United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday praised China's contribution to the global fight against the novel coronavirus pneumoniaoutbreak, noting that the Chinese people are making efforts for all of humanity.
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, with World Health OrganizationDirector-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, talks at the WHO headquarters in Geneva on Monday about the global fight against the novel coronavirus pneumonia outbreak. XINHUA
The UN chief expressed his gratitude to all of the people in China who are sacrificing many aspects of their normal lives to prevent the virus from further spreading, after discussing the outbreak with World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in Geneva.
Guterres said the decline in the number of new cases in China since the beginning of February is a very good sign, and he expressed the hope that this trend will be maintained on a continuous basis.
By Monday, the WHO had received reports outside China of 2,074 cases — and 23 deaths — in 28 countries. Tedrosdescribed the sudden increases in cases in Italy, Iran and South Korea as "deeply concerning".
I think it’s important to say that all countries - and this is now a problem that is affecting many countries in the world – all countries must do everything to be prepared and all countries must do everything respecting naturally the principle of non-discrimination, without stigmatization, respecting human rights; do everything that they can to contain the disease.
The disease, it’s still possible to be contained, but if some fail, if some do not do everything that is needed, this can still become out of control with dramatic consequences in global health and global economy.
Bruce Aylward, senior adviser to the director-general of the WHO and head of the foreign expert panel, said China's measures such as mass isolation, shutting down transportation and mobilizing the public to abide by hygienic practices have proved effective in curbing a contagious and mysterious disease, especially since the whole of society is committed to the measures.
Aylward added that the decline seen in China is real, saying "multiple sources of data have pointed that it is falling, and is falling because of the action that is being taken".
"This approach of all-of-government and all-of-society ... has averted and probably prevented at least tens of thousands, even hundreds of thousands, of cases," he said. "It is extraordinary."
"To the people of Wuhan, it is recognized that the world is in your debt. When this disease finishes, hopefully we will have a chance to thank the people of Wuhan for the role they have played," he said.