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People's Daily Online

WHO's decision to not raise risk assessment on coronavirus totally based on science, facts

People's Daily Online

(People's Daily Online) 09:14, February 19, 2020

The novel coronavirus epidemic is not a pandemic, and the World Trade Organization (WHO) will not raise its risk assessment in the global context, said the UN health body at a Monday press conference held in Geneva, Switzerland.

The judgement of the WHO was made based on scientific analysis of the epidemic's development in both China and the rest of the world, and has offered guidance for the next phase of global prevention and control.

The WHO's judgement is no doubt an acknowledgement of the huge efforts China has made to combat the novel coronavirus. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that the decline in the number of new confirmed cases in China was an important basis for the organization to maintain its previous assessment.

According to China's National Health Commission, 79 new cases of novel coronavirus infection were reported outside epicenter Hubei province on Monday, bringing the number down to double-digits. It also marked the 14th consecutive day of declined growth, indicating that China's strong measures have had obvious effects.

The WHO's judgment also forcefully refuted the excessive measures taken by certain countries. According to Tedros, WHO has received reports of 694 cases from 25 countries, and three deaths outside China, and Michael Ryan, executive director of the organization's Health Emergencies Programme, noted that no obvious community transmission has been observed outside China.

It suggests that most of the cases are still in China, as the country is making huge efforts to prevent the virus from spreading globally.

It's vital to take scientific and rational preventive approaches amid the epidemic, but overreactions, especially those targeting China by certain countries, are obviously unnecessary.

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