'Test, Test, Test': WHO Chief On How Countries Should Combat Coronavirus Outbreak

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WHO has said on March 16 that the best way to combat the unprecedented outbreak of deadly coronavirus for all countries is to ramp up their testing programs.

Written By Aanchal Nigam | Mumbai | Updated On:
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The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said on March 16 that the best way to combat the unprecedented outbreak of deadly coronavirus for all countries is to ramp up their testing programs. The WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a conference in Geneva that the “simple message” he has for all countries is “test, test, test”. He further added that the countries will remain unsuccessful to tackle the pandemic if they fail to test all suspected cases and remain “blindfolded”. 

WHO chief said, “But the most effective way to prevent infections and save lives is breaking the chains of transmission. And to do that, you must test and isolate. You cannot fight a fire blindfolded.

He added, "And we cannot stop this pandemic if we don’t know who is infected. We have a simple message for all countries: test, test, test. Test every suspected case.”

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Trump administration under fire 

According to reports, the United States President Donald Trump’s administration is facing harsh scrutiny from the critics for being slow in gearing up of the testing for the COVID-19 cases. US Vice President Mike Pence had promised on March 15 that the Americans would have full access to more than 2,000 laboratories capable of processing tests in the upcoming days. However, as of now, with limited testing gears available, the US has only been able to record 4,727 cases with 93 deaths. 

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WHO chief has also said that without testing cases an individual would not be isolated and it would further result in an unbroken chain of infection. He further added that countries with most advanced healthcare systems have struggled to deal with the sudden outbreak of COVID-19 which had originated in China in December 2019. Tedros has also said that he is “deeply concerned”  about the impact of the fatal virus among the populations who have high HIV prevalence. 

Tedros said, “As the virus moves to low-income countries, we're deeply concerned about the impact it could have among populations with high HIV prevalence, or among malnourished children. That’s why we’re calling on every country and every individual to do everything they can to stop transmission.”

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