Should WHO declare COVID-19 as a pandemic?
COVID-19 is not considered a pandemic at present and labelling the outbreak as a pandemic will not cause a shift in the approach which is currently being taken. Containment is the right approach at present.
At the moment counties fall into one of the following categories
- No cases or few cases, in this situation the best option is aggressive containment of cases
- Clusters of cases
- Counties where there is transmission occurring in the community
Do sports events need to be cancelled?
If there is evidence of intense transmission within a particular area then social distancing is the right approach, this will lessen risky contact between people in these areas. If this is the case in an area, then events may need to be cancelled.
Is there a medicine shortage?
There has been some information that medicine shortages may occur due to a restriction on export and due to a reduction in manufacturing in China (this is likely to improve soon).
Medicine restriction is not as concerning as the shortage of personal protective equipment, which healthcare workers need to treat cases. The WHO are monitoring the situation with medicines.
This information is from the World Health Organisation’s daily media briefing on COVID-19 which took place on 3rd March 2020.