Experts Comment On Possible Coronavirus Outbreak Trajectory; WHO Warns Nations To Better Prepare For Outbreaks As Many Countries Implement Aggressive Containment Protocols

CNBC: Top WHO official warns world may be ‘dangerously unprepared’ for next pandemic as coronavirus outbreak spreads
“WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned on Monday that the world may be ‘dangerously’ unprepared for the next pandemic as the flu-like coronavirus that emerged from China about a month ago spreads rapidly to new countries. At an executive board meeting in Geneva, Tedros urged the World Health Organization’s 196 member countries to ‘invest in preparedness,’ not ‘panic.’ He added that funding for outbreak preparedness in surrounding countries ‘has remained grossly inadequate’ in the past…” (Lovelace, 2/3).

STAT: Experts envision two scenarios if the new coronavirus isn’t contained
“With the new coronavirus spreading from person to person (possibly including from people without symptoms), reaching four continents, and traveling faster than SARS, driving it out of existence is looking increasingly unlikely. It’s still possible that quarantines and travel bans will first halt the outbreak and then eradicate the microbe, and the world will never see 2019-nCoV again, as epidemiologist Dr. Mike Ryan, head of health emergencies at the World Health Organization, told STAT on Saturday. That’s what happened with SARS in 2003. Many experts, however, view that happy outcome as increasingly unlikely…” (Begley, 2/4).

Wall Street Journal: Health Officials Err on Side of Caution to Contain Viral Outbreak
“Amid the fast-moving coronavirus outbreak emanating from China, companies, governments and schools are developing policies on the fly to try to halt the spread, creating a live global public-health experiment in containment. … Global health authorities are warning countries and hospitals to prepare for containment and prevention of the virus within their borders, and encouraging them to engage in international cooperation to help countries with weaker health systems. Surveillance, tracking and monitoring, isolating sick people and even quarantining certain individuals are likely reasonable or necessary from a public health standpoint to halt the fast-spreading virus, experts say…” (Abbott, 2/3).

Additional coverage of expert commentary and global reaction to the coronavirus outbreak is available from The Atlantic, CNBC (2) (3), Democracy Now!, Foreign Policy, The Hill, NPR, and U.N. News.

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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