WHO experts call for proper use of protection equipment amid COVID-19

GENEVA, Feb. 14 (Xinhua) -- The World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday called for proper use of personal protection equipment (PPE) against COVID-19, as appropriate training and behavior in how to use PPE may play an even more important role.

"The PPE is just one element of protection; more importantly is how to use the PPE," said Sylvie Briand, director of the Global Infectious Hazard Preparedness at WHO, at a daily briefing on COVID-19.

WHO extends emergency status of Ebola in DR Congo

GENEVA, Feb 13 (NNN-AGENCIES) — The World Health Organization (WHO) has extended its global emergency designation for the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo but said the sharp decline in cases was “extremely positive”.

“As long as there is a single case of Ebola in an area as insecure and unstable as eastern DRC, the potential remains for a much larger epidemic,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told journalists.

Novel coronavirus named ‘Covid-19’: UN health agency

GENEVA, Feb 12 (NNN-AGENCIES) — The World Health Organisation said “Covid-19” would be the new official name for the deadly coronavirus that was first identified in China on Dec 31.

“We now have a name for the disease and it’s Covid-19,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters in Geneva, explaining that “co” stood for “corona”, “vi” for “virus” and “d” for “disease”.

Meanwhile, scientists from around the world are reviewing how Covid-19 is transmitted and possible vaccines at a WHO conference that kicked off on Tuesday.

Swiss government lobbies for EU ties as 'Brexit moment' looms

ZURICH (Reuters) - The Swiss government on Tuesday urged voters to reject a referendum brought by the right-wing Swiss People’s Party to end an accord with the European Union on the free movement of citizens.

Should the party win the binding vote on May 17 in what is being called Switzerland’s “Brexit moment”, the country could lose its privileged access to the EU single market that is the lifeblood of its economy.

Coronavirus emergency 'holds a very grave threat' for world: WHO

GENEVA (Reuters) - China’s coronavirus outbreak poses a “very grave threat for the rest of the world”, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday in an appeal for sharing virus samples and speeding up research into drugs and vaccines.

WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus was addressing the start of a two-day meeting aimed at accelerating development of drugs, diagnostics and vaccines against the flu-like virus amid growing concerns about its ability to spread.

World faces chronic shortage of coronavirus protective equipment: WHO

GENEVA (Reuters) - The world is facing a chronic shortage of gowns, masks, gloves and other protective equipment in the fight against a spreading coronavirus epidemic, World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Friday.

As of 6 a.m. Geneva time (0500 GMT) there were 31,211 confirmed cases in China and 637 deaths, he said.

“For the last two days there had been fewer reported infections in China, which is good news, but we caution against reading too much into that. The numbers could go up again,” he told the WHO Executive Board in Geneva.

U.S. and China clash at WHO over Taiwan participation

GENEVA (Reuters) - The United States urged the World Health Organization (WHO) on Thursday to “engage directly with Taiwan public health authorities” in the fight against coronavirus.

Taiwan is not a WHO member because of China’s objections. Beijing says the island is a wayward Chinese province and not a country and is adequately represented in the organisation by China.

World currently 'not in a pandemic' of China virus: WHO

Geneva, Feb 4 (AFP/PTI) The World Health Organization said Tuesday that the outbreak of the deadly novel coronavirus, which has spread from China to two dozen countries, does not yet constitute a "pandemic".

"Currently we are not in a pandemic," Sylvie Briand, head of WHO's Global Infectious Hazard Preparedness division, told reporters in Geneva.

U.N. Libya envoy says military rivals ready to negotiate in Geneva

GENEVA (Reuters) - The U.N. envoy to Libya said on Tuesday there was a “genuine will to start negotiating” between rival military factions as they planned to meet for the first time for talks in Geneva aimed at securing a lasting ceasefire.

However, Ghassan Salame told reporters that an arms embargo was being violated by both sides and that new mercenaries and arms were still arriving “by air and by sea” in Libya, where forces loyal to eastern based commander Khalifa Haftar have been trying to take the capital, Tripoli, for the past 10 months.

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