"This outbreak could go in any direction," Tedros said. "If we do well, we can avert any serious crisis, but if we squander the opportunity then we will have a serious problem on our hands."




The window of opportunity to contain wider international spread of the epidemic of the new coronavirus disease is closing, the World Health Organization warned on Friday, and countries must act fast if they are to control it.

Asked whether the outbreak is at a “tipping point” after new cases and deaths from COVID-19 were reported in Iran and Lebanon, the WHO’s director-general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said he still believed the virus could be contained, but added:

“The window of opportunity is narrowing, so we need to act quickly before it closes completely.

“This outbreak could go in any direction,” Tedros said. “If we do well, we can avert any serious crisis, but if we squander the opportunity then we will have a serious problem on our hands.”

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