China's Wuhan provides hope for rest of the world: WHO chief

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, March 21, 2020
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World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says that the COVID-19 outbreak can be characterized as a "pandemic" as the virus spreads increasingly worldwide, at a press conference in Geneva, Switzerland, on March 11, 2020.[Photo/Xinhua]

Wuhan, the epicenter of COVID-19 outbreak in China, provides hope for the rest of the world that even the most severe situation of COVID-19 can be turned around, the World Health Organization (WHO) chief said Friday.

Calling it a "success", WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus noted Wuhan, capital of central China's Hubei Province, reported no new cases for the first time since the epidemic outbreak started.

According to the Health Commission of Hubei Province, no new infections or suspected cases of the novel coronavirus were reported on Thursday in Wuhan, marking two days in a row of zero report at the epicenter of the epidemic in a months-long battle with the deadly virus.

Henan medical team members give thumb-up for Wuhan before their departure in Wuhan, central China's Hubei Province, March 19, 2020. Some medical teams supporting the virus-hit Hubei Province left Thursday as the epidemic outbreak has been subdued. [Photo/Xinhua]

"The experience of cities and countries that have pushed back this virus give hope and courage to the rest of the world," Tedros said at a daily briefing.

Answering a question from Xinhua, Michael Ryan, executive director of the WHO health emergencies program, said it's a message of hope from China that the coronavirus can be suppressed, whose transmission chains can be broken through huge all-society effort, coordination, solidarity, commitment and workable supply chains, as well as engagement of activated communities and brave health workers.

"That is a message of hope to many other countries around the world who have very low number of cases right now," said Ryan.

Tedros said COVID-19 seems to reach a new and tragic milestone every day, as more than 210,000 cases, including over 9,000 deaths, have been reported globally.

"Every loss of life is a tragedy," Tedros said, calling it "motivation" to double down and do everything people can to stop transmission of the virus and save lives.

Tedros warned younger people particularly that they are not spared amid the pandemic.

"Data from many countries clearly show that people under 50 make up a significant proportion of patients requiring hospitalization," said Tedros.

He stressed solidarity between countries as well as between age groups is the key to defeating COVID-19.

Members of medical assistance team from Zhejiang are busy at the ICU (intensive care unit) of Wuhan pulmonary hospital in Wuhan, central China's Hubei Province, March 19, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]

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