Saturday, April 4, 2020

Coronavirus: WHO reiterates its call for mass screening and warns about treatments

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The news is not good, but there is still room for action against the spread of the SARS-Cov-2 virus. This Monday afternoon, the Director General of the World Health Organization announced that the coronavirus pandemic “is accelerating”, but that its trajectory can be changed. It took 67 days to reach 100,000, eleven days to reach 200,000 and only four days to reach 300,000, he said at a virtual press conference.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus thus called on countries to take the “attack” by testing all cases and placing their close contacts in quarantine. “More than 300,000 cases of Covid-19 have been reported to date. It is heartbreaking, “he continued, calling on all countries to show solidarity.

“What matters most is what we do. You can’t win a football game just by defending. You also have to attack,” he said. “Ask people to stay at home and [établir] other physical distancing measures are an important way to slow the progression of the virus and save time, but these are defensive measures that will not help us win. ”

“To win,” he said, “we must attack the virus with aggressive and targeted tactics. We must test each suspected case, isolate and treat each confirmed case, and monitor and quarantine each close contact.”

The organization’s number 1 has nevertheless condemned the administration of drugs to patients infected with the new coronavirus before the scientific community has agreed on their effectiveness, warning against the “false hopes” that they could arouse. An indirect reference to Chloroquine, a treatment tested in France by Doctor Raoult. “Small, non-randomized studies, based on observations, will not provide us with the answers we need,” he warned.

Over 170 countries affected

The epidemic has killed at least 15,189 people worldwide, the vast majority now in Europe, since its appearance in December, according to an assessment based on official sources.

More than 341,300 cases of infection have been officially diagnosed in 174 countries and territories since the start of the epidemic. However, this number only reflects a fraction of the actual number of infections, with a large number of countries now testing only cases requiring hospital care.

Italy, which recorded its first death linked to the coronavirus at the end of February, has 5,476 deaths for 59,138 cases. 7,024 people are considered cured by the Italian authorities. More than 16,000 cases have been diagnosed to date in France, for 674 deaths recorded.

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