WHO

WHO urges caution over lifting Covid-19 restrictions

The WHO's Western Pacific division held a media briefing this week to discuss the coronavirus.

Asked when regional countries might lift some restrictions imposed under their states of emergency, the WHO Regional Director Takeshi Kasai urged caution.

"When we consider lifting, we need a careful analysis of the situation And we should not lift everything all at once."

Dr Kasai said this applied to all countries, including those in the Pacific islands who had no reported cases of Covid-19.

President Donald Trump says US to halt World Health Organisation funding

He says had the WHO done its job to get medical experts into China, the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak could have been contained.

"I am directing my administration to halt funding while a review is conducted to access the World Health Organisation's role in severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of the coronavirus," Trump said.

"The WHO failed in its basic duty and it must be held accountable...

"Many countries said they were going to listen to the WHO and they have problems now the likes of which they cannot believe," Trump said.

WHO says people in Pacific should be prepared for long-term battle

Takeshi Nakai warns the epidemic is far from over and people should be prepared for a long-term battle.

However, Dr Nakai said countries in Asia show there are successful ways of slowing the spread of the pandemic.

He said these include finding, isolating and testing cases early.

Dr Nakai said tracing and quarantining contacts quickly as well as stopping physical interaction is also proven to help.

Outbreak at 'decisive point' as WHO urges action

His comments come as countries around the world battle to prevent the virus spreading further.

For a second day, more cases have been reported outside than inside China.

Iran and Italy have become major centres of infection, with people travelling from there spreading the virus further afield.

Several high-profile Iranian officials have become infected, the latest being Vice-President for Women and Family Affairs Masoumeh Ebtekar.

"It's what's happening in the rest of the world that's now our greatest concern," Dr Tedros said.

World must prepare for pandemic, says WHO

The WHO said it was too early to call the outbreak a pandemic but countries should be "in a phase of preparedness".

A pandemic is when an infectious disease spreads easily from person to person in many parts of the world.

More cases of the virus, which causes respiratory disease Covid-19, continue to emerge, with outbreaks in South Korea, Italy and Iran causing concern.

However, most infections are in China, the original source of the virus, where 77,000 people have the disease and nearly 2,600 have died. The number of new cases there is now falling.

Window of opportunity to act, World Health Organization says

Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the steps taken by China to fight the virus at its epicentre were the best way of stopping its spread.

Meanwhile, China's envoy to the UN in Geneva told nations not to over-react.

At least 427 people have died with more than 20,000 confirmed cases worldwide.

The WHO has declared a global health emergency over the outbreak but said the virus did not yet constitute a "pandemic" - the worldwide spread of a new disease. Officials say 425 people have died in China, one in Hong Kong and one in the Philippines.

Whole world 'must take action', warns WHO

Dr Mike Ryan praised China's response to the deadly outbreak, saying: "The challenge is great but the response has been massive."

The WHO will meet on Thursday to discuss whether the virus constitutes a global health emergency.

The Chinese city of Wuhan is the epicentre of the outbreak.

But the virus has spread across China and to at least 16 countries globally, including Thailand, France, the US and Australia.

More than 130 people have died in China and close to 6,000 have been infected.

Effective outbreak response reduces the risk of measles spread in the Pacific

For Samoa, the country experienced a widescale measles outbreak which had significant impact upon the country’s population and health system.

The disease has cost lives, with infants and young children being most affected.

In response to the identification of measles in the region, many Pacific countries and areas have made serious efforts to close immunity gaps in their population and strengthen infectious disease prevention, surveillance and response systems.

UN agencies tell Pacific to vaccinate against measles

They said this should to happen before travelling internationally, attending major events or community gatherings.

Vaccination provided the best protection against measles and parents should get their children immunised, the agencies said.

In October, Samoa and Tonga both declared measles outbreaks.

Both UNICEF and the WHO said they were continuing to provide resources to Pacific states to respond to the measles threat.

     

WHO recognizes burnout as medical condition

The decision, reached during the World Health Assembly in Geneva, which wraps up on Tuesday, could help put to rest decades of debate among experts over how to define burnout, and whether it should be considered a medical condition.

In the latest update of its catalogue of diseases and injuries around the world, WHO defines burnout as “a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.”