WHO: the coronavirus called "Covid-19" designated "public enemy number one"

The coronavirus, now called Covid-19 by the WHO, was designated "public enemy number one", by the director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, in Geneva, on February 11, 2020. Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP

Text by: RFI Follow

Part of China, the coronavirus epidemic, now called "Covid-19" by the WHO, constitutes a "very serious threat to the rest of the world" and must be considered by the international community as "the number one public enemy "Said its managing director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Tuesday.


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Speaking at a seminar attended by more than 400 researchers and representatives of national health authorities in Geneva, the director of the World Health Organization called for sharing of samples of the virus and an acceleration of the search for treatments and vaccines.

" With 99% of the cases recorded in China, this remains essentially an emergency for this country but which represents a very serious threat for the rest of the world ", underlined Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

" We hope that one of the results of this meeting will be a roadmap on which researchers and donors can align themselves, " he said, adding that a vaccine could be discovered within 18 months. .

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"We now have a name for the # 2019nCoV disease:


I'll spell it: COVID hyphen one nine - COVID-19 "

- @ DrTedros # COVID19 pic.twitter.com/Kh0wx2qfzk

World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) February 11, 2020

In total, WHO has activated a network of 15 reference laboratories and identified 168 other laboratories around the world with the technology necessary to screen for Covid-19, focusing its efforts on developing countries.

Many journalists ask me what wakes me up at night. And I always answer: a pandemic. Because there are countries that do not have a strong enough health system. It is our weak link. And it can affect us all. We must invest to strengthen their health systems. My fear is that if this virus spreads in these countries, it will be chaos. Epidemics can provoke revolts. Believe me. A virus is far more capable of creating political, economic and social upheaval than any terrorist attack. And if the world doesn't want to wake up and consider coronavirus the number one public enemy, then I'm afraid we won't learn the lesson. This is what wakes me up at night. And it should wake us all up.

Tedros Ghebreyesus: "A virus is much more capable of creating political, economic and social upheavals than any terrorist attack"

The human toll crossed Tuesday, February 11, the mark of 1,000 deaths in China, on more than 42,000 confirmed cases of contamination.

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  • coronavirus
  • Health and Medicine
  • WHO
  • China

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