Coronavirus: World Health Organisation says countries need to use lockdown time to attack bug

VIDEO: REUTERS
A municipal worker sweeps the streets in the historic centre of Quito, on March 25, 2020.
A municipal worker sweeps the streets in the historic centre of Quito, on March 25, 2020.PHOTO: AFP

ZURICH/GENEVA (REUTERS) - Countries which have locked down their populations to prevent the spread of the coronavirus need to use the time to find and attack the virus, the World Health Organisation said on Wednesday (March 25).

"Asking people to stay at home and shutting down population movement is buying time, and reducing pressure on health systems. On their own these measures won't extinguish epidemics," said WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

"We call on all countries to use this time to attack the virus," Tedros told a press conference.

Countries need to expand, train and deploy their health care and public health workforces, as well as implementing systems to find every suspected case, and ramping up testing, he said.