Geneva: The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Thursday announced a public health emergency of international concern over the coronavirus crisis in China and other countries.
Reason for declaration
“The main reason for this declaration is not because of what is happening in China, but because of what is happening in other countries,” Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the WHO, was quoted by CNN as saying.
“Our greatest concern is the potential for the virus to spread to countries with weaker health systems and which are ill-prepared to deal with it,” he said.
However, the UN health body stressed that it does not recommend limiting trade and travel. It also once again spoke highly of China’s prevention and containment measures.
170 died due to virus
As many as 170 people have died of the virus, while around 7,700 cases have been registered in China alone. There are now 98 cases in 18 countries outside of China.
Health authorities around the world are taking action to prevent a global pandemic as the virus continues to spread, with cases reported in Australia, France, the US and several Asian countries besides China.