Senior WHO Official Warns against Mis-Labeling Coronavirus

Senior WHO Official Warns against Mis-Labeling Coronavirus

TEHRAN (Tasnim) - A senior official of the World Health Organization (WHO) warned against mis-labeling the novel coronavirus, calling for joint efforts to fight the disease.

"Viruses know no borders, and they don't care your ethnicity or the color of your skin or how much money you have in the bank," Michael Ryan, executive director of the WHO health emergencies program, told a news conference on Wednesday in response to some US politicians calling COVID-19 a "Chinese virus."

"It's really important that we be careful in the language we use, lest it lead to profiling of individuals associated with the virus," Ryan said, noting that "this is just something we need to all avoid", Xinhua news agency reported.

He gave an example of the HINI influenza outbreak in 2009, saying that the pandemic "originated in North America, and we didn't call it the North American flu."

Meanwhile, the official called for solidarity and joint efforts to combat the disease. "This is a time to move forward together to fight this virus together, there is no blame in this," he noted.

According to the latest statistics from the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University, the tally of confirmed cases of the COVID-19 pandemic has reached over 218,000 and spans 158 countries and regions.

With the world facing an escalating challenge from the disease, "It's also an unprecedented opportunity to come together as one against a common enemy," the WHO wrote on its Twitter feed on Wednesday.

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