WHO DG SAYS NO EVIDENCE OF SUSTAINED TRANSMISSION OF CORONAVIRUS OUTSIDE OF CHINA, DIAMOND PRINCESS CRUISE SHIP


WHO Director General said today, Tuesday, there is no evidence of sustained local transmission outside China, apart from specific circumstances like Diamond Princess, and that there is still chance of preventing global spread.

 https://www.who.int/dg/speeches/detail/who-director-general-s-remarks-at-the-media-briefing-on-covid-19-outbreak-on-18-february-2020

"So far there are 92 cases in 12 countries outside China of human-to-human transmission," Tedros Ghebreyesus said a at a press conference Tuesday.

The suggested the data set on cases outside China is too small "to make a meaningful comparison on the severity of disease or the case fatality rate."

Crucually, he added WHO has "not yet seen the sustained local transmission, except in specific circumstances like the Diamond Princess cruise ship."

He praised Singapore’s Minister of Health and its efforts. 

"So far they have not found evidence of community transmission," he added.

A major achievement is that by the end of this week " 40 countries in Africa and 29 in the Americas are due to have the ability to detect COVID-19."

The virus should also struggle to survive in the warmer temperatures of Africa.

"Many of these countries have been sending samples to other countries for testing, waiting several days for results. Now they can do it themselves, within 24 to 48 hours," he said.

"We still have a chance of preventing a broader global crisis," he said.

His comments come as Japan has joined China in starting clinical trials on promising HIV drugs to treat coronavirus patients.

Drugs involving antibodies from patients who have recovered are also in the pipeline.

The emergency of safe and effective treatments will make it difficult for governments to justify developing and giving risky experimental vaccines. Indeed, any attempt could expose them to legal action on the same basis as the successful US opioid lawsuits.