On the advice of public health professionals, and after seeing the effects of locking down much of public life in places like China, governments across the world are putting in place more and more restrictions as they try to stop the coronavirus from spreading. But the World Health Organization (WHO) warned Monday that while social distancing was welcome and necessary, all countries must put more resources into making testing available.
"We have a simple message for all countries: test, test, test. Test every suspected COVID-19 case," Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director of the WHO, said in a press briefing Monday.
"If they test positive, isolate them and find out who they have been in close contact with up to two days before they developed symptoms, and test those people too," he went on.
In the United States, many schools are closed starting Monday, while the country's two most populous cities — Los Angeles and New York — announced social spaces such as movie theaters would be closed, and restaurants would offer only delivery or takeout service.
But the United States, as well as many other Western countries, have been criticized for a lack of access to testing — even for those who are seeking it.
The Netherlands ordered similar closures, while the Czech Republic and Austria put in place their own calls for people to stay home. New Zealand on Monday became the latest country to ban large gatherings with a restriction on events with 500 or more people.
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