The window of opportunity to contain wider international spread of the coronavirus is closing, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned on Friday, and countries must act fast if they are going to control it.
Asked whether the outbreak is at a “tipping point” — after new cases appeared in, or were traced to, Iran — WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he still believed it could be stopped.
“Although the window of opportunity is narrowing to contain the outbreak, we still have a chance to contain it,” he said, adding that China’s “serious measures” in Wuhan and Hubei province could help contain the coronavirus. However, he noted that the outbreak “could go any direction.”
He encouraged countries around the world to keep working on containment while also stepping up measures to prepare for the possibility of more widespread transmission.
“What I’m saying is — it’s in our hands now. If we do well within the narrowing window of opportunity … we can avert any serious crisis,” Tedros said.
#Covid19 cases in Iran – we are hearing more about disease activity there.
“Iran confirms 13 more cases of COVID-19 and 2 more deaths, for a total of 18 cases and 4 deaths.”
But with 4 deaths, and an exported case, there are likely +++ cases there.https://t.co/9HWiLnMyVZ
— Isaac Bogoch (@BogochIsaac) February 21, 2020