Coronavirus, which has already infected hundreds of people and reportedly killed 18 people, still does not yet constitute a global emergency, the World Health Organisation reportedly said on January 24. While speaking to an international media outlet, WHO Chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the organisation is still not declaring a public health emergency of international concern as it is an emergency in China, but it has not yet become a global health emergency.
After a two-day emergency meeting in Geneva, the WHO has further urged China to keep its lockdown of approximately 20 million people 'short'. Ghebreyesus, while speaking to international media reporters, further stressed that the decision by WHO should not be taken as a sign that the organisation does not think the situation is serious and added that there is no evidence of human-to-human transmission outside China. He also hailed China for taking immediate measures that it believed were appropriate to contain the spread of coronavirus in Wuhan and other cities.
The new respiratory virus has claimed several lives since emerging from a seafood and animal market in Wuhan. It has also infected hundreds of other people nationwide and has been reportedly detected as far away as the United States of America. In an earlier reported, the WHO had confirmed that the SARS-like virus could be passed between people and the Chinese officials further warned that the virus could mutate and spread further.
The recent outbreak has further also caused a halt to many flights causing a great loss to the airline companies. It is expected to soon take a toll on the financial resource of the airline's companies. According to international media reports, another Chinese city, Huanggang which is a prefecture-level city in easternmost Hubei Province and neighbour of Wuhan will also follow the lead to suspending public transport in an out of the city due to the outbreak.
It is now also believed that the virus originated from Chinese Krait and the Chinese cobra. The scientists reportedly said that that the original source of the deadly infectious respiratory illness is a snake, more specifically, the Taiwanese Krait or the Chinese Kriat which is a highly venomous species of elapid snake found in much of central and southern China and Southeast Asia. According to international media reports, the virus has spread to Hong Kong, Bangkok, Tokyo, South Korea, Beijing, Shanghai, Vietnam, Taiwan, and Singapore. The mayor of the city of Wuhan has also urged citizens not to travel outside China during the Chinese Lunar New Year holiday and the authorities have further issued a travel advisory warning in the backlash of coronavirus.