The outbreak of the virus seems to have spread far and wide now as governments in multiple countries are trying to control further damage.
The Coronavirus that emerged in the Wuhan province of China has now spread to multiple countries and positive cases have been reported in America, India, Japan, South Korea, and Thailand among others. According to reports, there have been more than 10,000 cases of the virus detected in China alone and it has already taken 213 lives.
According to the WHO, 18 countries have reported confirmed cases but no deaths have happened except for those in China. In an emergency meeting convened by the WHO, the authorities have chosen to declare it as a global health emergency and emphasized on the need to implement preventive measures immediately.
WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a statement: "The main reason for this declaration is not what is happening in China but what is happening in other countries." This is because a lot of the countries where it is spreading do not have robust healthcare systems to prevent the virus from spreading.
The WHO also said that even though the outbreak was unprecedented, China's response has been commendable as well. "Let me be clear, this declaration is not a vote of no confidence in China," Tedros said to reveal that China has been doing its very best to curb it as well.
Meanwhile, authorities have requested travelers to reconsider their travel plans to China and international terminals are screening travelers for signs of contamination. More than 99% of the confirmed cases have been in China so far but the declaration of emergency is meant to prepare the weaker countries in case of an outbreak.
So far, this is only the 6th time that WHO has declared a global health emergency with the previous instances being that of Swine Flu, Polio, Zika Virus, and twice for Ebola.