In an online briefing from Geneva, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that novel coronavirus is over "10 times deadlier" than the H1N1 swine flu strain that sparked a pandemic in 2010 worldwide. The sole means to halt the outbreak would be a vaccine, he added. The toll from the Swine flu could be estimated to be nearly 151,700 and 575,400, as per official Lancet data.
“Evidence from several countries is giving us a clearer picture about this virus, how it (coronavirus) behaves, how to stop it and how to treat it,” Tedros was quoted as saying. “We know that COVID-19 spreads fast, and we know that it is deadly – 10 times deadlier than the 2009 flu pandemic.”
While the disease has infected over 1,925,179 globally and has killed nearly 119,701, no effective technique to halt the spread, except for confinement measures, has been researched, as of yet. Even then, the social distancing measures cannot be loosened prematurely, according to WHO.
“The measures have to be lifted slowly and with control”, Tedros was reported as saying. "It cannot happen all at once. Control measures can only be lifted if the right public health measures are in place, including the significant capacity for contact tracing,” he added.
Stressing on the balance between the economic crisis and the impact of the disease, the chief of UN Health Body stated, “As the pandemic has spread, its public health and socioeconomic impacts have been profound, and have disproportionately affected the vulnerable. Many populations have already experienced a lack of access to routine, essential health services”.
WHO emphasized on ramping up the overwhelmed healthcare systems, on the sidelines of mending social-economic impacts of the pandemic outbreak. Tedros issued a caution to the nations worldwide against restarting the economy and exhorted the leaders to work in close co-operation to stem the possibility of the resurgence of the disease despite containment measures.