As China reported a continued slowdown in new coronavirus cases, world health officials praised the country's response while alerting other governments to be ready to aggressively react when cases appear within their borders.
Chinese health officials said Wednesday there were 406 new cases, almost all of them in Hubei province which has been the center of the outbreak. Of the 52 new deaths, all were in Hubei, an area that has been on lockdown for weeks to prevent the virus from spreading to other areas.
Bruce Aylward, who led a joint World Health Organization-China mission on the virus, said at a news conference that his team concluded China's response "changed the course of this outbreak" and may have prevented hundreds of thousands of people in the country from becoming infected.
With cases in more than 30 countries, including new ones in Europe and the Middle East this week, Aylward said governments must be thinking about rapidly identifying cases that emerge, searching out people who have been in contact with those patients, and using isolation to prevent virus spread.
The WHO has several other recommendations for people to stay healthy, including maintaining a distance of at least one meter from anyone who is coughing or sneezing and avoiding touching eyes, nose or mouth. For those who are coughing or sneezing, the WHO says they should cover their mouth with a bent elbow instead of their hands, and those who experience a fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seek medical care.
Source : VOA