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Coronavirus triggers warning about pandemic preparedness

Source(s):  Voice of America (VOA)

By Carol Pearson


The World Health Organization’s declaration of the outbreak as a global public health emergency has no specific foundation in international law, but Dr. Tom Frieden, a public health expert, said, “It makes clear that the World Health Organization and global infectious disease experts are taking this very seriously, and it gives the World Health Organization the ability to be more proactive with getting information from countries and sharing information globally.” 


The global effort, Frieden [head of Resolve to Save Lives, a global nonprofit public health initiative] said, will help China protect itself and the world. One of the biggest concerns is that the virus could spread to regions with poor health infrastructure that lack laboratories for testing and adequate health care facilities and staff. 


Once this novel virus is contained, Frieden said, we have to improve preparedness for the next deadly pandemic. He noted that new viruses emerge every year. To reduce human suffering, and even economic hardship, governments around the world have to look at the coronavirus as a wakeup call to improve early warning systems, laboratory networks, trained health professionals and rapid response teams, particularly in Africa, the Middle East and Asia. 



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  • Publication date 31 Jan 2020

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