‘No need to move foreigners out ’: WHO as India preps to evacuate citizens in China
The World Health Organisation’s (WHO) top official on Tuesday said the organisation doesn’t recommend the evacuation of foreign nationals from China, which is in the middle of the raging novel Coronavirus outbreak, and urged the international community to remain calm.
Director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus’s statement, as per the Chinese foreign ministry, comes in the backdrop of several countries – including India – deciding to evacuate its citizens from the central Chinese province Hubei’s capital Wuhan, which is at the epicentre of the outbreak.
The WHO raised its risk assessment of the Coronavirus at global level from moderate to high in its daily report on the virus on Monday.
At least 106 people have died from the disease so far, and more than 4535 have been sickened by it, the Chinese government said on Tuesday, adding that more than 44000 are being monitored.
The Chinese foreign ministry quoted Tedros as saying that WHO “…does not recommend the evacuation of nationals, and called on the international community to remain and not overreact.
“The WHO is confident in China’s epidemic prevention and control ability,” the ministry quoted Tedros as saying.
“Tedros said the WHO and the international community speak highly of and fully affirm the decisive measures the Chinese government has taken, and appreciate China’s great efforts in curbing the spread of pneumonia,” the ministry statement added.
He made the remarks during a meeting with State Councillor and Foreign minister, Wang Yi in Beijing.
“After the outbreak of pneumonia, China identified the pathogens in record time, shared the genetic sequence of the novel coronavirus with the WHO and other countries, and carried out a series of effective measures to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus,” Tedros said, adding that the power of China’s system and the effectiveness of its measures are “rarely seen in the world” and are “admirable”.
“We have full capability, confidence and resources to overcome the epidemic at an early date,” Wang told him.
Meanwhile, an AFP report on Tuesday said the WHO admitted an error on Monday in its risk assessment of the outbreak in China.
The Geneva-based UN agency said in a situation report late Sunday that the risk was “very high in China, high at the regional level and high at the global level.”
According to the AFP, in a footnote, the WHO explained that it had stated “incorrectly” in its previous reports on Thursday, Friday and Saturday that the global risk was “moderate”.
The WHO on Thursday stopped short of declaring the novel coronavirus an international public health emergency.