WHO warns world to brace for “potential pandemic” as novel coronavirus spreads
YEREVAN, FEBRUARY 24, ARMENPRESS. The World Health Organization (WHO) warned countries on Monday to be ready for a "potential pandemic" as new deaths and infections in the novel coronavirus outbreak were recorded in Europe, Middle East and Asia.
The death toll in China is also climbing, with 150 more fatalities in the last 24 hours taking the toll to about 2600.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO director-general, told a news conference in Geneva on Monday: “Using the word pandemic does not fit the facts”, adding: “We must focus on containment while preparing for a potential pandemic”.
Meanwhile, the spread of the virus, known as Covid-2019, has accelerated in other parts: Iran, South Korea and Italy have become new hotspots of the disease and fatalities were reported in each of those countries.
Afghanistan, Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait and Oman announced their first cases on Monday also.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said countries should be "doing everything we can to prepare for a potential pandemic", although he said WHO doesn’t consider that it has reached to that point.
"The sudden increase of cases in Italy, the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Republic of Korea are deeply concerning," Tedros told reporters in Geneva, the Associated Press reported.
As of February 24, Iran reported 12 fatalities and 64 confirmed cases.
Edited and translated by Stepan Kocharyan