WHO expert’s advice for avoiding overloading hospitals amid pandemic

A World Health Organization (WHO) expert Tuesday called for better preparation and solidarity and cooperation between countries to prevent medical systems worldwide from being overloaded amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

For countries that have yet to see an exponential grow of virus cases, they should be prepared “at the highest level they can” to have enough ventilators and medical staff for a possible influx of patients into hospitals, said Dr. Gauden Galea, WHO representative in China, at a press conference.

Solidarity and cooperation between countries are important to support countries with less-resourced health systems to cope with the challenge of the pandemic, he said.

China’s measure of twinning up different provinces with cities in the epicenter of Hubei Province to provide medical resources in need can be a “compelling” example for large countries and country groups, according to Dr. Galea.

He spoke highly of some Chinese provinces for taking rigorous measures and staying alert to the epidemic despite the fewer virus cases reported within their jurisdiction, noting that it is “crucial” for countries with weaker public health systems to take rigorous prevention measures.

The representative hoped that the world can mitigate the impact of the pandemic in the coming months with cooperation and investments in health systems.