Countries outside of China are “simply not ready” yet to contain a coronavirus pandemic, a World Health Organization expert said this week.
Dr. Bruce Aylward, an epidemiologist with the group, warned that countries without the disease preparedness and rapid response technology that China has will have trouble containing the spread of the virus.
“Big conclusion for the world is — it’s simply not ready,” Aylward told reporters Tuesday in Geneva. “It could get ready very fast, but the big shift has to be in the mindset of how we’re going to manage the disease.”
Aylward, who led a mission on COVID-19 to China, praised the country’s largescale quarantines and containment measures, as well as its labs’ capability to test thousands of people for the virus.
“Look at China. They’ve done this at scale and they’re very good at it and they’re keen to help,” Aylward said.
His warning comes as the spread of the virus has escalated outside of China with large pockets in Italy, South Korea and Iran.
The virus, which first emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan, has killed at least 2,700 people and spread to 80,000 others, mostly in China.