Gauden Galea, World Health Organization representative in China, speaks at a sub-forum of the sixth World Internet Conference at Wuzhen, east China's Zhejiang province, Oct 21, 2019. (HUANG ZHONGZHI/XINHUA)
BEIJING- China has successfully reduced the mortality rate of COVID-19 as the disease spread, said Gauden Galea, representative of the World Health Organization (WHO) in China, at a press conference Tuesday.
Galea said Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak in China, has managed to reduce the mortality rate to around four percent, and the figure in other regions of China has fallen below one percent.
It is normal to have high mortality rates at the beginning of an emerging infection as the surge in the number of cases exceeds the ability of the health service to provide intensive care, he said.
Gauden Galea, representative of the WHO in China, said the global numbers for the novel coronavirus infections are growing rapidly and are clearly far from having reached the peak
In addition, China's policy of extensive testing ended up with a much greater denominator for calculating the rate. Health professionals have also become more accustomed to the disease and more skilled in saving lives, he added.
Galea also said the global numbers for the novel coronavirus infections are growing rapidly and are clearly far from having reached the peak.
The only way that the pandemic will be overcome is when everyone has immunity either from being exposed to the virus or taking a vaccine that provides the immunity, said Galea.
"Until such a time, we are given what we might call the old-fashioned public health methods that have stood the test of time. We need to assess the risks at levels that range from at the top of country-level down to the individuals," he said, who called for "testing, testing and testing" to improve risk assessment and prevention measures such as hand washing and respiratory etiquette.
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Active case finding and contact tracing, as well as the principle of early identification, reporting, isolation and treatment adopted by China, are also important to stemming the spread of the virus, according to Dr. Galea.
He also stressed the attitude of solidarity and cooperation at national and international levels for the world to defeat the pandemic.
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