WHO will not raise global risk level of coronavirus



The World Health Organisation (WHO) will not raise the global risk level of novel coronavirus, or Covid-19, based on the large data of cases published by China, according to officials.

During a press conference in Geneva on Monday, WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (above) said the number of new cases is on the decline according to the data released by China, so the WHO maintains its previous assessment that Covid-19 is not a global epidemic and will not raise the global risk level of the outbreak.

"Today China has published a paper with detailed data on more than 44,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19. This data gives us a better understanding about the age range of people affected, the severity of the disease and the mortality rate. 

"As such, (the data is) very important in enabling WHO to provide good evidence-based advice to countries. We encourage all countries to share their data publicly," he said.

The data showed that more than 80 percent of patients only have mild symptoms and 14 percent are critical ones. Besides, the mortality rate is lower than that of the diseases caused by other coronaviruses.

"The real issue here is whether we're seeing efficient community transmission outside of China, and at the present time, we are not observing that. We have said the risk is very high in China. It's high regionally and it's high around the world. 

"That is not 'the risk is high of a pandemic', the risk is high that the disease may spread further. Therefore, I think we have to be very careful, not to drive fear in the world right now," said Michael Ryan, executive director of the WHO Health Emergencies Programme.

A WHO team of experts has arrived in China to conduct joint research with Chinese scientists. The officials also pointed out that using the blood plasma of cured patients to treat the viral pneumonia is worthy of further study.

"It has proven effective and life-saving in a number of different diseases. We're at a very important area of discovery and I believe they are starting trials in China, but it's a very valid way to explore therapeutics especially when we don't have vaccines, and we don't have specific antivirals," he said.