. He also added that it was still too early for global leaders to give up.
Tedros said 70% of more than 80,000 confirmed infections in China had recovered and discharged from hospital – indicating that the outbreak in China may be ending.
However, Dr. Ryan said the disease hadn’t run its full course. In fact, other countries were still importing their first cases. He emphasized that they were still in the upcycle of the epidemic, and they even had miles to go.
Roughly 93% of global cases are concentrated in 4 countries; China, Italy, Korea, and Iran and 80 countries have less than 100 cases. WHO sees the light at the end of the tunnels but says how fast we get there depends on what individual countries do.
Severity of COVID-19
WHO shed more light on its severity, saying 80% of infected people develop mild symptoms, and 20% develop severe symptoms. Mild cases include mild pneumonia.
WHO also said that people with medical conditions such as cancer, heart disease, respiratory disease, and diabetes were at a higher risk of death. In China, the death rate among older people (80+ years) was highest at over 20%. But Tedros said it is dangerous to assume that the coronavirus kills only older people.
Tedros emphasized that even though the death rate was high, it was morally incorrect to categorize it by youths or seniors. He said it was okay to use such categories to understand the epidemiology, but for action purposes, every life matters.
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