Coronavirus declared global health emergency by WHO
Addis Ababa, January 31, 2020 (FBC) – The new coronavirus has been declared a global emergency by the World Health Organization (WHO), as the outbreak continues to spread outside China.
“The main reason for this declaration is not what is happening in China but what is happening in other countries,” said WHO chief Dr Tedros Adhanom.
The concern is that it could spread to countries with weaker health systems.
At least 213 people have died in China – mostly in Hubei province where the virus emerged – with almost 10,000 cases nationally.
The WHO said there had been 98 cases in 18 other countries, but no deaths.
Most international cases are in people who had been to the Chinese city of Wuhan in Hubei.
However, there have been eight cases of human-to-human infection – in Germany, Japan, Vietnam and the United States.
Speaking at a news conference in Geneva, Dr Tedros described the virus as an “unprecedented outbreak” that has been met with an “unprecedented response”.
He praised the “extraordinary measures” Chinese authorities had taken, and said 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,” he said.