World Health Organization declared Coronavirus global health emergency

World Health Organization declared Coronavirus global health emergency
At least 213 people died so far and more than 10,000 cases reported so far across China. Source: itv
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Daily US Times, Geneva: The World Health Organization has declared coronavirus a global health emergency. Concerns appear that the virus could spread to countries with weaker health systems.

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the main reason for the declaration is not for what is happening in China, rather what is happening in other countries.

The death toll from the virus is increasing day by day. At least 213 people died so far and more than 10,000 cases reported so far across China. The virus has now spread every region in the country.

According to the World Health Organization, there had been 98 cases in 18 other countries, but no deaths.

Most international cases are in people who had been in the Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak. In Germany, Japan, Vietnam, and the United States there have been eight cases of human-to-human infection.

Dr. Tedros declared a health emergency at a news conference in Geneva. He described the virus as an “unprecedented outbreak” that has been met with an “unprecedented response”.

He praised the “extraordinary measures” Chinese authorities had taken to curb the outbreak and added that there was no reason to limit trade or travel to China.

“Let me be clear, this declaration is not a vote of no confidence in China.”

But many countries closed borders or cancel flights to Wuhan and companies like Google, Ikea, Starbucks, and Tesla have closed their shops or stopped operations.

How unusual is the declaration?

When there is “an extraordinary event which is determined… to constitute a public health risk to other states through the international spread of disease”, WHO declares a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.

The organization previously declared global health emergency for five times. Those are Swine flu (2009), Polio (2014), Zika (2016), Ebola (2014&2019). Among them, the Swine flu killed more than 200,000 people across the globe in 2009.

Ebola killed more than 11,000 people between August 2014 to March 2016 in West Africa.

How is China handling the situation?

The latest Coronavirus case reported in Tibet, making the virus has now spread to every Chinese region in the mainland.

Hubei province (Wuhan is a city of Hubei) is in lockdown and most of the deaths have occurred there. The government doesn’t allow any in-and-out from and to Hubei. More than 60 million people stuck in their homes in the province.

Chinse government has put numerous transport restrictions in place to curb the spread of the virus.

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