Coronavirus Live Updates: ‘Now Is the Time to Act,’ W.H.O. Chief Warns

As cases near 100,000, W.H.O. calls for wider action.

Friday, 6 March 2020

/ by BodoNews
Corona Virus


The world’s leading health official implored international leaders to unleash the full power of their governments to combat the new coronavirus outbreak.
“This is not a drill,” said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of the World Health Organization. “This is not a time for excuses. This is a time for pulling out all the stops.”
But around the world, as the number of cases neared 100,000, governments have displayed signs of paralysis, obfuscation and a desire to protect their own interests, even as death tolls passed 3,200 and global capitals were so threatened by infection that politicians and health officials tested positive for the illness.
In the United States, a survey of nurses found that only 29 percent had a plan to isolate potentially infected patients. Across the nation, as the number of new cases passed 200, public health labs anxiously awaited diagnostic kits, which will allow for a fuller sense of the scale of the crisis.
But in communities where local transmission is already occurring — like the area near Seattle where 10 residents of one nursing home died — the race to try and halt the virus’s further spread was already upending daily life as schools were closed and public events canceled.
Americans struggled to make sense of conflicting information from President Trump and members of his own cabinet. Vice President Mike Pence, who previously vowed that “any American could be tested,” conceded on Thursday that “we don’t have enough tests today to meet what we anticipate will be the demand going forward.”

Dr. Tedros warned that time to contain the virus was running out. “Now is the time to act,” he said. China’s draconian measures to stem the outbreak there showed more signs of success on Friday, when Hubei province — the place were the coronavirus first emerged — reported that it had no new cases of infection outside its capital, Wuhan, for the first time.
Still, some political leaders around the world seemed more interested in pointing fingers at one another and complaining about tit-for-tat travel restrictions. Japanese citizens have been outraged by the hands-off approach of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as cases have continued to climb. Lending more outrage, testing has proceeded slowly, leaving many fearful that many infections are going undetected.
In the center of the outbreak in China, residents of Wuhan who have been confined to their homes for weeks heckled the visiting vice prime minister Thursday, with some shouting from their windows: “Fake! Everything is fake!”
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