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WHO's Tedros urges world to "double down" against virus pandemic

GENEVA, March 12 (Reuters) - The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) urged all countries on Thursday to "double down" in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, speaking to diplomats in Geneva a day after characterising COVID-19 as a pandemic, also said: "Describing this as a pandemic does not mean that countries should give up. The idea that countries should shift from containment to mitigation is wrong and dangerous."

He said that, while maintaining a containment strategy, all countries must "strike a fine balance between protecting health, preventing economic and social disruption, and respecting human rights", according to remarks made available by the agency. (Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; editing by John Stonestreet)