Keep preparing for large-scale COVID-19 community transmission: WHO to Asia-Pacific


WHO official has warned Asia-Pacific region about the coronavirus epidemic saying that it is “far from over” and has asked the take current measures and steps to curb the spread of virus and to prepare large scale community transmissions.


Even with all the measures, the risk of transmission in the region will not go away as long as the pandemic continues, said Takeshi Kasai, regional director for the western Pacific at the World Health Organization.


His warning came as the World Bank said the economic fallout of the pandemic could drive large parts of east Asia into poverty, and as the United States recorded its deadliest day yet, with another 540 deaths taking its fatalities past 3,000.


“Let me be clear. The epidemic is far from over in Asia and the Pacific. This is going to be a long-term battle and we cannot let down our guard,” Kasai told a virtual media briefing. “We need every country to keep preparing for large-scale community transmission.”


The new coronavirus first surfaced in central China in late 2019. Infections have now exceeded 770,000 cases worldwide, with the US, Italy and Spain overtaking mainland China in confirmed cases.


In a symbolic moment in the fight against the pandemic, the US navy hospital ship Comfort sailed down the Hudson into Manhattan on Monday, to the relief of cheering onlookers on New York and New Jersey’s river banks.


“It’s a war-time atmosphere and we all have to pull together,” said the New York City mayor, Bill de Blasio, who greeted the ship’s arrival at the Midtown Manhattan pier.