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WHO chief says COVID-19 not pandemic despite very concerning signs

SWITZERLAND-GENEVA-WHO-PRESS BRIEFING

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (R) speaks at a daily briefing in Geneva, Switzerland, on March 5, 2020. COVID-19 is not a pandemic for now although there are very concerning signs, the chief of World Health Organization (WHO) said here on Thursday, expressing his deep concern about the spread of the coronavirus into an increasing number of countries with weaker health systems over the past few days. (Xinhua/Chen Junxia)

GENEVA, March 5 (Xinhua) -- COVID-19 is not a pandemic for now although there are very concerning signs, the chief of World Health Organization (WHO) said here on Thursday, expressing his deep concern about the spread of the coronavirus into an increasing number of countries with weaker health systems over the past few days.

"Although the situation could be worse than what we are now and it could be a pandemic level, there are countries within this situation which have shown that it (COVID-19) can be contained," WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a daily briefing, underlying "we should not give up until the last attempt".

As of Thursday morning, 95,265 cases of COVID-19 have been reported globally, including 3,281 deaths, according to WHO.

Tedros insisted that pandemic can only be declared based on evidence, which is not there yet.

He praised those countries which have been fighting hard against the epidemic, noting positive signals and experience regarding the virus have already emerged.

Moreover, Tedros called for a comprehensive approach, stressing the political commitment and intervention should be triggered in all countries for COVID-19 containment.

[ Editor: WPY ]
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