Ahmed Al-Mandhari, WHO Regional Director for the Eastern
Mediterranean, said the regional approach to fighting the
coronavirus had so far been "uneven" and that much more should be
Improved access to information would allow the WHO to track its
spread closely and quickly apply proven public health measures,
Mandhari told reporters in a video-conference briefing.
"Unfortunately, even today, as the situation is becoming critical,
information on cases is insufficiently communicated by countries to
WHO," Mandhari said.
The WHO had seen efforts to strengthen surveillance, scale up
testing and support families who are isolating relatives or in
quarantine, he added.
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"But much more needs to be done. In most countries we still have time to more
rapidly accelerate our efforts."
Across much of the region outside Iran - which is one of the worst affected
countries worldwide - the number of confirmed cases has been relatively low
compared to east Asia and Europe but WHO officials fear the real figures could
be considerably higher than reported due partly to a lack of testing.
(Reporting by Emma Farge and Mahmoud Mourad; Writing by Aidan Lewis; Editing by
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