WHO announced on 30 January that the novel coronavirus represented “the highest level of emergency… every country could have triggered all its public health measures,” Tedros pointed out.
“I think that suffices the importance of listening to WHO’s advice.”
“We advised the whole world to implement a comprehensive public health approach, and we said find, test, isolate, and do contact tracing,” he said.
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“You can check for yourselves: countries who followed that are in a better position than others. This is fact.”
“It is up to the countries to reject or accept,” he said.
“Each country takes its own responsibility.”
The pandemic has claimed more than 206 000 lives and infected nearly three million people, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP on Monday.
The United States has the highest number of deaths at nearly 55 000, out of close to one million registered cases.