WHO says global risk of China virus is 'high'


GENEVA (AFP): The World Health Organization (WHO) on Monday (Jan 27) said the global risk from the deadly virus in China was "high", admitting an error in its previous reports that said it was "moderate".

The UN health body said in a situation report published late Sunday (Jan 26) that the risk was "very high in China, high at the regional level and high at the global level".

In a footnote, the WHO said there had been an "error" in previous communications published on Thursday (Jan 23), Friday (Jan 24) and Saturday (Jan 25) which "incorrectly" said the global risk was "moderate".

Asked for more details, WHO spokeswoman Fadela Chaib said only that it was "an error in the wording".

The WHO on Thursday stopped short of declaring the virus an international public health emergency - a rare designation used only for the most severe outbreaks that could trigger more concerted international action.

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who is visiting China this week to discuss further action to contain the virus, on Thursday said: "This is an emergency in China, but it has not yet become a global health emergency."

WHO's cautious approach can be seen in the context of past criticism over its slow or too hasty use of the term, first used for the deadly 2009 H1N1 swine flu pandemic.

During that outbreak, the UN health agency was criticised for sparking panic-buying of vaccines with its announcement that year that the outbreak had reached pandemic proportions, and then anger when it turned out the virus was not nearly as dangerous as first thought.

But then in 2014, the WHO met harsh criticism for dragging its feet and downplaying the severity of the Ebola epidemic that ravaged three west Africa countries, claiming more than 11,300 lives by the time it ended in 2016. - AFP

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 18
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3

WHO , China , virus , health , Tedros Adhanom

   

Did you find this article insightful?

Yes
No

100% readers found this article insightful

Next In World

Taiwan says COVID 'passports' would be a good idea
Poland to surpass one million coronavirus cases on Wednesday - minister
Islamist violence escalates in Burkina Faso, making widespread hunger worse
U.S. may start sharing sensitive intelligence with Honduras in drug fight
COVID-free for days, Australian state resumes singing, dancing, religious services
Vietnam says recent typhoons caused 192 deaths, $1.3 billion damages
South Korea coronavirus outbreak adds new stress to gruelling, eight-hour exam
U.S. says ready for immediate domestic shipment of COVID-19 vaccines
With no Lebanese political progress, France pushes aid meeting
India coronavirus cases stay below 50,000 for 25th straight day

Stories You'll Enjoy