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31 Mar, 2020 05:54

Covid-19 pandemic in Asia 'far from over,' countries should brace for 'large-scale community transmission,' WHO warns

Covid-19 pandemic in Asia 'far from over,' countries should brace for 'large-scale community transmission,' WHO warns

While some Asian countries appear to have slowed down the spread of the deadly Covid-19 disease, no nation should let its guard down, World Health Organization (WHO) experts have warned.

"Let me be clear. The epidemic is far from over in Asia and the Pacific," WHO Regional Director for the Western Pacific Takeshi Kasai told reporters on Tuesday.

This is going to be a long-term battle and we cannot let down our guard... We need every country to keep preparing for large-scale community transmission.

While positive news has been coming out of China and South Korea, whose response seems to have slowed down the spread of the virus, WHO technical adviser Matthew Griffith explained that this should not be interpreted as Covid-19 leaving particular areas.

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"Whereas countries and areas in this region have shown how to flatten the curve, outbreaks continue to pop up in new places and importation remains a concern," he said.

Meanwhile, Chinese health officials reported on Tuesday that there were no new confirmed Covid-19 cases recorded in the Hubei Province – where the outbreak initially started – for the seventh day in a row. All new 48 cases reported on Tuesday were linked to people arriving from abroad.

Chinese authorities said that although the domestic transmission of the disease has been largely stopped, the growing number of imported cases risks triggering a secondary wave of the infection.

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