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WHO and Multiple Countries Commended China's Effective Control Measures and Cautioned Against Overreaction

At the 146th session of the WHO Executive Board meeting held in in Geneva on 3 February, Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus gave a comprehensive review of the Organization's close communication and collaboration with China as well as its full support for the Chinese government and people in the fight against the novel coronavirus outbreak.

He described China's strategy to invest in fighting at the epicenter and the source as forceful and effective. Outside China, there are 146 confirmed cases in 23 countries, which is actually small compared with other outbreaks, so it is important not to panic.

Tedros highlighted the importance of reliable science- and evidence-based decisions and the need for all countries to invest in preparedness, not panic. The WHO has recommended that there is no reason for measures that unnecessarily interfere with international travel and trade, and called on all countries to implement decisions that are evidence-based and consistent.

He appealed for more support for countries with weaker health systems, and efforts to accelerate the development of vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics, combat the spread of rumors and misinformation, review preparedness plans, identify gaps and evaluate the resources needed, continue to share data, knowledge and expertise with the WHO, and work together in a spirit of solidarity and cooperation to defeat the outbreak.

At the Executive Board meeting, countries spoke highly of China's epidemic control efforts and its contribution to global public health. On behalf of African countries, the Tanzanian delegate expressed sympathies to the Chinese government and people, thanked the Chinese government for its robust measures to control the outbreak, and emphasized that owing to China's great efforts and sacrifices, Africa has so far no confirmed cases. As the next step, African countries will continue to strengthen prevention measures, and hope to have the support of the WHO and China.

The German delegate commended China for having acted swiftly, being open and transparent, timely sharing of information and maintaining close cooperation with the WHO. The Swiss delegate said that China's prevention, control and treatment measures are exemplary, and that Switzerland is willing to work with the Chinese people to win the fight against the outbreak.

The UK, Australia, Japan, Brazil, Singapore, Israel, Chile, Sri Lanka, the Netherlands, Spain, Myanmar, Egypt, Norway, Indonesia, Canada, Denmark, Thailand, Sweden, Montenegro, and Bangladesh all expressed high appreciation for the measures taken by the Chinese government and called for further international cooperation to overcome the epidemic.

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