Leading World Health Organization (WHO) official, Dr Margret Harris warned on Sunday coronavirus is intensifying globally.
Speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr show, Dr Harris warned coronavirus outbreak is “still building” and said the rapid growth in cases across Iran and Italy are “concerning.”
Marr asked, “How far is it spreading and how fast?”
Dr Harris said, “It is indeed still building up, we are seeing particularly concerning events in Italy and Iran.
“We are seeing continued community transmission human to human in a lot of countries.
“It is still continuing to intensify.”
Marr asked Dr Harris, “We are focussing on older people, is that because older people have a lower immune system or because they have another condition which makes it more likely for them to be killed by coronavirus?”
She responded, “It is not completely clear, for instance as I mentioned with the flu that affects young people, children, pregnant women.”
Dr Harris added, the “virus has a predilection for people in the older age groups and certainly if you’re in any age group and you have another illness, diabetes, heart disease, lung disease, you are in the high-risk group and you must treat yourself as such.”
The presenter then asked, “If it is killing older people with other conditions why is it also killing young doctors in China?”
Dr Harris replied with, “Remember that a young doctor from China who has worked three weeks none stop, that hasn’t had time to eat or sleep, is not in a good place
“So, you would have to go through the details of that person’s illness or what went on before, you may find that the person had other illnesses.”
Government sources have said the elderly need to be prepared for “social distancing” policies, which are to be announced next week in parliament.