WHO Attempts to Contain the Global Spread of Coronavirus
The first official recorded case of Coronavirus (known scientifically as COVID-19) took place in December 2019 in Wuhan, China. This virus has become a hot topic of international news due to immediate media coverage of all the latest updates; and, as a result of the impacts of globalization, this virus has spread to many other countries. As of the 18th of February 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) has reported that 72,528 cases and 1,870 deaths have officially been reported within the borders of the People’s Republic of China. The WHO also reported that 804 cases and 3 deaths have been registered in 25 foreign countries.
The WHO is working closely with national health ministries where there have been reports of infected individuals. The WHO is trying to find crucial information and data as to why some people are affected and why some are not, as well as tracking the virus and attempt to prevent an increase or spread of the current numbers. Although this has proved to be difficult because, according to Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the Director-General of the UN World Health Organization, “At the moment, we don’t have enough data on cases outside China to make a meaningful comparison on the severity of the disease or the case fatality rate”. The Director-General also stressed the fact that cooperation between countries and with the WHO is essential for minimizing the number of cases and casualties. Many countries that have access to the sea, have started comprehensive screening of ships entering and exiting their national ports to have further control over containing the virus. International airports have also increased preventive measures to limit the spread of the virus within their countries.
The WHO has outlined three major requests that they have for the rest of the countries in the world to effectively deal with containing the virus so that false reports or hysteria are not established or created. Instead of this, exact facts and figures should be presented to the public by the media and International Organizations, such as the WHO. The first request is to speed up the process of getting prepared for the prevention of the virus, as well as treating patients that have been infected with respect and dignity. The second request is for national governments and media companies to limit, as much as possible, the spread of fake news and false information relating to the virus and the spread of it. The final request is for each national government to pull all their national resources to fight against this virus, and not just leave it to the national ministries of health because it requires action and decisions at the highest level of power possible. Although no cure has been discovered for this virus, scientists and virologists have started to research and test possible vaccines to combat it.
The author of this article is Richard Benussi. He currently is in the second year of his BA in International Relations at Corvinus University of Budapest. Richard is also a Middle Manager for the Human Resources Team within the International Diplomatic Students Association