The World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said in his latest press conference that people who have been infected with the new coronavirus, known as COVID-19 and who have stopped suffering symptoms can still spread the virus to others for two weeks. This is why people have been asked to not receive any visitors until two weeks after they have stopped having symptoms and are considered cured. She also stressed the importance of frequent hand washing to minimize the risk of coronavirus infection, as "an act of solidarity".
"As the coronavirus moves to low-income countries, we are deeply concerned about the impact this could have on populations with high HIV prevalence or malnourished children. We call on every country and individual to do everything possible to stop transmission," explains the WHO director.
Similarly, the WHO also complains that some nations are not doing enough testing for the coronavirus that has already infected more than 182,400 people worldwide (at the time of writing).
Tedros has expressed concern about the rapid escalation of cases of COVID-19 over the past week, "but we have not seen a sufficiently urgent escalation in testing, isolation and contact tracing, which is the backbone of the response.
Tedros acknowledged that although the population at greatest risk of mortality from the new coronavirus is people over 60, young people and even children have died, so it is crucial that countries do not forget to conduct all necessary COVID-19 testing.
"We have a simple message for all countries: test, test, test. Test every suspicious case. If they test positive, isolate them and find out who they have been in contact with two days before they developed symptoms and also evaluate those people," he said.
And, if they are infected, stay home and stay away from health care facilities to prevent further transmission of the virus and to receive proper medical care.
While it's true that the WHO director didn't single out any particular country, U.S. state and local leaders have sharply criticized the Trump administration and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for delaying and limiting who could be tested in this country.
"For any country, one of the most important things is the political commitment at the highest level," Tedros said. "All countries should be able to assess all suspected cases. They cannot fight this pandemic blindfolded; they should know where the cases are.”
In other countries such as Korea, where the virus spread rapidly last month, health officials implemented an aggressive testing regime that processed tests for more than 259,000 people and confirmed more than 8,000 infections, according to the Korean CDC.