WHO chief Tedros said it is 'an unprecedented opportunity to come together as one against a common enemy: an enemy against humanity'
The WHO chief said the only way to suppress and control the coronavirus is to 'isolate, test, treat and trace'
The head of the World Health Organization on Wednesday said the new coronavirus was an "enemy against humanity", as the number of people infected in the pandemic soared past 200,000.
"This coronavirus is presenting us with an unprecedented threat," Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told journalists in a virtual news conference, stressing that it was "an unprecedented opportunity to come together as one against a common enemy: an enemy against humanity."
Worldwide fatalities topped 8,000 and more deaths have now been recorded in Europe, the new virus epicentre, than in Asia since the outbreak first emerged in China in December.
Tedros said the WHO was speaking daily with health ministers, heads of state, health workers, hospital managers, industry leaders and others "to help them prepare and prioritise."
"Don't assume your community won't be affected. Prepare as if it will be," he said.
The WHO has called for every single suspected case to be tested.
In countries where that was not possible due to soaring numbers of cases, Tedros insisted there were measures that could be taken to reduce the burden on healthcare systems and make epidemics more "manageable".
"There is hope. There are many things all countries can do," he said.