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WHO to send international mission to China

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 ‘Cases of coronavirus in China stabilising’

Geneva, Feb 09: The head of the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Saturday that the UN health agency will send an international mission to China as it received a response from Beijing.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the team leader will leave early next week with the rest of the experts to follow.

The UN health agency said the number of cases of the coronavirus in China is “stabilising”, which is a “good news”.

It, however, cautioned that it was too early to make any predictions about whether the virus might have peaked.

“There has been a stabilisation in the number of cases reported from Hubei,” Michael Ryan, head of WHO’s Health Emergencies Programme said at a briefing in Geneva.

“We’re in a four-day stable period where the number of reported cases hasn’t advanced. That’s good news and may reflect the impact of the control measures that have been put in place,” Ryan was quoted as saying.

But he added that it was “very early to make any predictions”.

Ghebreyesus said the trend was “not really accelerating” but advised “caution”.

The WHO officials have said that less than two per cent of those affected by coronavirus have died. An initial analysis of 17,000 coronavirus infections in mainland China shows that 82 per cent of the cases are classified as mild and 15 per cent as severe, and that three per cent of patients have developed critical symptoms, Maria Van Kerkhove, the technical lead of the WHO told the media on Friday in Geneva.

As per the data obtained from Chinese authorities showed that two per cent or less than two per cent of reported cases have resulted in deaths, she said.

We know that individuals who are at an advanced age are at a higher likelihood of dying, we know that underlying conditions make people more at risk, Kerkhove said.

Chinese official media has accused the world of overreaction to coronavirus with travel bans and flight cancellations.

The number of people infected outside of China is less than one percent the number in China. But that hard-earned result is nothing in the eyes of some, who always have an axe to grind when it comes to China,” an editorial in state-run China Daily on Sunday said.

Although the death rate dropped from 2.1 per cent to below 2 per cent late last week, after the growth in the number of people infected outside of Hubei province, the centre of the epidemic, decelerated five days in a row, the continuing epidemic has simply provided them with fresh ammunition with which to target China,” it said.



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