World Health Organisation (WHO), on Monday, April 13 has concluded that COVID-19 which originated from China's Wuhan, last December, is 10 times deadlier than the swine flu, the pandemic that engulfed the globe in 2009.
WHO Chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, "We know that COVID-19 spreads fast and we know that it is deadly – ten times deadlier than the 2009 flu pandemic. We know that the virus can spread more easily in crowded environments like nursing homes. We know that early case finding, testing, isolating, caring for every case, and tracing every contact is essential for stopping transmission."
Addressing a virtual conference, the WHO Chief stated that there is a constant learning process that is going on in case of the novel coronavirus. The developments and evidence from several countries is aiding in understanding the virus, how it behaves, how to stop it and how to treat it.
According to WHO, 18,500 people died of swine flu which first surfaced in Mexico and the United States in March 2009.
Hinting at the lockdown measures being implemented by countries, Ghebreyesus said, "We know that in some countries, cases are doubling every 3 to 4 days. However, while COVID-19 accelerates very fast, it decelerates much more slowly. In other words, the way down is much slower than the way up. That means control measures must be lifted slowly, and with control. It cannot happen all at once."
He also brought the concern of globalisation to the fore when he said, "our global connectedness means the risk of re-introduction and resurgence of the disease will continue".
While he appreciated the stringent and rigorous measures being implemented for the containment of the virus, across the world, he opined that eventually the development of a safe and effective vaccine against the coronavirus will be needed to fully interrupt transmission.
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