The new coronavirus outbreak “is a controllable pandemic” if countries step up measures to tackle it, the head of the World Health Organisation said on Thursday.
WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus acknowledged on Wednesday that the global outbreak of the new coronavirus could now be considered a pandemic — a disease actively spreading globally. But he told diplomats in Geneva that describing the outbreak as a pandemic should not mean that countries give up the fight to stop it spreading further.
“This is a controllable pandemic,” he said, according to a statement of his remarks. “We are deeply concerned that some countries are not approaching this threat with the level of political commitment needed to control it.
“The idea that countries should shift from containment to mitigation is wrong and dangerous,” he stressed.