Coronavirus Outbreak: WHO Puts Off Decision On Declaring A Global Health Emergency

Global event News

The World Health Organization will meet again on Thursday to discuss the ‘evolving and complex situation’ as the death toll in China reportedly rose to 17.

Written By Ananya Varma | Mumbai | Updated On:

On Wednesday, the Emergency Committee of the World Health Organisation (WHO) held a discussion over the viral outbreak of the coronavirus in Wuhan. The WHO committee has postponed making a decision on whether to declare a global state of emergency regarding the disease or not. The committee announced that they need 'more information' and will be holding another follow-up meeting on Thursday. Director general of WHO, Dr. Tedros said that the decision to declare the outbreak as an 'emergency' can not be taken lightly, hence, more conclusive evidence is needed. 

Read: China: 9 dead and 440 infected by mysterious Coronavirus

"The decision about whether or not to declare a public health emergency of international concern is one I take extremely seriously, and one I am only prepared to make with appropriate consideration of all the evidence", Dr. Tedros said at the meeting.

Read: US diplomat criticises CPEC, says no transparency in projects undertaken by China

'Strong measures by China'

Dr. Tedros has called for a follow-up meeting of the committee to continue the discussion on the issue, adding that it is an "evolving and complex situation". He also commented on the precautions that China has been taking including the travel ban ahead of the Chinese New Year. "What they are doing is very, very strong measures and with full commitment," he said. While the disease is mainly concentrated in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, there have been two cases in Thailand and one in Japan. The virus has pneumonia-like symptoms. It is assumed to spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

Read: China: Huanan Seafood Market believed to be linked to SARS-like virus

On Wednesday, Li Bin, Deputy Director of China’s National Health Commission, announced that the coronavirus outbreak in China’s Wuhan city has killed nine people and infected 440 others across the country. According to international media reports, the virus has spread to Hong Kong, Bangkok, Tokyo, South Korea, Beijing, Shanghai, Vietnam, Taiwan, and Singapore. The Huanan Seafood Market where wild food choices like crocodiles, peacocks and wolf pups are available is seen to have been the source of the virus spreading. 

Read: China: Wuhan mayor asks citizens not to travel outside as deadly coronavirus spreads

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