The chief of the World Health Organization Tuesday urged all health ministers to improve data-sharing on the novel coronavirus instantly and stated he would send a team of international experts to work with Chinese equivalents.
The U.N. company was sending masks, gloves, respirators, and practically 18,000 isolation gowns from its warehouses to some two dozen nations that want support, WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus instructed its Executive Board.
So far, 22 countries have reported trade or travel-related measures connected to the coronavirus, which Tedros said needs to be “short, proportionate to public health threats” and reviewed frequently.
China’s ambassador to the U.N. in Geneva, Chen Xu, informed the WHO Executive Panel that some restrictions went against the U.N. company’s advice. He cited prohibitions on the access of foreigners who’ve visited China in the past 14 days, suspension of visa issuance and cancellation of flights.
There are 20,471 confirmed cases of coronavirus in China, with 176 cases in 24 different countries, and one death, in the Philippines, based on the WHO’s latest figures.
Hong Kong reported its first coronavirus death Tuesday, the second outside mainland China from a fast-spreading epidemic that has taken the lives of 427 people and impeded the global economy.
So far, 27 cases of the person-to-person spread of the virus have been recorded in nine nations outside of China.
The general public health cost of the response from February to April is expected at $675 million, which doesn’t include the social or economic penalties of the epidemic, stated Scott Pendergast, WHO director of strategic planning and collaborations.