Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the Director-General of the World Health Organisation has warned that all the confirmed cases of coronavirus transmitted by people who never travelled to China could be ‘Tip Of an Iceberg’ and asked all the countries to step up their preparation for the virus. This comes as the deadly virus has claimed nearly 910 lives and infected over 40,000 in China.
Ghebreyesus’ remarks came as members of WHO lead International Expert Mission on Monday flew to China to help coordinate the response to the outbreak. He later took to Twitter to say that there have been concerning instances of coronavirus spread from people who haven’t travelled to China. He added that the detection of these cases may indicate more widespread transmission.
There’ve been some concerning instances of onward #2019nCoV spread from people with no travel history to 🇨🇳. The detection of a small number of cases may indicate more widespread transmission in other countries; in short, we may only be seeing the tip of the iceberg.— Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (@DrTedros) February 9, 2020
He also warned that the virus spread outside China appeared to be slow but can be accelerated soon. He also asked all the countries to prepare for the virus’ possible arrival and to put in their best efforts to contain it. In further tweets, he reiterated his call for all nations to share whatever they can on the virus.
In an evolving public health emergency, all countries must step up efforts to prepare for #2019nCoV’s possible arrival and do their utmost to contain it should it arrive. This means lab capacity for rapid diagnosis, contact tracing and other tools in the public health arsenal.— Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (@DrTedros) February 9, 2020
I reiterate my call on all countries to share what they know about #2019nCoV in real time with @WHO.— Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (@DrTedros) February 9, 2020
I reiterate my call for calm.
I reiterate my call for solidarity – human, financial and scientific solidarity. Any breach in solidarity is a victory for the virus.