WHO chief highlights collaboration, data-sharing to defeat NCoV

Geneva: World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said here on Saturday that solid collaboration, transparency, prompt sharing of data, and accurate advice were key to defeat the novel coronavirus outbreak.

Speaking at the closing of the 146th session of the WHO Executive Board meeting on Saturday, Tedros also said that “preparedness is very much at the top of all our minds this week” as WHO staff and partners work with countries to respond to the outbreak, reports Xinhua news agency.

“Thank you in particular for bringing your work on preparedness to a positive conclusion which sends an important message to the world at this critical moment,” he told the representatives of the Executive Board.

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He added that the WHO will continue to provide regular updates and technical guidance on the current outbreak.

According to the WHO chief, the one-week Executive Board meeting, which kicked off here on February 3, made major progress on key issues including neglected tropical diseases, the global vaccine action plan, cervical cancer as well as the governance and reform of the organization itself.

The WHO Executive Board is composed of 34 members technically qualified in the field of health. Members are elected for a three-year term.

The main functions of the board are to give effect to the decisions and policies of the World Health Assembly, to advise it and generally to facilitate its work, as well as to prepare the agenda of the next World Health Assembly.

As of Sunday, the coronavirus toll in China increased to 811, with 37,198 confirmed cases.

Outside China, the Philippines and Hong Kong have reported one death each.

On Saturday, a US citizen died of the virus in Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak, making him the first foreign casualty in China.

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