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Covid-19 Pandemic: ‘No Excuse’ for Countries That Fail in Contact Tracing, Says WHO Chief

Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. (Reuters)

Countries resembling South Korea had managed to comprise the illness by monitoring down the contacts of these carrying an infection, Tedros stated.

  • Reuters Geneva
  • Last Updated: June 30, 2020, 9:24 AM IST

Tracing contacts of individuals with coronavirus infections is an important step in combating the COVID-19 pandemic, and nations which can be failing to take action haven’t any excuse, the World Health Organization chief stated on Monday.

“Although many countries have made some progress, globally the pandemic is actually speeding up,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus informed a briefing.

“We all want this to be over. We all want to get on with our lives. But the hard reality is that this is not even close to being over,” he stated. “Most people remain susceptible, the virus still has a lot of room to move.”

Countries resembling South Korea had managed to comprise the illness by monitoring down the contacts of these carrying an infection, Tedros stated. This was potential even beneath excessive circumstances, because the WHO itself had proven by halting an outbreak of Ebola in japanese Congo, tracing 25,000 contacts a day in a distant space the place some 20 armed teams had been combating, he added.

“No excuse for contact tracing. If any country is saying contact tracing is difficult, it is a lame excuse.”


In a transfer sought by the WHO’s largest critic, the United States, Tedros introduced {that a} crew could be despatched to China subsequent week to research the origins of the outbreak.

“We can fight the virus better when we know everything about the virus, including how it started,” Tedros stated. “We will be sending a team next week to China to prepare for that.”

U.S. President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have each stated the illness may have escaped from a lab in Wuhan, though they’ve introduced no proof of this, and China denies it. Scientists say the virus emerged in nature.

Trump has introduced plans to stop the WHO, which he says is just too near China. He has repeatedly emphasised the Chinese origins of the virus, calling it “Kung Flu” at two rallies this month, a time period the White House had beforehand described as unacceptable and which Asian-American teams say is racist.

Asked about Trump’s use of the time period, the director of the WHO’s emergencies program, Mike Ryan, referred to as for an “international discourse that is based on mutual respect”.

“Many people around the world have used unfortunate language in this response,” he stated.

Ryan stated there had been great progress in direction of discovering a vaccine, however there was no assure of success. In the meantime nations should use the methods obtainable, resembling social distancing and phone tracing.

“Many, many countries through applying a comprehensive strategy have reached a very low level of virus transmission in their countries but always have to remain vigilant in case there are clusters or small outbreaks.”

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