Skip to main content

WHO declares global emergency as China virus death toll reaches 170

Director-General of the World Health Organization [WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus speaks next to Michael J. Ryan, Executive Director of the World Health Organization (WHO) Health Emergencies Programme during a news conference after a meeting of the Emergency Committee on the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in Geneva, Switzerland January 30, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus speaks next to Michael J. Ryan, Executive Director of the World Health Organization (WHO) Health Emergencies Programme during a news conference after a meeting of the Emergency Committee on the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in Geneva, Switzerland January 30, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

BEIJING/GENEVA,  (Reuters) – The World Health Organization (WHO) said today  it was declaring the China coronavirus outbreak that has killed 170 people in China a global emergency, as cases spread to 18 countries.

 

The United States reported its first case of person-to-person transmission. Experts say cases of person-to-person transmission – which have also been detected outside China in Germany, Vietnam, and Japan – are especially concerning because they suggest greater potential for the virus to spread further.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO director-general, told a news conference in Geneva that recent weeks have witnessed an unprecedented outbreak which has been met by an unprecedented response.

“Let me be clear, this declaration is not a vote of no confidence in China,” he said. “Our greatest concern is the potential for the virus to spread to countries with weaker health systems.”

The declaration of a global emergency triggers recommendations to all countries. It is aimed at preventing or reducing cross-border spread of disease.

Tedros said the WHO was not recommending limiting trade or travel to China due to the outbreak, however.

The vast majority of the more than 7,800 cases detected globally, according to the latest WHO data, have been in China, where the virus originated in an illegal wildlife market in the city of Wuhan.

But nearly 100 cases have emerged in other countries, spurring cuts to travel, outbreaks of anti-China sentiment in some places and a surge in demand for protective face masks.

 

Officials from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the flu-like virus was confirmed in a man in Illinois, bringing the total number of U.S. cases to six. The man’s wife, who was also infected, had previously travelled to China, but he had not.

TIGHTER CONTAINMENT

The WHO held off twice last week from declaring a global emergency. Thursday’s move will trigger tighter containment and information-sharing guidelines, but may disappoint Beijing, which had expressed confidence it can beat the “devil” virus.

Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust, said the WHO decision was “absolutely right”.

“Declaration of an international emergency will undoubtedly sharpen governments’ focus on protecting citizens,” Farrar said. The needed public health measures would be a “challenge” for all countries, but would be especially difficult for lower-income countries, he added.

The virus has spread quickly since the WHO’s Emergency Committee last met a week ago. But there has been no death reported outside China and neither has the virus emerged in Africa.

“The vast majority of cases outside China have a history of travel to Wuhan or history of contact with someone with a travel history to Wuhan,” said Teros.

ECONOMIC IMPACT

 

The total number of infections has already surpassed the total in the 2002-2003 Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) epidemic.

SARS also came from China, killing about 800 people and costing the global economy an estimated $33 billion.

Economists fear the impact could be bigger this time as China now accounts for a larger share of the world economy. Markets have been spooked since news of the virus emerged earlier this month.

Companies have also been rattled and Alphabet Inc’s Google and Sweden’s IKEA were the latest big names to close China operations. South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co Ltd extended its Lunar New Year holiday closure for some Chinese production facilities.

Airlines to suspend flights to mainland China include Air France, Lufthansa, Air Canada, American Airlines and British Airways .

Thousands of factory workers currently on Lunar New Year holidays may struggle to get back to work next week due to travel restrictions.

China dominated U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s news conference on Wednesday. “When China’s economy slows down we do feel that,” he said.

 

 

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO director-general

 
Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

Trinidad bans travelers from China to prevent coronavirus

A woman wears a face mask on the Trocadero esplanade in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France, January 25, 2020, as France confirmed three cases of the new coronavirus. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
A woman wears a face mask on the Trocadero esplanade in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France, January 25, 2020, as France confirmed three cases of the new coronavirus. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

PORT OF SPAIN,  (Reuters) – Trinidad and Tobago has imposed 14-day restrictions on travelers from China to prevent the spread of a new strain of coronavirus on the Caribbean island nation, Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh said today.

 

The newly identified China coronavirus has created alarm because it is spreading quickly and there are still important unknowns surrounding it. The World Health Organization (WHO) on Thursday declared the outbreak, that has killed 170 people in China, a global emergency as cases spread to 18 countries.

“Persons who are presently living in China or visiting China, regardless of your nationality, will not be allowed to enter Trinidad and Tobago for 14 days after leaving China,” Deyalsingh told reporters.

“If you left China tomorrow on (Feb. 1), you will not be allowed into Trinidad and Tobago until Feb. 14, regardless of nationality,” he said.

The virus has an incubation of up to 14 days, and there are some limited signs it may also be able to spread before any symptoms show. Like other respiratory infections, it spreads between people in droplets from coughs and sneezes.

It is still too early to know what its death rate will be, since there are likely to be many cases of milder disease going undetected.

There are reports in the media that China is not revealing the actual magnitude of this Global Emergency. They are turning away people with mild symptoms and those people are infecting many more. 

Canada and USA should do what Trinidad did to prevent this Virus from spreading.

Last edited by Former Member

Canada's top doctor condemns racism against Chinese communities

Canada's Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam is urging people to stop acts of racism against people of Chinese and Asian descent due to the coronavirus outbreak.

"It is understandable that our fears increase during times like this. However, we need to remember that cohesion in our collective efforts is important," Tam said. "We need to learn from our experience with SARS, where South East Asians faced significant racism and discrimination."

Dr. Theresa Tam
 
@CPHO_Canada
 
 

1/5 I am concerned about the growing number of reports of and stigmatizing comments on social media directed to people of Chinese and Asian descent related to .

View image on Twitter
 
979 people are talking about this
 
 

"Racism, discrimination and stigmatizing language are unacceptable and very hurtful. These actions create a divide of Us Vs. Them. Canada is a country built on the deep-rooted values of respect, diversity and inclusion," she added.

Authorities said Wednesday that Chinese Canadians in Toronto have been reporting incidents where people suggest they should be quarantined or avoid Chinese businesses.

https://www.cnn.com/asia/live-...-intl-hnk/index.html

Add Reply

Post

×
×
×
×
Link copied to your clipboard.
×
×