World Health Organization Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus is instructing countries to “to pull out all the stops” to mobilize their response. He and other officials are urging a focus on protecting the highest-risk groups: older people, people with preexisting health conditions, and health care workers.
This requires a coordinated, society-wide effort to spread the word about measures like hand-washing, avoiding large gatherings in areas where the virus is transmitting, seeking care if you have Covid-19 symptoms, and isolating the sick.
The emergency has forced governments to shut down schools, organizers to cancel conferences, and the ordinarily teeming metropolis of Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the outbreak, to fall eerily silent. The social and economic costs of the outbreak have been immense and will only grow larger.
Here are scenes from the response to the outbreak around the world: