As the confirmed cases of deadly Coronavirus soared to 5,186 in South Korea on March 3, South Korean President Moon Jae-in declared war on the COVID-19 outbreak. According to international reports, Moon said that the “crisis in Daegu and North Gyeongsang province reached its peak”. He further added that the entire country has “entered a war against the infectious disease”.
South Korea has reported nearly 1,000 new infections reported in the past 24 hours, President Moon has asked all government organisations to switch to a “24-hour emergency situation room system until the country comes out of the crisis situation”.
The South Korean President further added that there is “no need to further strengthen the emergency-response posture for quarantine and economy”. Outside mainland China, which is the epicentre of the virus, South Korea has the largest number of COVID-19 infections with at least 29 deaths. The vast majority of cases are reported in Daegu where according to reports, the outbreak has been linked to a religious group. The same group has handed over an entire list of 310,000 members to authorities for follow-up health check-ups.
While Moon called it a “war” against COVID-19, the World Health Organisation (WHO) director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has said that the countries around the globe are in “uncharted territory”. Several nations have started reporting deaths and hike in confirmed cases of Coronavirus.
However, the WHO chief addressed the “level of stigma” around the epidemic. At a news conference, Ghebreyesus warned that certain words and language can have a negative meaning for people and further lead to stigmatizing attitudes.
Knowing & understanding an epidemic is the first step to defeating it.— Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (@DrTedros) March 2, 2020
We are in unchartered territory with #COVID19. We have never before seen a respiratory pathogen that is capable of community transmission, but which can also be contained with the right measures.
United Nations has released $15 million from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to help fund global efforts to contain the novel coronavirus COVID-19. UN Humanitarian Chief Mark Lowcock announced the release of the fund after the World Health Organisation (WHO) raised the alert to its top level of risk assessment - ‘very high’.
(With Agency Inputs)