As COVID-19 Continues To Spread Outside Asia, Experts Say Window To Prevent Pandemic Closing

AP: Italy rushes to contain Europe’s first major virus outbreak
“Italy scrambled Sunday to check the spread of Europe’s first major outbreak of the new viral disease amid rapidly rising numbers of infections and a third death, calling off the popular Venice Carnival, scrapping major league soccer matches in the stricken area and shuttering theaters, including Milan’s legendary La Scala…” (Bruno/D’Emilio, 2/23).

PRI: Controlling the spread of coronavirus is key to stopping a ‘true pandemic,’ NIH head says
“The epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak is China, but officials in South Korea, Iran, and Ukraine are also trying to manage the illness in their countries. … The World spoke to Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a member of the White House coronavirus task force. He says two questions are important to answer: Are there more cases out there that we don’t know about? And can people who have no symptoms transmit the virus? The WHO delegation in China might be able to help answer those questions…” (2/21).

The Telegraph: Coronavirus: Chance to contain outbreak is ‘narrowing’ says WHO
“Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of the World Health Organization, has said he is concerned that the chance to contain the coronavirus outbreak was ‘closing.’ Although the number of cases outside China remained relatively small, the World Health Organization is worried about clusters of infections that have no clear link to China. Speaking at a press briefing [on Friday], Dr. Tedros said: ‘I believe the window of opportunity is still there, but that the window is narrowing’…” (Newey et al., 2/21).

Washington Post: Coronavirus explodes in Italy; cases surge from 3 to more than 200 in a few days
“In an unnerving four-day span, the coronavirus has arrived with force in Italy, with case numbers spiking almost hourly and the virus jumping from one region to the next across the country’s north. And for a nation racing to piece together how it happened and how to contain further spread, even the most basic questions give a sense of the challenge: Officials still are not sure how the virus even arrived in the country…” (Harlan/Pitrelli, 2/24).

Additional coverage of the international spread of COVID-19 is available from Bloomberg, Devex, The Guardian, The Hill, New York Magazine, NPR, Reuters (2), STAT, USA TODAY, Vox, and Washington Post.

The KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report summarized news and information on global health policy from hundreds of sources, from May 2009 through December 2020. All summaries are archived and available via search.

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