The WHO did not and will not tell countries to ban travel. In fact, they told countries to not ban travel when they found out about the problem in China. WHO’s director general, Dr. Tedros, is incredibly incompetent or corrupt.
Luckily, Taiwan, Singapore and Hong Kong did not listen and banned travel immediately as soon as they found out about the virus. They did several other things as well, that we are still not doing. Taiwan and Hong Kong should have the most cases outside of China, yet Taiwan has fewer than Slovenia.
China locked down Wuhan when it had 300 official cases. Canada has 247 cases, is growing exponentially and yet, Canada is still taking thousands of flights from many hot spot countries.
Spain had 228 cases on March 4. Ten days later, stores are closed (except groceries and pharmacies).
If Canada continues growing exponentially, stores can be closed in 10 days.
France had 212 cases on March 3. Eleven days later, stores are closed.
Italy had 229 cases on Feb 24. Two weeks later, the country is locked down. 19 days later, 175 people die in one day.
Politicians should stop listening to WHO and read:
Countries are having different results with the virus. The growth is linear in some and exponential in others. See the following graph:
To prevent exponential growth, countries must do what South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan are doing:
Containment (Hong Kong closed its border with China. Travel from all hot spots, such as China, South Korea, Japan, Iran and Italy should have been banned since January. We are still taking thousands of flights from them.)
Banning social gatherings.
Masks. Most people in Hong Kong wear masks when they go out. This not only reduces the chances of catching the virus, but more importantly, it reduces the number of people that you will infect if you have the virus. During the incubation period before you develop symptoms, you can be infecting others and not know it.
Contact Tracing (In addition, South Korea has an app that tells you the locations that all infected people have visited.)
Quarantine (China is the most aggressive with this, by limiting the times that people can leave their homes.)
Removal of deterrent of quarantine, such as paying for lost wages, so that people will not break quarantine.
For countries that have not done the above, such as Italy and Iran, the number of cases have grown exponentially.
Many other countries, including the U.S., Canada and many European countries, are not doing the above. The virus will grow exponentially in these countries.
The WHO and CDC have really dropped the ball. WHO downplayed it for far too long and tried to be politically correct instead of being honest. The WHO and CDC have documentation from prior years that explain what should be done. This first thing that should be done is: CONTAINMENT.
“If the Containment Zone encompasses major air, land, and sea transit points, it is possible that screening procedures could be used but the preferable alternative is to close that entry point.”
In January, WHO should have told every country to practise containment, which includes banning travel from China. Instead of doing this, WHO downplayed the situation and praised China’s efforts. In February, WHO issued a statement saying that they are not calling it a pandemic but some dishonest, politically correct phrase.
We have no containment.
This virus is many times worse than SARS or the flu. According to WHO’s website, a pandemic is when a virus spreads around the world. Yet, WHO would not call this a pandemic until today, after the virus has spread to 109 countries:
CDC should have enabled testing of thousands of Americans since weeks ago. There are likely many thousands of Americans (and Canadians) who are infected but we don’t know yet. China and Iran likely have many multiples more infected than they are reporting. Watch the interview of this doctor’s frustration in the CDC and his inability to test:
The other challenge is that governments are caught between a rock and a hard place: saves lives or save their economies. To save lives, they will need to clamp down their people, but this will clamp down their economies. The right thing to do is to save lives, but when they do this, their economies will crater. Many people will lose their lives or many people will lose their jobs and income. It is not a easy choice.