GENEVA (Reuters) – About 3.4% of confirmed cases of COVID-19 have died, far above seasonal flu’s fatality rate of under 1%, but the novel coronavirus can be contained, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a Geneva news conference: “To summarize, COVID-19 spreads less efficiently than flu, transmission does not appear to be driven by people who are not sick, it causes more severe illness than flu, there are not yet any vaccines or therapeutics, and it can be contained.”
Tedros said that he had spoken with Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee about the 2020 Tokyo Olympics due to open in July. “I think deciding now would be too early, it would be good to monitor the situation,” he said.
Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay in Geneva and Kate Kelland in London; writing by Stephanie Nebehay; editing by William Maclean