Director-General of the World Health Organization Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

The World Health Organisation has declared the outbreak of Coronavirus as a public health emergency of international concern.

The declaration was made at the second meeting of the emergency committee convened by the WHO Director-General under the International Health Regulations regarding the outbreak of Coronavirus in China and spread to other countries.

In China, more than 7700 cases have been confirmed, and 170 people have died. 

There are 82 additional cases confirmed in 18 countries. 

There has been human-to-human transmission in three countries outside China. 

One of these cases is severe and there have been no deaths.

The committee believes that it is still possible to interrupt virus spread, provided that countries put in place strong measures to detect disease early, isolate and treat cases, trace contacts, and promote social distancing measures commensurate with the risk.

"It is important to note that as the situation continues to evolve, so will the strategic goals and measures to prevent and reduce spread of the infection. 

"The committee agreed that the outbreak now meets the criteria for a Public Health Emergency of International Concern and proposed the following advice to be issued as temporary recommendations.

"The committee emphasised that the declaration of a PHEIC should be seen in the spirit of support and appreciation for China, its people, and the actions China has taken on the frontlines of this outbreak, with transparency, and, it is to be hoped, with success. 

"In line with the need for global solidarity, the committee felt that a global coordinated effort is needed to enhance preparedness in other regions of the world that may need additional support for that," the committee said.


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