Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus speaks at the annual Munich Security Conference in Germany, Feb 15, 2020. [Photo/Agencies]
>WHO fights the 'infodemic'
WHO Director-General c Ghebreyesus told foreign policy and security experts gathered for the Munich Security Conference that the UN agency was encouraged that there has not yet been widespread community transmission of the novel coronavirus outside of China.
The WHO also was encouraged that "the global research community has come together to identify and accelerate the most urgent research needs for diagnostics, treatments and vaccines".
The WHO chief said the agency's encouragement was tempered by several key concerns, including, the rising number of cases in China, particularly the number of health workers that have been infected; the lack of urgency in funding the response from the international community; the levels of rumors and misinformation hampering the response and the potential havoc the virus could wreak in countries with weaker health systems.
Tedros called on the international community to push back against the "infodemic", as fake news spreads faster and more easily than this virus, and is equally as dangerous.
He also called on governments, companies and news organizations to work with the WHO to sound the appropriate level of alarm, without fanning the flames of hysteria.
>South may be invaded by locusts
The invasion of desert locusts that has already thrust millions of Africans into a food security crisis may pose threats to China's southern regions this summer.
Yunnan and Sichuan provinces, as well as the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, are most likely to be affected, according to Zhang Zehua, a researcher at the Institute of Plant Protection of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences.
"It is extremely unlikely that desert locusts will directly migrate into China's inland areas, but if the overseas desert locust plague persists, the probability of locusts entering China in June or July will sharply increase," Zhang said.
According to the United Nations, the desert locust is among "the most dangerous migratory pests in the world".
A single locust can travel 150 kilometers, and a small swarm can consume enough food to feed 35,000 people in one day.
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