KUALA LUMPUR, June 16 — The World Health Organization (WHO) yesterday recorded more than 100 cases of Covid-19 cases in a fresh outbreak of the disease in Beijing, China.
AFP reported that the United Nations health agency advised countries to remain vigilant for the possibility of Covid-19 resurgence as nations have begun lifting lockdown restrictions, while countries in Europe have lifted their borders.
WHO said that no new deaths have been reported in the China capital so far, but pointed out that the Covid-19 outbreak was a cause for concern given Beijing’s size and connectivity.
“Even in countries that have demonstrated the ability to suppress transmission, countries must stay alert to the possibility of resurgence,” WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus reportedly told a virtual press conference.
“Last week, China reported a new cluster of cases in Beijing, after more than 50 days without a case in that city. More than 100 cases have now been confirmed.
“The origin and extent of the outbreak are being investigated,” he said.
WHO’s Covid-19 technical lead Maria Van Kerkhove reportedly told the news conference in Geneva that her understanding is that “there are no deaths associated so far with the Beijing outbreak.”
Mike Ryan, WHO emergencies director, reportedly said countries that have implemented immediate and comprehensive range of necessary measures to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus have generally been able to contain new emerging clusters.
“However, Beijing is a large city and a very dynamic and connected city, so there is always a concern,” Ryan reportedly said.
“And I think you can see that level of concern in the response of the Chinese authorities, so we are tracking that very closely,” he added.
He further added that the WHO had offered assistance and support to the Chinese authorities leading the investigation and may strengthen the agency’s own team in Beijing in the coming days as the investigation proceeds.
“A cluster like this is a concern and it needs to be investigated and controlled – and that is exactly what the Chinese authorities are doing,” Ryan reportedly said.