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Coronavirus deadlier than flu, but containable: WHO

COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, has killed about 3.4 percent of confirmed cases, globally, in keeping with the world Health Organization (WHO) - a figure over previous estimates and much above the seasonal flu's mortality of but 1 percent.

However, the world spread of the new sort of virus can still be controlled, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Tuesday, urging countries to improve containment efforts and measures to guard front-line doctors and nurses.

"Globally, about 3.4 percent of COVID-19 cases have died. By comparison, seasonal flu generally kills far fewer than 1 percent of these infected," he told reporters in Geneva, outlining the most differences between the 2 respiratory illnesses.

"To summarise, COVID-19 spreads less efficiently than flu. Transmission doesn't appear to be driven by those who aren't sick, and it causes more severe illness than flu. There aren't yet any vaccines or therapeutics, and it will be contained, which is why we must do everything we will to contain it."

Tedros warned, however, that a worldwide shortage and pricing for protective equipment was compromising countries' abilities to retort to the epidemic, and called on companies and governments to extend production by 40 percent.

Symptoms of COVID-19 can include fever, runny nose, cough and breathing trouble. the general public develop only mild disease and plenty of have recovered. But some, usually those with other medical complications, develop more severe symptoms, including pneumonia, which might be fatal.

The mortality could also be much lower if there are thousands of unreported mild cases of the disease. However, experts warn that those people are less likely to hunt diagnosis and care, but are still considered infectious and able to transmit the disease person to person.
Worldwide, quite 93,000 people are infected and a minimum of 3,100 have died, the overwhelming majority of them in China, where the coronavirus originated in late December. However, the virus appears now to be spreading rather more rapidly outside the Asian country.

The number of nations hit by the virus has exceeded 70, with Indonesia, Ukraine, Argentina, Chile and Morocco reporting their first cases.

Deaths in Italy surged to 79, making it the deadliest reported outbreak outside China. Twenty-three members of Iran's parliament and also the head of the country's emergency services were reported infected.

In Spain's Basque region, a minimum of five doctors and nurses were infected and nearly 100 healthcare workers were being held in isolation.

The growing outbreaks contrasted with optimism in China, where thousands of recovered patients were going home and also the number of latest infections has been dropping. The count of latest cases dropped to a brand new low on Wednesday, with just 119 reported. However, China remains far and away the hardest-hit country, with quite 80,000 infections and about 95 percent of the world's deaths.

"We scrutinised this data and that we believe this decline is real," said WHO outbreak expert Maria Van Kerkhove, who travelled to China as a part of a team from the administrative body. She said the extraordinary measures taken there, including the lockdown of quite 60 million people, had a major effect on the direction of the outbreak.

"We believe that a discount of cases in other countries, including Italy, Korea, Iran, everywhere, that this is often possible," she said.
WHO officials, meanwhile, expressed concerns about the case in Iran, which has reported quite 2,300 cases and 77 deaths, saying doctors lacked respirators and ventilators needed for patients with severe cases.

Michael Ryan, executive of WHO's Health Emergencies Programme, said the necessity in Iran was "more acute" than other countries.

He also urged countries to implement a "comprehensive public health strategy" to contain the virus.

Imposing travel restrictions and screening travellers should be a part of the strategy, but aren't enough," he said. "Countries that have relied purely on travel restrictions because the only public health intervention haven't done so well, because once they have imported cases they subsequently are caught off guard," he said.

Authorities should specialize in containment measures "but even be ready for community transmission and be able to mitigate".


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