Coronavirus: World Health chief praises countries' action to stop spread

7 March 2020, 14:58 | Updated: 7 March 2020, 15:04

By Seán Hickey

The way a state combats coronavirus has proved to be as diverse as the countries the disease has reached, and all responses have proved to be learning curves.

After the UK upgraded its action on coronavirus to a "delay phase", questions of how we will delay the spread have come up for conversation.

Matt Frei was joined on the line by Dr Bruce Aylward, the Assistant Director General of World Health Organisation who is leading the WHO's fight against coronavirus.

Dr. Aylward was sharing his views on how countries with a major coronavirus outbreak have dealt with preventing the spread of the disease. Matt posed the question to the WHO chief, "at what stage does that become impossible" to control the spread of the virus.

The Assistant Director General insisted that at no point does coronavirus become impossible to combat.

Italy has closed public events to prevent the spread of coronavirus
Italy has closed public events to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Picture: PA

Mr. Aylward took for example the action that Italy and China have made to stop the spread of coronavirus to show that any action is effective.

Speaking about the methods of China, and how they persisted with widespread quarantine while the virus spread globally, he admired the idea "to maintain the effort to contain" coronavirus.

From evidence of how the Chinese method was effective, he applauded the UK's intention to scale up their action against coronavirus. "You always want to graduate your response" he stated, commending the intention by the UK government to upgrade their activity.

Speaking of how effective scaling up a response will be, Dr. Aylward referenced the Italian response by closing schools and football stadiums to stop the spread.

"They're definitely moving in the right direction" according to the doctor, thereby showing further proof of having some action against the disease with small results is better than having no impact whatsoever.