After visit, Tedros Adhanom says China ‘committed to transparency’

GENEVA-The director-general of the World Health Organization, or WHO, said on Wednesday that China deserves the international community’s gratitude and respect for having taken very serious measures to contain the novel coronavirus outbreak and prevent exporting cases overseas.

Addressing journalists at a news conference in Geneva, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus thanked the Chinese government for the extraordinary steps it has taken to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus.

Tedros reiterated that almost 99 percent of cases and all deaths have been within China, with only 68 confirmed cases as of Wednesday and no deaths in 15 countries and regions outside China. “For that, China deserves our gratitude and respect … China is implementing very serious measures and we cannot ask for more,” he said.

The WHO chief returned to Geneva on Wednesday from China, where he met with the Chinese leadership to discuss cooperation on implementing containment measures in Wuhan, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, and public measures in other cities and provinces. They also agreed to conduct studies on the severity and transmissibility of the virus and to share data and biological material.

He revealed that one of the strategies the WHO and China have agreed on is serious and strong intervention in Wuhan, which will help limit the spread of the virus.

The WHO chief also thanked China for having identified the pathogen in a short time and shared it immediately, which has led to the rapid development of diagnostic tools.

“China has been completely committed to transparency, both internally and externally, and has agreed to work with other countries that need support,” he reiterated, citing the newest patient in Germany who, due to the immediate notification and sharing of information by the Chinese government, was very quickly identified and given medical care.

The cooperation between China and Germany in responding to the outbreak is a good illustration of how China is engaging with the WHO and other countries based on the principles of solidarity and cooperation, Tedros said.

“I will praise China again and again, because its actions actually helped in reducing the spread of the novel coronavirus to other countries … we shall tell the truth and that’s the truth,” he concluded.



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