WHO chief says coronavirus outbreak 10 times deadlier than 2009 swine flu pandemic, urges countries to lift control measures gradually
World Health Organisation (WHO) on Monday (local time) warned that the COVID-19, which originated in China's Wuhan last year, is 10 times deadlier than the swine flu
Geneva: World Health Organisation (WHO) on Monday (local time) warned that the COVID-19 , which originated in China's Wuhan last year, is 10 times deadlier than the swine flu.
"Evidence from several countries is giving us a clearer picture about this virus, how it behaves, how to stop it and how to treat it. We know that COVID-19 spreads fast, and we know that it is deadly - 10 times deadlier than the 2009 flu pandemic," said WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
He also urged that control measures must be lifted "slowly and with control". "It cannot happen all at once. Control measures can only be lifted if the right public health measures are in place, including the significant capacity for contact tracing," he said.
The WHO DG stressed that countries must strike a balance between measures that address the mortality caused by COVID-19 , and by other diseases due to overwhelmed health systems, as well as the social-economic impacts.
"As the pandemic has spread, its public health and socioeconomic impacts have been profound, and have disproportionately affected the vulnerable. Many populations have already experienced a lack of access to routine, essential health services," the chief of UN Health Body said.
This gains significance coming in the backdrop of India, which is battling the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, facing a severe vaccine shortage
There are still many unanswered questions: we don't know how the virus arrived in Wuhan, how its sequence evolved to allow human infection, and under what conditions it infected the first people who crossed its path