Virus: the WHO warns against measures of general scope

Virus: l’OMS met en garde contre des mesures de portée générale

Geneva | The world health Organization (WHO) estimated on Monday that it was not necessary to suspend the cruises, stressing its opposition to any “measure of general scope” of this type against the new coronavirus.

“The measures must be proportionate to the situation, taken on the basis of evidence and elements of public health. And of measures of general scope may not be useful”, said to the media by the director of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, adding that “zero risk does not exist.”

The appeal comes as the operator of the ship american cruise, the Westerdam, was trying to find the track on Monday of hundreds of passengers allowed to disembark the last week in Cambodia, after one of the passengers was tested positive to the new coronavirus.

Moreover, the passengers of another cruise liner, the Diamond Princess, are still under quarantine in Japan, while the number of cases of coronavirus continues to rise on the ship.

Outside of the chinese province of Hubei (center), “this epidemic affects a very small proportion of the population, then if we have to interrupt all cruises of the world where there would be a potential contact with a possible pathogen, where will it stop?”, launched by Dr Michael Ryan, director of the emergency department of the WHO.

“Should we stop the bus in the world? And what will happen when other countries will be affected?”, he asked at a press conference in Geneva.

The balance sheet of the outbreak of new coronavirus has reached more than 1770 people dead and infected more than 70 500 people, mostly in mainland China, since the onset of viral pneumonia in December in Wuhan.

Outside of mainland China, five deaths were registered (one in the Philippines, in Hong Kong, one in Japan, one in France and one in Taiwan). The number of contamination rises to nearly 800 in about thirty countries or territories.

According to the director-general of WHO, “it seems that the Covid-19 (name of the outbreak of the new coronavirus, editor’s note) is not as deadly as other coronaviruses, including Sars and Mers”.

Citing an epidemiological study published by the China involving 44, 000 cases, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus underlined that more than 80% of patients have a mild illness and will recover.

Always according to this study, approximately 14% of the patients suffer from serious illnesses, such as pneumonia, while only about 5% develop serious illnesses, such as respiratory failure or septic shock. In 2% of the reported cases, the virus is deadly, and the risk of death increases with age.