March 12, 2020 / 2:00 PM / a month ago

WHO's Tedros urges world to 'double down' against virus pandemic

FILE PHOTO: Director-General of the WHO Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, attends a news conference on the coronavirus (COVID-2019) in Geneva, Switzerland February 24, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo

GENEVA (Reuters) - The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) urged all countries on Thursday to “double down” in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, speaking to diplomats in Geneva a day after characterising COVID-19 as a pandemic, also said: “Describing this as a pandemic does not mean that countries should give up. The idea that countries should shift from containment to mitigation is wrong and dangerous.”

He said that, while maintaining a containment strategy, all countries must “strike a fine balance between protecting health, preventing economic and social disruption, and respecting human rights”, according to remarks made available by the agency.

Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; editing by John Stonestreet

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