Coronavirus comment - expert reaction from Peter Piot

The World Health Organization has not declared the outbreak of 2019-nCoV a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.

Peter Piot, Professor of Global Health and Director of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, said:

“We are at a critical phase in this outbreak. Regardless of the decision not to declare this a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, intensified international collaboration and more resources will be crucial to stopping this outbreak in its tracks.  National authorities and the World Health Organization will need to continue to monitor developments very closely.

“There are still many missing pieces in the jigsaw puzzle to fully understanding this new virus which is spreading rapidly across China, and most probably around the world. Over the coming days and weeks we will know much more, but there cannot be any complacency as to the need for global action.

“The good news is that the data to date suggest that this virus may have a lower mortality than SARS, we have a diagnostic test and there is greater transparency than decades gone by. And that is essential because you cannot deal with a potential pandemic in one country alone.”

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