Skip to main content
Best News Website or Mobile Service
WAN-IFRA Digital Media Awards Worldwide
Best News Website or Mobile Service
Digital Media Awards Worldwide
Hamburger Menu




WHO urges stocking up on ventilators to combat coronavirus

WHO urges stocking up on ventilators to combat coronavirus

Medical staff treating a critically-ill patient infected by COVID-19 with an Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) at the Red Cross hospital in Wuhan in China's central Hubei province. STR/AFP

GENEVA: The World Health Organization on Sunday (Mar 1) urged all countries to prepare for caring for patients severely sickened by the deadly new coronavirus by stocking up on ventilators.

The UN health agency stressed in its latest situation report on COVID-19 that "oxygen therapy is a major treatment intervention for patients with severe COVID-19".

"All countries should work to optimise the availability of pulse oximeters and medical oxygen systems," it said.

READ: US ramps up preparations for coronavirus as conferences, flights cancelled

Worldwide, nearly 3,000 people have been killed and more than 88,000 infected across some 60 countries since the virus was first detected late last year in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.

But WHO noted that the virus appears to particularly hit those over the age of 60 and people already weakened by other illness.

Among the nearly 45,000 people who tested positive for COVID-19 in China by Feb 24, only 2.1 per cent were under the age of 20, WHO said.


The agency noted that most people with the illness only experience mild symptoms, while around 14 per cent suffer severe disease like pneumonia and 5 per cent become critically ill.

The mortality rate in the outbreak appears to be between 2 per cent and 5 per cent.

The UN health agency stressed the importance of early recognition, followed by "implementation of appropriate infection prevention and control (IPC) measures; provision of symptomatic care for those with mild illness; and optimised supportive care for those with severe disease",

WHO warned that mortality among those suffering with critical illness had been reported at over 50 per cent, emphasising that rapid "critical care interventions such as lung protective ventilation should be optimised".

BOOKMARK THIS: Our comprehensive coverage of the novel coronavirus and its developments

Download our app or subscribe to our Telegram channel for the latest updates on the coronavirus outbreak:

Source: AFP/de


Also worth reading