Unusual declaration: WHO declares coronavirus as global health emergency

A foreign ministry spokesman said this was due to ‘practical difficulties’ that Chinese nationals have faced overseas.

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World Health Organization has now been declared as a global emergency after the outbreak has now 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 Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

The virus could seriously harm countries with weaker health systems. Meanwhile, the United States (US) has told its citizens not to travel to China.

A level four warning has been issued by the state department and said that any citizens in China ‘should consider departing using commercial means’.

China has said that to bring back Hubei province residents who are overseas, it will send charter plans as soon as possible.

A foreign ministry spokesman said this was due to ‘practical difficulties’ that Chinese nationals have faced overseas. Hubei is where the virus emerged. Almost 10,000 cases of coronavirus have been reported nationally, out of which 213 have lost their lives. A majority of these cases were in Hubei.

According to WHO (World Health Organization), there have been 98 cases reported in 18 other countries but no deaths. In eight cases, in Germany, Vietnam, the US, and Japan, patients were infected by people who traveled to China.

While speaking at a news conference in Geneva, Dr. Tedros said that the virus was an ‘unprecedented outbreak’ and had been met with an ‘unprecedented response’.

He admired the Chinese government for taking accurate measures 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,” Dr. Tedros said.

But numerous countries have taken steps to close borders or cancel flights. Companies like Tesla, Starbucks, Ikea, and Google have closed their outlets or stopped operations.

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