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“Far from over” in the Asia-Pacific region – WHO update

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FILE PHOTO: Regional Director for the Western Pacific at the WHO, Takeshi Kasai

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has officially announced today, that the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic is “far from over” in the Asia-Pacific region.

Regional Director for the Western Pacific at the WHO, Takeshi Kasai, says…

“Let me be clear. The epidemic is far from over in Asia and the Pacific. This is going to be a long-term battle and we cannot let down our guard, we need every country to keep preparing for large-scale community transmission, Countries with limited resources are a priority, such as Pacific Island nations, as they have to ship samples to other countries for diagnoses, and transportation restrictions are making that more difficult.”

“We realise that there is no one right method to approach the crisis but there are common tactics, for example…

  • Finding, isolating and testing early cases
  • Quickly tracing and quarantining high risk personals with close contact
  • Putting in place multiple public health interventions to place physical distance between people to slow and ultimately stop the transmission.”

“We need to be clear that even with all of these measures, the risk will not go away as long as the pandemic continues. Rather, these measures can buy us valuable time to prepare,”

He warned that for countries that are seeing a decline of cases, they should not let down their guard, or the virus may come back stronger than before.

Matthew Griffith, a technical adviser from WHO says the WHO does not expect any country to be safe, as the coronavirus will eventually get everywhere.

“Whereas countries and areas in this region have shown how to flatten the curve, outbreaks continue to pop up in new places.”

“The focus of the epidemic is now on Europe, but that will likely shift to other regions”

The WHO urges governments at all levels in the region to stay engaged in efforts to combat the virus. With infections, numbers exceeding 770,000 cases worldwide, with the United States, Italy and Spain overtaking mainland China in confirmed cases.

Globally, the virus already infected more than 786,000 (as of 3pm Thai time) people and killed more than 37,800. On a positive note, over 165,655 people have recovered so far from the disease. The USA, Italy and Spain have all surpassed the total in China.

SOURCE: Straits Times

 

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