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WHO’s Ryan says some countries didn’t hear early COVID-19 warning

Ryan, Executive Director of the WHO attends a news conference on the Ebola outbreak at the United Nations in Geneva

GENEVA (Reuters) – Some countries should have listened more carefully when the World Health Organisation declared a global health emergency in January 2020, Mike Ryan, the WHO’s top emergency expert, said on Monday.

The WHO declared a public health emergency of international concern, its “highest level of alarm”, on Jan. 30 and described the coronavirus as a “pandemic” for the first time on March 11.

Asked if the organisation should have used the term “pandemic” sooner, Ryan said: “Maybe we needed to shout louder, but maybe some people need hearing aids.”

(Reporting by Emma Farge in Geneva and Silke Koltrowitz in Zurich; Writing by Toby Chopra; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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